Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category
Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. And the question on everyone’s mind in KlineLand is, “what do you want?!”
It’s so hard this year because I want…nothing, really. World peace. Cliche, I know, but I mean it. A nice family dinner with laughter and teasing. One week without angst of any kind.
See, I’m a simple girl!
Plus I’ve been trying to do that less-is-more life style. Which my new found love of card making–yes, again!–isn’t helping. But I don’t want things…
Yesterday I finally used one of the two gift certificates for massages I got for last year on Mother’s Day and my birthday. This year they are the same day. It was so nice and relaxing. Plus the masseuse (Carrie at the Elements Massage in Bloomingdale) was fun. I laughed and enjoyed the conversation while getting a massage. Perfect day.
This year I will be 47 years old–oops, I mean something with a 9 in it…29!–and I have everything I want. Or I just buy it when I want it. Except for my convertible. I’m still waiting for that. With the current sun rash I have, the desire to own a convertible seems pretty impractical. I bet my dermatologist would be in heaven if I get one though. A convertible…not another rash. Well, he would appreciate the rash.
Maybe I should just ask for full-body sun protection. That would save all of us from the pain of my complaining…
A store had the balls to use a fat mannequin and some people are bothered by it. I think these people have a problem.
Aren’t you tired of going into any department store and seeing the clothes tailored to fit the mannequins? By tailored, I mean pinned in the back so everything looks perfect and fitted. No matter what your size–unless you are blessed with the American ideal of model-thin physique–you are never going to have clothes that fit you like they will the mannequin.
Imagine being a plus-sized woman going into a clothing store catering to your demographic and seeing plus-sized clothes pinned and folded to fit the nowhere-near-obese mannequin. Even before putting on a stitch of clothing, you know it’s not going to look that good on you.
Kudos to retailers for realizing that a larger-sized mannequin might be a good thing. They could go even further and get mannequins that represent a variety of body shapes. I’ve read so many magazines where they present a selection of women all wearing the same size–and not one of them look the same.
As for the fear that obese mannequins might make people think it’s okay to be fat…well, there are fat people. Fat people spend money on clothes. Fat people want to look good. And you don’t catch fat from a mannequin.
As Ragen Chastain says, people don’t take care of things they hate. So why is it the goal of retailers to make their customers hate themselves? Or why would non-retailers be worried about people seeing fat mannequins? What is it really going to hurt?
OK, kids, I’ve been thinking.
This is the phrase that sends chills down Jim’s spine. Usually because I’ve been watching HGTV and have an excellent idea for our home or garden that he will need to implement. Hey, it’s not my fault my hands hurt!
But this idea requires cooperation from all of you, your family, and your friends. We need to boycott Black Friday. Not the whole day, but we need to stay home until at least 6am on Friday, November 23, 2012.
If people stay home, stores will have no reason to open at incredibly ridiculous hours. If stores don’t open at incredibly ridiculous hours, employees won’t have to report for work at even earlier incredibly ridiculous h0urs. We are not lemmings. We can wait a few hours for fake deals.
This weekend I was with friends. They will be staying home on Thanksgiving because one of them works for Walmart and has to be at work at 7pm to get ready for their early opening for Black Friday–which is happening at 10pm the night before. She doesn’t get time and a half. She doesn’t get any extra compensation. She gets to work her shift, plus extra hours to accommodate the crazed masses that will swarm the store for Black Friday (or would it be Gray Thursday?!).
An internet friend is upset because he husband works for a retailer that has decided to compete with the big stores, and will be opening late on Gray Thursday also. Instead of going into work a few hours early on Friday morning, he will be reporting to work Thursday evening. Again, he will work his usual shirt plus extra hours.
Are the sales really that incredible that you need to shop in the middle of the night? Personally, I think they offer limited sub-par goods at insane prices to lure you in. You’re there, you’ll spend because you are. But if you wait a few more weeks, you might actually get a real deal on a quality product.
Do you like going out in the middle of the night? Then go to a business that’s already open. Those employees work that shift intentionally.
Or you could consider a new plan for the holidays. Do we really need to have so many material things? I like the idea of giving experiences. Gift cards to a nice restaurant, tickets to a museum, the movies, or a play would be nice. Services like baby sitting, house cleaning, yard work, or snow shoveling would help someone out.
I don’t want to take away Christmas. I just want us to give it and the presents we give to have more meaning.
I’m excited to be teaming up with Eden Fantasys and offering commentary on their site a few times a month. Don’t be alarmed! I won’t be reviewing sex toys–unless something really really catches my fancy! But I will be letting you know about all the cool things offered on the Eden Fantasys website. There are forums where you can read about products, sex and politics, sexual health, and a ton of other things! There’s Sexis magazine that explores–what else!–sex! I’m excited about the photography group!
