Shopping Fun

Another successful trip to Goodwill!

Two button-down tops (~$25 each), one workout top ($15), two bracelets (I have no idea what brand, but maybe $12 each at the lowest?).  All pieces are in excellent condition, all clothing is high quality name brand, and one of the button-downs still has the store tags.  Total value= $89.  My price before tax= $16.75.

My sister Megan was with me, and we had a conversation about some people’s discomfort with shopping second-hand.  I am quite passionate about it for three reasons.  One, as you can see, I save a ton of money whenever I buy something from Goodwill rather than the mall.  I have $72 today that I wouldn’t have if I had purchased the same things at the mall.  Two, I support the environmental impact of buying and selling/donating used things rather than throwing them in the garbage.  If I am finished with a pair of jeans before they are worn out, sending them to take up space in a landfill is unnecessary.  If I need new jeans, using the planet’s resources to produce a brand new pair might be unnecessary, if I can find something great at a thrift store.  And the third reason I like thrift shopping is just that:  I like thrift shopping!  🙂  It’s a different mentality.  I learn not to get attached to a particular piece because if it doesn’t fit, I can’t just go get another size.  I also learn to be open to trying things on that I don’t know if I like.

So here’s the strategy:  Be picky.  That may sound strange, but it works well for me.  I do not buy cheap junk when I clothes shop at Goodwill.  No clothes that were originally sold at Walmart or the like.  No clothes that don’t appear to be brand new.  No clothes that have holes or frayed hems.  I have the mentality that wasting $3 on a shirt from Goodwill that I won’t wear is just as unappealing as wasting $30 on a shirt I won’t wear.  If it doesn’t fit just right, if it’s not a good color for me, if it’s too long or too short, then it’s not for me.  I also know that I need to try on many more items than I actually purchase.  I go to the dressing room with a large pile of clothes, and I might find two or three things that are just right.  (However, that’s usually how it goes at other stores, as well!)

There are a few reasons that I really like shopping at new clothing stores, as well.  For one thing, good service is often worth higher prices.  Having fitting room attendants who will go get other sizes, talk with you about your tried items, suggest other things you may like, and clean up your dressing room when you are done, is very enjoyable.  In addition, clean and bright stores are very appealing.  It’s all for the purpose of selling you a product, of course, but it is enjoyable.  At Goodwill, you find all the clothes you try on, you often stand in line for a fitting room, you often deal with other people’s rejected clothes in the dressing room, and you (if you’re following the rules) put your rejects back on the hanger and remove them from the dressing room when you’re done.  In my opinion, that’s a small sacrafice in return for deep discounts, but it is very nice to occasionally take my money to Loft, New York & Co., Dillards, Aerie, Banana Republic, and other favorite stores.

A sidenote–I love buying other things used: dishes, furniture, decorative items, etc.  My general rules are nothing that can’t be cleaned thoroughly before use!  🙂  I’m not a poor college student anymore who is willing to risk (or just oblivious to) bedbugs and other potential harms.  So I don’t buy couches, rugs, pillows, etc.  Clothes go straight in the laundry, and dishes go straight to the dishwasher.  Hard furniture and home decorative items get a thorough wipe-down.  With very rare exception, I don’t buy used shoes.  (Sometimes I can’t resist; I’m a shoe addict much, MUCH more than a couch addict or pillow addict!  🙂  One of my most favorite–and most uncomfortable–pair of Chinese Laundry wedges came from Goodwill!  Rarely worn, but WELL worth the $3!)



Okay, the pervasive Wednesday and Thursday Optimism is making up for the Sunday Night Dread!  🙂

LOOOONG post about teaching to come soon, but tonight, I’m just going to let my unstoppable optimism run through a bunch of random things that have been going through my head today.


Yay, Panthers!!!  Or as my friend Levi said on Facebook: “I LOVE THE PANTHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Me too, Levi, me too!   🙂  On to round 2!

My sister Sarah and I texted back and forth on the subject of basketball for quite awhile tonight.  For two girly-girls, one of whom never played sports in high school (me), and the other who doesn’t even like to watch football, for crying out loud (HER!), that was quite unusual!


I must say, though, I am beginning to redeem myself.  Three years of ultimate frisbee all summer long.  Several 5K races…and one more in less than two weeks.  Lots and lots and LOTS of yoga.  I might not want to play basketball and volleyball, but I’ve found several “sports” that I love!

(Actually, I think volleyball is pretty fun…and in high school gym class, basketball was my favorite thing to do…if you can call it “favorite” when it’s really “slightly better than miserable”…but playing on a bar league volleyball team or playing pick-up basketball both make me feel like I’m in P.E. all over again.)

