Friday, November 24, 2017

Opt Outside + deals before Black Friday

Hello mon frers. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. I will be rolling my overstuffed self all over this beach town today as I Opt Outside on Black Friday and get some of the butter and gravy moving through the system.

I've never been a Black Friday shopper. I hate crowds and I prefer to have 80% of my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving, but I do like to take advantage of deals online on things for me and MFD (I buy both of our Christmas gifts) or the house. You can get great deals on the internets too. And on Wednesday, which means there's no need for Thursday or Friday shopping in my life. Here are some things I picked up this year, and as always no affiliate links:

Sephora had 50% off certain items Wednesday
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick $8.50, regularly $17 (in F-Bomb and TMI)
Living Proof Dry Shampoo Duo $22, regularly $34 (thanks Emily for the heads up)

Target had a Black Friday sneak peak for redcard holders Wednesday so I got the shore house some gifts. You have to add/change little things every year to keep it fresh.
Crock Pot 4.5 qt $10, regularly $19.99
Threshold fuzzy blankets in full/queen in scarlet mystery and green $18, regularly $39.99
Bodum French Press $10, regularly $19.99

Old Navy was running 50% off on Wednesday
Black dress for $18.49, originally $36.99
Go-warm open front hoodie for $18.49, originally $36.99 - my obsession this year. I have the heather gray and love it and I got the other two colors (navy and black)
Pixie Long Pants in olive through this for $17.49, originally $34.99 and rarely on sale. I live in these for work.

TOMs is offering 25% off certain styles with the code THANKFUL, so I ordered a pair of black velvet and black wool but will only be keeping one. 

I'm waiting to pull the trigger on a cart full of books on Amazon to take advantage of their $10 off $25 deal they usually run around now. 

I like the premise of the Opt Outside movement. Today's activities will include a sunrise, beach trash pickup, many dog walks, and watching Santa ascend from atop a building (pics below from 2015). ho ho ho, mofos.

What are your plans for today? Will you be outside, inside shopping, or both? Have you come upon any awesome deals? Anyone see a stainless steel roasting pan at a great price? Anyone? Bueller?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Thoughts

On this day of Thanksgiving
in this month where we list what we are thankful for
I'd like to implore you to practice gratitude daily if you don't already.
Every day of the year, even - no, especially - on days that suck, days where nothing is going your way, days you think you will not survive. Find a plain rock on a turd beach and be thankful for it.

I can tell who doesn't practice daily gratitude. They say why me all the time not in a joking manner and think the world is against them. The world not against is just not interested in throwing anything else good someone’s way because they don't appreciate what they already have. When we spend more time looking at what is right in our lives, we simply have less time to spend on what's wrong.

Pain in this life is a given. Suffering is optional, and the length and depth of your suffering is often completely up to you and your reactions (systemic repression not included). Find something to be grateful for because practicing daily gratitude will turn things around for you faster than anything else and will make those inevitable nothing is going my way days easier to bear.

Does daily gratitude keep bad things from happening? Hell no, you guys. This is life. It’s not perfect or without wrinkles. There will be hard and terrible things. There is absolutely no shield for that. There will be days so dark we can’t see our way out of them. On those days we have to dig so deep for something to be grateful for that it can feel like turning yourself inside out. Personally I need to be inside out every once in a while to grasp the depth of my power to keep my life on my terms, if only in my mind. 

There is no limit on gratitude, so you can extend it as often as you are able, even on those horrible life feels like it’s ending days. Let gratitude over something small and seemingly insignificant be the rope you use to pull yourself out of the abyss. When we lose people who are of life sustaining importance, there’s a reason one of our first reactions is to thank the people who stood beside us in our pain. Gratitude connects us to each other and to the universe. 
Nothing has had a greater impact on my life than practicing gratitude daily. Nothing.

Thanks for reading here, friends. Happy Thanksgiving.

And happy happy birthday to my longtime great friend Gwen.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Eve Thoughts

1. I am filled with euphoria every year on Thanksgiving Eve. My company rocks so I get an early dismissal if I'm working (which I am this year) and I'm super pumped about the days off ahead. I'm in a good mood the entirety of Thanksgiving week. Everything feels full and I always make sure I do something(s) for someone else and spend some quiet time by myself, reflecting. Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose and all. I am privileged and fortunate and I don't allow myself to forget for a second that others are not and that it is my responsibility as a human being to do what I can for those people.

2. Gift guides are not my favorite but I love Shelby's every year on Big Hungry Shelby without fail. It is one of my holiday must reads. Shower me in Trader Joe's Everything.

3. I mailed out a lot of books to new homes yesterday. Well, MFD mailed them out for me. Hallelujah. He has been the MVP of errands last week and this week. My mom is getting pies I ordered from Jen and making stuffing and pumpkin bread and dropping everything off to me too which is all an enormous help. Team work makes the dream work. There are a lot of moving parts to get this show on the road.

4. I picked up new books from the library yesterday. It was the first time I've been to the Philly library in a while as I've been relying heavily on the abundant OCNJ library. All the work in front of the old Family Court Building and library itself is done. The walk is much nicer than it's been over the last year. Looking good, Philly.
5. Also apparent from my lunch walk yesterday: Philly has the fever, big time.
6. Stack 'em up.

7. Okay last stack reference, I swear. Don't forget that Amazon will be running its $10 off $25 books sale this weekend like they do every post-Thanksgiving weekend. Treat yo'self or get some gifts loaded in your cart so you're ready.