How do you express love for the special people in your life? Do you do special things for special people? Take on a chore they hate. Give a hug when they need one. Make them laugh when they’re down. Listen when they need an ear.
I see so many people getting caught up in living life that they forget the people that are important. It’s easy to fly from commitment to commitment without actually stopping to think about the people we are doing this for.
I show love differently for different people. I tell my family I love them as much as possible. I don’t ever want there to be a tragedy and not have them knowing how I truly feel about them. As a mom, I’m quick to point out that I might not like the behavior or the person at that moment, but I will always love them. I want them to have that foundation, that trust, that belief that they are truly and wholly loved.
I thank Jim for everything he does because I really appreciate it. If I mention something needs to be done around the house, he hops right on it. I think he shows his appreciation for me and the boys by doing this.
Each and every day, I do a gratitude list as I lay in bed, ready to sleep. I want God and the universe to know that I appreciate all the wonderful gifts I’ve been given. I have a nice life–not without boulders in the road at times–and I am not afraid to give thanks.
I’m pretty good at appreciating myself. When I need space, I give it to myself. When I need cheering up, I call a friend. When I need a day of laughter, I call a friend or get Jim to tell me jokes. Are you good at self-appreciation?
How about showing your self-appreciation with something nice for yourself? Eden Fantasys has so many ways to treat yourself! I won’t even talk about the sexual ways–you can explore them on your own! But what about some body and bath products? I love love love makeup kits and there are several! Like baths? Check out some body washes! You could show your partner some appreciation with a massage–with the agreement that they will reciprocate! A massage kit would make it even more fun!
Let’s make a deal to show some appreciation–to the people around us and to ourselves! Let me know how you do it and if things are different because you did something different.
Let’s make a vow to stick together. We are no longer competing–we are all smart, beautiful, wonderful beings–we are one strong community setting out to make the world a better place. We can do it…we are women…
This commentary was provided in exchange for a gift card to Eden Fantasys–the sex toy store.
Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I thought I would make some suggestions for purchasing just the right present for the woman in your life. Since I know most about married women with children, I will tailor my suggestions to this population. Maybe a young, single woman will chime in with some advice for her demographic!
Grown women don’t need stuffed animals. Not even as a cute present. Stuffed animals are clutter and are dust magnets. Eventually they require work when they need to be disposed of.
Grown women don’t want flowers. We know how much they cost. You can use that money to buy us something we really want: something for our hobbies (for me, yarn or Itunes gift cards), a massage, a manicure. Flowers are disposable and if we don’t pay attention to them they get eaten by pets and rot on the countertop.
Shaped stones are for children. Honestly, if you are looking at a pair of heart-shaped diamonds as a present, step back. Unless your wife–the mother of your children–has specifically said she would love a pair of Mickey Mouse shaped diamonds, stick with a classic cut. Emerald cuts are nice. Square is good.
Unless it is a new iObject, electronics are again out, unless specifically requested/hinted. Kitchen appliances are not presents, no matter how much she’s been groaning about needing a new mixer. Unless you’re getting her a state-of-the-art KitchenAid, don’t bother. Vacuums are never presents. They are a household necessity. Although, a craft electronic might be acceptable if your lady is into that. For example, a Cricut would be appreciated.
Self-improvement gifts are not appropriate. Even if she’s been moaning and groaning about getting back to the gym, do not fall into this trap unless she specifically asks for a gym membership. That means personal training sessions and thigh masters are also out.
Sexy gifts are great ideas. But if you spring for the lingerie, make damn sure it’s in her size. Look in her drawers, find something she regularly wears, check the size, and approach the ladies at Victoria’s Secret with that information. Unless she’s plus-sized, because nothing at VS is going to fit. Head to a store that has plus-sized lingerie. No one needs to be reminded that they will never fit into the sexy lingerie you got them.
Chocolate is good. Cora Lee Toffee is perfect. High quality, dark chocolate is perfect. That stuff someone is selling for their kids at work for $1 a bar is not good. A $2 box of chocolate from the drug store with a cartoon character on the front is not good.
Hand-made anything will earn you big points. Are you a writer, how about a love letter? A musician, how about a song? A craftsman, how about a special piece just for her? Even a well-thought hand-made card will earn extra credit points.
Of course, the most perfect presents of all are your actions and words day by day. Tell her how much you love and appreciate her. Let her know you would do it all over again. Tell her you’re proud of her and of your family.
I hope this helps! If I missed something, ladies speak up! Men, I want to know if you took my advice and it was your best Valentine’s Day ever!
