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Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Saturday Morning Motivation – Shopping!

This morning I’m going to a giant consignment sale run by a mother’s organization. I hate shopping. Especially this type of shopping – where I want to make sure I’m finding something of good quality, but there are a ton of people, and it’s a limited amount of time, and there aren’t multiples of something – so if I like something I have to get it – and I really have to look! Ugh, stressful!

I’m on a quest to find some interesting things for the baby. She’s really paying attention to the world right now but she gets bored with things so quickly. She has an activity mat at our house and she’s already “over it!” So I’m looking for activity mats or chairs or exersaucers or bouncy seats or whatever will hold her attention, but for cheap because I’m sure she’ll check it out, figure it out, and want to move on in under a month!

Here’s my motivation for the day:

Not to have a hissy fit because the crowd is overwhelming

Keep a sense of humor

 

Don’t spend too much!

Find something fun for the baby!

Wish me luck!

Have a great weekend!

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 Amazon.com 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!

Oh My God – Shoes!

Was I the only one obsessed with this video 6 years ago?

But today’s topic is absolutely SHOES!

My running sneakers have died, most certainly. Running sneakers are supposed to last for 300-500 miles, I’m pretty sure I’ve put at least 800 miles on this pair:

A bit dirty after the Color Run

 

Those are my Saucony Ride 4s. And they were a great pair of shoes and I didn’t have a single injury until recently… Once I wore them out I started getting blisters and some muscle pains. I knew it was time for new ones. But Saucony has made some changes and I wanted to try on the Ride 5s before deciding to purchase them (which eliminated my desire to just buy them online).

When I first bought this pair, I just went to a store at the mall and found a pair on sale that felt good. Seriously… my qualifier was that I wanted a pair of shoes that weren’t too cheap but were also affordable in case I didn’t stick with the running thing. I lucked out because if I remember correctly, my 4s were 40% off. I wasn’t so sure about the bright blue though, I was looking for understated… but they felt the most comfortable and I loved the price, so I sucked it up and bought loud running shoes.

So when my beloved shoes wore out, I knew I wanted the same type. Why mess with something that’s working well? I went to a general shoe store (in fact, it’s called the the Shoe Barn) that was listed on the Saucony website as a distributor. I stayed way late at work and arrived at the She Barn 20 minutes before it closed. I didn’t feel that guilty because I knew what I wanted. I thought I would be in and out in under 10 minutes. WRONG! They didn’t carry the Rides! “Because the colors are too outrageous.” Lame! So they sold me some Echelons instead…

Just as a fun fact, the Rides are a neutral shoe. If you’re not a runner, that means that when my foot lands on the ground, I don’t need a lot of stability in the shoe to ward off my foot rolling (most women roll in, because of the severe angle our femurs deal with because of our hips). The Echelons are for pronators. The store didn’t mention to me that the Rides are neutral… so when they suggested I buy the Echelons, I figured most women are pronators and I went with it. Even though they look like old lady orthopedic shoes (and I mean no offense to any pronators out there)

There isn’t really an arch on the bottom of the shoe

I went to my office gym the next day and gave them a test run on a treadmill. I was planning to run 1 mile but it only took about .25 to know these were not the shoes for me! They felt like I had fist-sized rocks in my shoe! Ow! My director of marketing happened to be in the gym with me and he suggested that I return the Echelons STAT and go to Marathon Sports (a real running store… along the route of the Boston Marathon). “Since it’s on your way home anyway.” (It wasn’t on my way home, per se, but I could drive home past it and it was well worth the detour.)

So I popped over to Marathon Sports and told the (let’s guess 19 year old) guy my story about the Barn. He was appalled that a company sold me a running shoe without figuring out my gait first. “That’s irresponsible!” In the Barn’s defense, I’m sure their average customer is a house wife buying really expensive shoes (sneakers, sandals, dress shoes) for her children – it’s just in that kind of neighborhood… and that’s a decent description of the person who first recommended that store to my wonderful boyfriend and I.

I was supposed to be meeting the wonderful boyfriend and a friend, so I didn’t have a ton of time at Marathon Sports. I didn’t do the gait analysis, but I love the Rides! The 5 felt just as good as the 4!

Then, the adorable little sales rep says to me “I never get to do this but I can actually offer you a choice of color. We usually don’t carry multiple colors of styles, but with the Ride, you can choose these or these.” The first choice was a pale grey with blue accents and the second pair was magenta with chartreuse accents. Can you guess which I chose?

That’s right, I chose the CRAZY LOUD pair! Who have I become?! I LOVE them! Although the first time I ran in them all I wanted to do was stare at my feet. And a tiny girl (3, maybe 4, years old) on my running path commented about them to her mother. I didn’t hear the exact words, but she was cooing!  🙂

Oh… and I may have bought these on the same day: (at a different store, obviously)

There’s a lot of shoe love going on in my house right now!

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
  • RUNNING AGAIN!

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

 

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GwjfUFyY6M (Kool & The Gang – Celebration)

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).

Starts!

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!

No longer MIA

I’ve been feeling like a 5-year-old on the tea cups ride: like I know I should be having fun, but I feel completely out of control.

For example, since my last post I’ve: gone to a baby shower, celebrated an engagement, gone white water rafting (and had a little “get away” to Maine… but was with a lot of other people, so it wasn’t exactly relaxing), seen one of my favorite comics perform live, seen lots of friends, and went on a duck tour with work. Fun! But all that also kept me very busy, especially when added to a completely daunting amount of homework and working both jobs. Honestly, I have no idea what has been motivating me to get out of bed everyday, just a “must keep going” attitude, I guess.

Luckily for me, unlike a 5-year-old on the tea cups ride, I didn’t have to lose my lunch to get off. Things are starting to calm down and I’m so thankful for that. In fact, things were so quiet this weekend, I got to put up my Halloween decorations! I have to admit, my jack-o-lantern valances really make me smile every time I see them (and when the sun comes through them in the morning and turns the entire room orange).

From outside

Some (but not all) of the Halloween decorations I've put out. (I really miss having electrical sockets outside)

On a side note, my first ever 5k is this Sunday! I’m super excited! I’m so excited that I went out and bought new clothes. Typically, I run in whatever old t-shirt I have lying around. That usually means I’m running in a t-shirt that I got for free somewhere along my life (such as my college radio station, t-shirts for being a senior in both high school and college, a tie-dye shirt made in high school chemistry, etc). Besides that chemistry one, the rest are primarily white. I want my loved ones, who will be standing on the sidelines rooting me on, to be able to see me coming… and a white shirt won’t help. So I went out to buy myself a brightly colored shirt! I ended up buying 3 shirts, a sports bra, a pair of shorts, socks, and band aids (for my toes)… I’m pretty excited for this race. I still haven’t decided which shirt I’m going to wear on race day though. Which do you think I should wear?

I’m so excited for this race that I ended up spraining my foot somewhere along the way (I don’t even remember where/how). Specifically, I sprained the muscle that pulls the big toe up. Awesome! Dr. Daddy told me that I should avoid high impact activities (running) until it feels better. No can do! Maybe I won’t train every day this week, but I’ve got to get SOME running in. I’m too nervous not to. Although, my run on Saturday was pretty lame because it hurt and I didn’t even go out on Sunday (another reason for the Halloween decorations).

It’s going to be a high energy week!

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