8. Things I'm not thankful for: this fucking tax scam. It is an absolute disaster for all of us. Please contact your Senators about this shit sundae. Call, write, mail a postcard, send a fax via text through ResistBot (text RESIST to 504-09), hire a skywriter...whatever. Let it be known loudly and clearly that this tax bill will hurt the middle class and the poor. We'll all be in debtor's prison together. It's Robin Hood in reverse in which they steal from the poor and middle class people to pay the rich and the corporations and, of course, themselves. It is vile. There is no other explanation for 1) student loan interest not being deductible while private school tuition is 2) supplies teachers buy out of pocket not being deductible while maintenance on a private jet and I can't keep going because it makes me fucking ill. Read this Forbes article on it entitled GOP Tax Bill Is The End Of All Economic Sanity in Washington. This tax bill is horrifying and will hurt all of us, especially our kids still in the education system. Kids of democrats and republicans and independents and non-voters. Do something. Democracy requires participation.
9. Reminder:

10. E-card of the week: it takes skills to make a mostly beige meal appear appetizing. May the odds be ever in your favor.

I will have a post up tomorrow. If you are not checking in, have a very happy Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Things that might surprise you about me

Or not. If you've read here for any solid amount of time you know a lot more stupid shit about me than I know about you. It’s not easy to surprise people when you’ve been blogging for six years. I stole this idea from my friend Sara at Journey of Doing and decided to try it on for size anyway.

1. I don't like high thread count sheets. 400 is fine. 

2. The only reason I changed my last name when I got married is because I was sick of spelling my maiden name every time I said it. It is now legally my middle name but if I didn't have to spell it all the time, I wouldn't have changed it.

3. I’ve voted for local Republican candidates in the past. I can barely believe that myself because I haven't seen a moderate Republican candidate in years.

4. I am very no bullshit in written and oral communications, but my thoughts on things out in the ether are decidedly more in line with my pisces sun sign. I consider myself a child of the moon and water. My animal totem is the dolphin. I don't believe we are ever out of touch with people who have physically died. I also don't believe in coincidences. Given that I love tie dye, maybe these hippie notions do not surprise you, but they are a stark contrast to the part of me the world sees daily.

5. I think ice breakers are the stupidest waste of time ever.

6. I have become a person who doesn't like board games. Perhaps I've always been this person but just convinced myself otherwise.

7. I hitched a few rides home from the bar in college. That was before cell phones, Criminal Minds, and murder mysteries. Thank God I didn't cross the path of any serial killers. Sorry mom.

8. I wore glasses and/or contacts from 1990 to 2009. Many people forget I ever wore glasses and I am one of those people until I think about it. Lasik is the best thing I've ever done.

9. I have a pact with Lori to take care of my chin hair if I'm ever in a coma. I had that in place before I had my living will in place.

10. I totally misread Catcher in the Rye in tenth grade. I can still remember my english teacher looking at me like I was a complete idiot. And reading it again and thinking she was right.

What might surprise me about you?

Monday, November 20, 2017

TWTW - the one before the turkey

A quick stop at Sam's then on to Jimmy & Jackie's for our annual Friendsgiving. They had their house all decorated and Jimmy even set up a lounge out back with lights and heaters. Everyone brought an app or dessert and it was nice to be able to linger longer than if we were in a restaurant. We're not all in the same place a lot but when we are we laugh like mad. I’m happy and grateful to have had these friends for over 25 years but the stars of the show were Wyatt, Lucy, and electronica music. Just kidding on the last one but totally serious about the first two. We didn't get home until 1:30 and I was up until after 2 but it was worth it! Also, exhibit A of the fucking terrible graininess of the 6S or whatever version of the 6 iPhone I have now. It's like they want to force an upgrade.

Bruce DGAF what time you go to sleep, he still gets up at 6. I went back to sleep from 7:30 - 10:30 because I knew I had to be out in public later and didn't want to be Bitcherella. When I finally got up I jumped right into action cleaning out and reorganizing the coat closet (but not painting it, which it has needed since 2009) under the watchful eyes of all three dogs. I also went through my drawers and closet and culled a bag of clothes. Aside from making bacon mac and cheese bites for later, that took up most of my day. FYI people: Target is beta testing restock, which seems designed to compete with Amazon Prime Pantry. I ordered at 3 pm on Friday and my stuff was there by 11 am Saturday morning for $1 less shipping than Prime Pantry. Your move, Amazon. 
Saturday night was Aubrey's sprinkle. My nephew will be here so soon, I can't believe it. I can't wait to meet him! And yes, all I ate this weekend was cannoli cake and I'm not sad. 
I got home around 8:30 and read a little and watched some Indiana Jones thing with MFD. I don't think I've ever seen one of them all the way through.

After contemplating a plan of attack for the day while the dogs lounged in the style they are accustomed to, I set to work work work work work on Sunday. Stacey picked up a bag of donations to take to Mitzvah Circle so that had me in the mood to get rid of more shit. I addressed some Christmas cards until Bruce decided that was enough, put Christmas gifts in bags (reusable bags for all this year, ho ho ho mother earth, this is my atonement for sending paper cards), was supervised everywhere by Gus who must've been trying to make up for Geege being gone, made chicken for chicken lettuce wraps and scrambled eggs for breakfasts, packed up food/house stuff and my clothes for the upcoming long weekend at the shore, and went through a bunch of shit in the basement and reorganized or got rid of it, including books (thanks Instagram!). I also did seven loads of laundry and put what was mine away. MFD left his laundry basket downstairs for two weeks constantly in my way so I said fuck it and did his laundry too. Sunday night I finished the Christmas cards aside from stamps and a few missing addresses and watched the new Will & Grace. 
My people are awesome. Jackie got us a Geege keepsake, Stacey picked up a reusable pug Christmas bag for me, and my Mom gave me some perfume and a nice note. All the warm fuzzies. 

And soon, all the turkey.

How was your weekend?

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