Apparently, the American people are consumer lemmings. (By by the way, apparently lemmings don’t commit mass suicide when playing follow the leader…check this out!) That’s the only explanation I have for the insanity that drives otherwise normal people to venture out at the strangest hours to get “deals” on the strangest things.
Even I, who has long lost the desire to shop as sport, found myself caught up in some of the drama. Walmart opening at 10pm Thanksgiving night? They must have something I need/want! The Thursday newspaper contains 20 pounds of ads? Surely there’s something in there I need.
Forunately, there is nothing I want so badly that I would get out of my warm bed at a strange hour to go buy. (I could make an exception for a Cricut mini…and I have no idea why I’m obsessed with this machine since I don’t do any paper crafting at all! Oh, and an Apple iPad 2…but Apple doesn’t really do sales.)
I also don’t believe that the Friday after Thanksgiving is the absolutely only day there will be good sales until Christmas time. We all know that retailers will be slashing prices to get rid of inventory before the end of the year.
We’ve all just fallen into the trap set for us by the retailers. They and the media work us all into a frenzy until we become crazy people seeking out waffle irons and other crappy electronics in the dead of night. The same advertising geniuses that convince men that the beer they drink determines their ability to get the hot girl, that we deserve new flooring because we’re good people, and we aren’t beautiful until we are stick thin and our teeth glow under black lights have turned the pleasure of shopping for our loved ones into blood sport.
Christmas is a time to give gifts to the people we love that they will love. It’s not a time to spend money like crazy. It’s not time to try and top last year’s presents. I’m not religious at all, but I’m beginning to love the whole “Put Christ Back Into Christmas” movement. Maybe it’s not Christ, exactly, that needs to be put back into the season…maybe it’s just the good will toward men theme that we should be embracing more.
Americans have gotten very materialistic. Which has led to some dire consequences–increased credit card debt, foreclosures, etc. A lot of the need we are driven to fill is at the instigation of the very people who sell the goods that they convince us we need. I’ve found a reduction in the number of things I “need” by not automatically looking at the ads in the Sunday paper. I pay no attention to television commercials unless they are amusing.
Am I off base here? Did you shop on Black Friday? Is shopping a sport you are excelling in? Let me know!
I have a new addiction and I am pleased to share it with you all. I want you to know about this incredible thing. I want you to participate. I want to see your ideas so I can repin them.
Yes, I said “repin.”
Pinterest is the latest most awesomest thing on the internet. I’m not exaggerating.
Two or three times a day I venture into Pinterest Land and see what incredible things people are pinning. Let me explain how this works…
- I’m searching for something on the vast land of the internet. Let’s say, cord organization. My desk drawer is run over with cords from the family’s various electronic devices and needs to be tamed.
- I find a website that shows a way to use a box and toilet paper tubes. Stuff the cords in the tubes, close the box, and you have organization.
- I think this is genius, and I want to share it with people. So I pin it via the toolbar link I have to Pinterest.
- Now people who are following my boards can also see the great idea.
Actually, I wasn’t searching for cord organization tips and didn’t even think about that. But I saw someone’s pin on Pinterest and knew I had to use the idea!
And that’s the beauty of Pinterest. All the things that the internet has to offer and you don’t know you need to know are right there on your screen for the taking. Because other people did the work for you! They took the time to pin gorgeous pictures of scenery, houses, decorating ideas, crafts, babies, food…and now you know about the greatness.
But that’s only part of the genius that is Pinterest.
Pinterest is also a great place to organize the things you are actually searching for on the internet. Let’s say I’m searching for hats to knit for the winter. BP (Before Pinterest) I could bookmark sites, maybe print out several patterns. But bookmarks and paper seem to get lost on my unorganized desktop (computer and the actual desk!).
Pinterest allows me to create a board that I call “Things to Knit” and I can pin the ideas for hats directly there. On my board I will see the pictures. When I click on the pictures I will be taken to the actual site where I found the pattern. Genius!
Some might say this is a huge time sucker. But I disagree. It’s gotten my creativity flowing again. Ideas are coming. There are so many things I want to do and try.
Do yourself a favor and check it out. I needed an invitation to join. If that’s still the case, let me know and I will send you an invitation. Because I need your ideas for inspiration…Here’s my link!
I am so glad I found a new yarn studio. Because I can never have enough yarn!
The Woolly Lamb Yarn Studio is located at 6007 N. Nina Avenue in Chicago. The owner, Brigitte Biver, was wonderfully personable and helpful.
Kelly and I spent quite awhile petting yarns and pouring over pattern books. The front room of the studio is sunny and bright from the wide windows. Samples hang everywhere. There was a great selection of yarn, accessories, and books. A cozy-looking couch invites you to grab some knitting and sit for awhile.
