Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

How I Survive The Holiday Shopping Season

Friday, November 25th, 2011

I’ve always enjoyed shopping for the holidays, but for a long time, I ended up spending too much money and feeling guilty about it. Then I’d groan with the bills came.

For the last 4 or 5 years, holiday shopping has been about as stress free as shopping can be. Here’s what I do: Every pay day, I take all the cash out of my wallet and put it in a box. That money is my Holiday Shopping Fund (HSF). When December rolls around, the HSF is all I can spend for holiday presents. I know exactly how much I have to spend, I can calculate what I’m going to spend for what, and when the cash is gone, I’m done shopping. This means that for any on-line purchases, I do have to go to the bank to deposit the required cash amount, then pay via an on-line system that takes the money directly from my checking — PayPal, Amazon, or my debit card. (I also have a set amount of cash I take out every payday, I pay cash for as much as I can, and when the cash is gone, there’s no going back to the well, unless there’s a REAL emergency.)

For the holidays, I stick my cash in a baggie and head downtown to shop. I pay cash for everything. And yes, that money tends to be a lot of $1.00 bills. Shrug.

I’m lucky in that my town has lots of great shopping. But now I never feel guilty and I NEVER have a credit card bill with holiday spending on it.

Do you have any holiday shopping secrets?


On Avoidance Behavior and Shopping Aversion

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Avoidance Behavior

Sunday was a tough day writing-wise. Basically, I wrote my characters into a boring place. Now, I knew better than to try to make it un-boring so I left everybody on the stairs because I had no idea what to do with them, and did other stuff so that the old brain wouldn’t realize I was trying to trick it into giving me the answer.

Let’s see. I fiddled around with MySpace and Facebook stuff, but that wasn’t un-writing related enough. So then I read a book for a while. Also not un-writing related enough. I went grocery shopping. Definitely not-writing related, plus I listened to my MP3 player while I shopped. But that didn’t help much. Groceries are expensive and I think I was in sticker shock the whole time. Then I came home with sandwiches and frozen yogurt and yes, the child was up, but he was cranky. Then I started cinnamon rolls after which I had a vague idea that turned out to be stupid so I picked up the dog and walked up and down part of the driveway for a while. Then I came back, stared at the computer, felt a bit panicky and decided to take a nap. Because NAP is just a short word for Avoidance Behavior.

Two seconds after my head hit the pillow I was falling asleep at which time a little voice says Send in George Brooks. He’s a psycho and he’ll make something happen and then I dreamed about this other story I want to finish up. But when I woke up an hour later, I sat down to write and brought out George the psycho and darned if he didn’t get some conflict on the pages to the extent that I met my minimum for the day and knew the next 3 things to happen. One of which I wrote today, far exceeding the minimum, I’ll have you know. Because I was stuck in the car at soccer practice.

Shopping Aversion

People have contacted me in various ways about my clothing dilemma. Thank you every one, and please keep with the advice and links. But I will say that I am now in this odd state of decision paralysis. I have some cute suggestions and I’m afraid to take any of them. I’m paralyzed by my lack of style. What if I only think something looks cute but in reality it’s totally dorky? I was kind of hoping to avoid stores and shop online but I think I’m going to have to hit the stores anyway. I’m going so far beyond my comfort zone here (and the really sad thing is it’s like an inch, not a mile) that I need to see what I’m getting into. I think. Or maybe I should order stuff online– only so late that I can’t return anything and have no choice but to wear this new stuff.

Waaaah!! I just want to put on my plain blue shirt or maybe the plain red shirt and pretend no one can see my feet.

On the other hand, I decided today that I would be okay with painting my toenails and that boots might be a nice shoe choice.

I am so pathetic.


your assistance highly desireable – MAKEOVER TIME!!

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

FACT: The Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Conference takes place in San Francisco at the end of this month.

FACT: It’s best to look nice YET feel comfortable at the same time.

FACT: My day job is so casual for the Systems department that Casual Friday is a dilemma. Benchmark: Wednesday, the CFO was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and Birkenstocks.

FACT: I no longer own nice clothes. I have jeans and have not worn a dress or pantyhose in, golly, six or seven years. In the next 6-7 years, this dress and pantyhose thing is unlikely to have changed.

FACT: I loathe shopping.

FACT: I have little to no sense of style. Put me in a store and I will admire pretty things while thinking people who wear stuff like that sure look cool and then I wander over to the casual stuff thinking that looks comfortable. Plus no ironing! There’s a reason all my clothes look the same.

Carolyn has a Plan

The plan is that I will wear jeans but purchase (yes a flaw in the plan as this requires shopping) really really nice tops and some fancy cool shoes that are, miraculously, comfortable.

Read the above facts carefully. Like all plans, there are weaknesses. I’ve identified one right off the bat. Another glaring weakness is that I would be in charge of executing said plan.

Yes, I need help. I need links to pictures of cool tops and fancy shoes. Because if I go shopping on my own I will come home with clothes that look like the boring stuff I have now.

In short, I need help. Your help. Your fashion sense can save an author from going to RWA looking like the CFO of her day job company.

If I have time and anybody takes pity on me, I’ll think of a prize or something.


Wildly Inappropriate Thoughts In The Grocery Store

Monday, October 1st, 2007

I had to go grocery shopping today because of Soccer-Mom weekend. Rats. I really hate that. One of my fondest desires is for food to magically appear in my kitchen… It does for everyone else in the house, I guess. So, I put on my headphones and some tunes and did my best to grocery shop without starting to sing. Let me set the scene a bit; at the market where I shop, the average age of the shoppers is about 85 I think. Harried moms are common, though. (Is there any other kind of mom?) Occasionally a college student sneaks in. Usually, they’re in the liquor aisle. Or buying chips.

There I am in the produce section and I’m studying the the pineapples and singing under my breath. (I hope.) I’m smiling all dorky because I like the song etc. I look up and a twenty-something god is walking right past me. He’s tall with dark hair and tanned arms, wearing a white short sleeved t-shirt with and carrying his basket high to avoid bonking some old lady in the head. He has muscles bulging all over the arm holding the basket. And it’s obvious he’s the kind of god who doesn’t realize he’s a god. He was looking at me because, alas, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t really singing under my breath very well. I’m pretending he was thinking I’m hot for Soccer Mom singing dork. Wildly inappropriate thoughts flashed through my head. I think I was mentally worked up on account of Sunday we took the kids to see Game Plan in which The Rock displays a damned awesome physique. Trust me, there’s no other reason to see that movie.

Anyway shopping today wasn’t so bad.

Now I’m trying to work on Scandal. I had a great idea for a new scene pop into my head today. I’m going to rewrite a chapter to add that, but time’s a wasting…