I still miss kickball…wish I could find a place to play that, other than during recess duty!  Maybe play with kids my own size!  🙂


Womens  Light Blue Bridgeport Linen Classics TOMS Shoes Side
I’m loving these Spring-ish little shoes from TOMS Shoes!  Not sure if I can justify spending the money…I tend to gravitate toward flip flops anyway.  But I can’t wear flip flops to work…
Womens  Barletta Cordones TOMS Shoes Side
I’m also feelin’ the Barletta Cordones, and they really would be a wise purchase in regards to my current shoe needs, but my size is not available.  Make some more, TOMS, make some more!
Have you heard of TOMS?  You buy a pair of new shoes, they donate a pair of new shoes to a child in need.  You buy two pairs, they donate two pairs.  You buy three…you get the idea.  I haven’t bought any yet, but I’ve heard that they are also the most comfortable shoes you’ll ever wear.  More comfortable than my Skechers that I wear practically every day?  🙂  I’ll let you know.  If they ever stock up on the Barletta Cordones in my size.
I came home with a nasty migraine today.  The kind where I pee in the dark because turning on the bathroom light makes me hold my head in agony.  The kind where I want to watch the Northern Iowa game, but mostly I just have to shut my eyes and listen.  The kind where I know the weather is awesome, and I feel the breeze coming in the living room window, and I’m loving it, but I could no sooner go outside and go for a walk or a run than I could bring myself to cut off my own pinky finger with a steak knife.
Yes, they are that bad.
So now that I had some Advil, and a lot of water, and a completely harmless dinner of a peanut butter banana, and it is gradually fading away…I’m thinking about what caused it.  Going down my habitual checklist.  Beef?  No.  Jell-o?  No.  Marshmallows?  Um, no.  Could it have been the lunchmeat?  Nope, I checked the label, it’s all turkey.  Artificial food coloring?  No…oh, wait…
Orange soda.  Lots of it.  Over the past few days.  Of course.  It was on its way to becoming a very bad habit.  And what do we know about orange?  Yellow plus red.  Nasty, toxic, made-from-a-cow red.  So much for that bad habit.  Don’t worry coffee, you are not being replaced by orange soda!  🙂  (Unless they start making clear orange soda…)
But, fading away though it may be, I know that the only sure cure is time, aka, a good night’s sleep, so I’m planning on being asleep before the Advil wears off.
I toured an apartment with a huge, lovely soaking tub the other day.  It was beautiful.  Like the smell of a brand new Altima, the idea of sitting in that huge tub, full of bubbles and yummy smells, may have sold me.  But more on that later.  After I make more decisions.  And see more apartments.  With, or *sigh* without, soaking tubs.
You know I love birth stories.  Of all the birth stories I have ever read…hospital, home birth, birth center…midwife-attended, physician attended, unattended…this story is my favorite.  Hands down.  None of the controversial issues matter one bit in this story.  It’s all about the reason you do it.
And what I learned from this story is the reason I’m feeling the love for my students, these days.  They are not what I expected.  I could list all the things I didn’t expect, but it’s all just labels.  Issues to deal with, for sure.  But none of that matters as much as the kids.  They are people.  Little, unique, feeling, loving, breakable people.  If they looked up at me and said, “Miss B., I’m not what you expected, but teach me anyway?”  Oh, it would break me.
I recently read a little anecdote about a woman who is single in her forties, and she is the vice-principal of an elementary school.  She says that instead of a “bundle of joy” to raise, she is blessed with “daily bundles.”  She says, every day, there are children at her school who need to be loved on, who need to be nurtured and cared for and raised.  And she prays to be a good nurturer for her “daily bundle.”  I like that.
I just cannot imagine what it feels like, loving a baby who is yours.  I cannot imagine making that journey from expectation and joy, through unexpected and grief, to love.  Even in an experience that goes exactly as expected…I cannot imagine making the journey from expectation to such a life-changing reality.  I do imagine that your life doesn’t really start until you walk that road of motherhood.  Well, maybe not “your life doesn’t start,” but something.  I imagine that motherhood changes you in ways you can’t know until you experience it.  And I haven’t experienced it, but I can’t turn away from stories about it.
Beware…it made me cry.  Seriously, tears running down my face, cry.  But it’s so worth it. 

Bring On the Snow!!!

This weekend I found snow boots.  I’ve been on the search for about three years!  I have a mostly indoor job, and I would like to be able to wear cute shoes for most of the day.  Also, I would love to come to school in the slush and snow without the bottom three inches of my pants soaked and salty.  And, when I’m outside for fun rather than work, I want to keep my feet warm and dry, but still attired in footwear that is attractive.  So I’ve been wanting to find boots that are warm, dry, and cute.  

The reason my search has been three years long is that I procrastinate!  I convince myself that I don’t need them, until I have frozen my toes for a couple of months, by which time stores are stocking spring sandals.  This weekend I was shopping with my sister Sarah, and she was looking for boots.  My thoughts:  “Oh, yeah, I was looking for boots in about February…Well, I don’t need them today, it’s October!…But if I don’t look now, I will go another winter without snow boots…”  And it led to trying on, which led to buying!

Mine are lighter colored than this, but this is the only picture I could find of the style I bought.  They are so, so soft, and toasty warm, and the box claims they will keep my feet dry in the winter mess.  Bring on the snow!

Or…not…at least for awhile!  🙂

Womanly Matters


Yes, that’s right, I am a shoe-loving woman!  🙂  Check out these gorgeous shoes I found to wear for my friend’s wedding.  Between the shoes and the bridesmaids’ dress, I plan to be the most beautiful woman in the room!

Okay…second most beautiful.  I guess it is her wedding.  I’m told it’s actually not all about me.  Who knew?  😉

And yes, the green smoothies worked like a charm.