A back room has a giant table as the centerpiece. Shelves of yarn and books surround it, as well as more samples. It would be a nice, cozy place to take a class or have a knit-in.
Woolly Lamb is the sole local seller of Bergere yarns. If you haven’t felt the Bergere yarn, hurry over there to pet some. It is gloriously soft and I imagine it makes amazingly comfortable items. The Bergere pattern books are also fun and frivolous with some gorgeous garments and accessories. Brigitte carries many of them and she let us page through them all.
I give this local business a solid two thumbs up. The shop was the right blend of cozy and well-lit. There’s a wide assortment of yarn and accessories. The owner is friendly and personable. Even if you’re not a knitter, check out the store for inspiration. Maybe you will be a knitter by the time you leave!
Woolly Lamb Yarn Shop, 6007 N. Nina Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Phone: 773/631-6208.
I am totally stealing this idea from Carolyn over at this talk ain’t cheap. She is a genius! Instead of leaving half-assed clues out and about in preparation for Mother’s Day and, in my case, my May 12th birthday, I’m spelling out what I want. Thank you, Carolyn!
If you make a list, let me know so I can get ideas. If you want me to send it anonymously to your family, I’ll do that too!
I’m stealing this from Carolyn’s list. Except I want the Epiphanie camera bag in turquoise. Jim should appreciate my need for this after seeing me schlep my purse and my camera bag to the Foreigner concert last week! One combo bag would be so nice!
I want these interchangeable knitting needles from KnitPicks in the nickel. If you’re a knitter, you’ve got to give these a try. I got the starter set so I could sample the three different types. Actually, I haven’t even tried the others (acrylic and wood) because I love these so much. Very similar to Addi turbos.
I can always use a new Miche shell for my big bag. This one would be perfect! It’s called the Allison.
Of course, gift cards are always appreciated: Amazon and iTunes.
Happy Mother’s Day and birthday to me!
PS. My great yearning for the iPhone is on hold until my contract is up. And the convertible Camaro is but a dream…
I often complain about customer service or the lack thereof. I’m not alone, because everyone of us has a customer service horror story to share. I wrote about holiday customer service and I’ve put corporate America that I am test-driving customer service before purchasing their goods or services.
I have always been quick to blame the customer service person for the unpleasant experience. Now I am having second thoughts.
Last week I went through a McDonald’s drive-thru for my unsweetened iced tea with lemon that they sell for a dollar. I love iced tea. It’s hard to get good brewed tea. Getting great tea for a buck is icing on the cake. I make sure the people taking my order and taking my money know I am appreciative. I say, “please” and “thank you.” I realize that people working at fast food restaurants aren’t making a lot of money, are under pressure to perform in a timely manner, and go home smelling like grease. I don’t want them to hate me for being an annoying customer.
But last week when I said “please” and “thank you” with an added “have a nice day,” the woman stop in mid-return of my money and said, “wow, a nice customer.” I asked her what she meant, and she told me that hardly anyone says anything nice. Ever.
Which makes me think that we are a bunch of rude people! Honestly, what were the very first things we were taught as children and that we, hopefully, taught our own children? How to say “please” and “thank you.” How to be appreciative of the things people do for us. Whether it’s handing over the keys to our new Camaro (I really want one of those!) or a cup of perfectly brewed iced tea, we should be appreciative. Someone other than ourselves did this for us.
Sure, the McDonald’s person didn’t do it specifically for you. But you are benefitting from their actions. Whether you’re flying through the restaurant for a drink or dinner for your entire family, someone is making it easy on you. They deserve a nice “please” and “thank you” and maybe a compliment or two on something.
Maybe, just maybe, when we do something like this they will pass on the niceness to someone else in line and we can start a chain of pleasantness. We could end the cycle of snarliness that spreads from customer to worker and back.
Yesterday a track coach came to tell me a local reporter had very nice things to say about me. Since our exchange had been two quick emails–one letting him know he spelled Jeremy’s last name wrong and another acknowledging his apology–I was confused. The coach told me that the reporter was amazed that I hadn’t been mean. Because so many other people are mean when they contact him about similar things.
Why would I be mean to someone who made a mistake? Our last name is hard to misspell. I felt bad enough bringing it to his attention without berating him at the same time. The only reason I really said anything was because the story was about Jeremy setting a new state record with the shot put.
I’m not a saint. I am not always Susie Super Customer. If I get bad service and am in a bad mood, I will give as good as I get. Mostly, though, I just want people to understand that I am appreciative of what they are doing for me. It’s hard to live a grateful life if you can’t appreciate the people around you making that life possible.
I hope that makes everyone–customer and customer service alike–think before their next interaction.