Thursday, November 29, 2012

Winners and Loosers

This week is free choice, we get to talk about anything we want!  Great idea, wish I thought of it... anyway, I don't have a lot of words, I am going to let these pictures speak for themselves.

Taken about a year ago... at my first race.
Before our "Race to Kite"

This year after our Thanksgiving 4 miler. 
Lost 40 pounds, gained one amazing running partner.
Want to see the other ladies are talking about? Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Black Friday? Not so much

This week's topic is about Black Friday...

I will start out by saying I find Black Friday repulsive.  It makes me sick to read about people being trampled all in the name of getting some television or computer at some low price.  There aren't enough items at that price and to see people literally kill each other to purchase some material item, disgusts me.  Life is more important than any electronic gadget that we don't really need.  But, I will step off my soap box for the rest of this post.

About, 5 years ago, I "did" the Black Friday thing.  I was big into couponing and the idea of getting a good deal on something was pretty near and dear to my heart.  My couponing buddies and got up early and hit the stores together.  After a great day of shopping and deal getting, we had breakfast.  It was fun and we had a great time.

I believed that morning that I had gotten some really great deals.  But as the holiday season progressed, I saw the same deals on the same things.  What I discovered is that in very few instances is it worth getting up at the crack of dawn to battle the crowds for some "deal."  The deals will be there after Black Friday is over.

The following year and in the years since, I have not participated in the Black Friday.  I have participated in Cyber-Monday and other internet deals.  I don't have to deal with the crowds and I can shop on my time and be warm and cozy in my jammies. 

This year, I don't really need anything.  The only Black Friday purchase I made this year was the Toys-R-Us groupon.  I might make a yarn purchase on Cyber-Monday (40% off is pretty enticing), but I may not... I really don't need yarn.

At the end of the day, I don't think the deals on Black Friday are either plentiful or good enough for me to give up sleep and venture out to deal with crowds.  I don't like to be in a crowd, nor do I like being cold.  So, I think it likely that next year, I will probably go to the gym on Friday and avoid the retail establishments.

Want to see the other ladies purchasing habits? Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shop till you drop

The topic for this week is to talk about your favorite and least favorite place to shop. 

My least favorite place to shop is WalMart.  I hate their stores, they are messy and dirty.  The service is horrible.  It takes f o r e v e r to check out at WalMart.  Those clerks take their own sweet time checking folks out.  Their prices are on average the same as Target, and I see no reason to shop at WalMart.  The only reason we ever go there is because people give my kids gift cards to WalMart and I am forced into going.  I try and use the cards when we are in Ohio, because that particular store is actually pretty nice. 

I also do not like the way WalMart has fundamentally changed the way products are made.  When I worked in manufacturing I watched manufacturing get shifted to China because WalMart wants things cheaper and cheaper every year.  The issue with China is that the price that they give you for a specific product is not really what they are quoting.  The way manufacturing works in this country is that you design the product so that every product made meets the minimum acceptable quality.  That way you do not have to test every product.  Unfortunately, once the part passes the quality tests, the manufacturing system often changes when the product is made in China.  So the raw material sources might change, or the paint used might change, and the US manufacturer is none the wiser.  Can we say lead in the paint on toys?  But it isn't just toys that have these types of quality issues, it is many products made in China.  Because of this, I refuse to shop in this store.  I realize that it is probably not making a change, but it makes me feel better.

I hate to admit my current favorite store.  There is a certain stigma associated with my favorite store.  People tend to look at folks who shop here with a certain, disdain, I guess.  But, my favorite store is not only super, super, super affordable, it is good for the environment.  Even WalMart can't touch the prices at this store.

My favorite store is not only easy on my wallet, it is easy on the earth too.  See, my favorite store is Goodwill.  Purchasing used clothing is very gentle on the environment, because I am reusing something that has already been made.  I am not demanding new goods, and putting old goods in the landfill.

Initially, I started shopping at Goodwill because I needed clothes that fit.  I have lost a considerable amount of weight, but I'm not done yet.  So, I need cheap clothes to cover me until I'm done.  But, what I found is that I can find amazing things at Goodwill.  I recently got a Lands End cardigan for $2.99.  This sweater retails for $35.  I also have found Ann Taylor, Talbots, J Jill, and other brand names at bargain prices.  I saw a Talbots cashmere sweater for $3.99.  This coupled with my discount card and coupons I get, allows me to restock my wardrobe at rock bottom prices.  It is always different, and I enjoy the  hunt.

Want to see the other ladies retail desires?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Five

This week's topic is about the list.  The list of 5 people that, as it was put in the "official" question you can smooch without consequences. 
Ok, folks, if you have been reading this for awhile, you know my 5.  My 5 is really just a 1.  I leave you with the 5, or the 1.  Yes, all 5 are Mark Harmon.  I love Mark Harmon.  Yes, NCIS is porn, your point?  Yes, my husband knows about this.  Yes, he is cool with it...  enjoy (there are more words in a minute.) 
Yum.  Ok, now that you have met the 5, below find the alternates.  The folks that I consider giving perhaps the #5 spot.  You know,  four times Mark, one time the other guy.   So far none of them have cracked the list, but the guys in consideration.  In no particular order, Chris O'Donnell and Daniel Craig.
Some cheesecake from the other ladies?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fashion Trends?

This week's topic is what fashion trends do you wish would come back in style?

There are some I definitely don't want to see make a return.

Where to start with this...

The pants are so bad.  They pioneered the adjustable waist before adjustable waists were cool.  The pants Velcro closed at the front, allowing you to loosen at tighten as needed.

The shoes, oh, how I begged for those Nike shoes... but still, tennis shoes, socks and ankle pants?  Umm, no.

The massive stripe across the front of the over sized jacket?   So, bad.

When I hear people talk about revisiting the style of the 80's, I get scared.  Let's not ok?

There were the over sized blazers of the 90's and stirrup pants.

I actually think that picture might be of me.  I think I had that outfit.  I fought the demise of stirrup pants for a long time.  I stocked up and wore them long after you could not buy they anywhere.  It was when someone finally said to me, umm, you know there is a reason you can't buy those anymore that I got the message.

So, here is the conundrum I have with this topic.  I look back at my "fashion" from the past and think, you know, it is best that those looks stay in the past.  For now, I will embrace my post workout look and jeans.  I have my own thing going on, and it probably isn't stylish, but it is comfortable and it works for me.

Want to see how awesome the other ladies look?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl