Confessions of a Non-Shopaholic

“Spend more save more” is a slogan thrown around a lot. All those ‘buy one get one 50% off discounts’, the ‘buy 3 get one free’, and those 5 for $25 panties at Victoria’s Secret. We eat this stuff up and buy more because, who doesn’t need 5 lbs of oranges (I got talked into that one today at Haymarket.)

The math doesn’t quite add up though, and the fact of the matter is, the more you spend, the more you spend (a little less catchy, isn’t it?).

Today I went on a little shopping spree in Fanueil Hall after my run. I was at the cash register at Victoria’s secret when the woman checking me out informed me I was just short of earning myself a free umbrella (they have a promo going where if you spend $60 you get a free umbrella). She recommended I pick up something else up, so I started ransacking all the random things they keep up at the cash register ( probably kept there for this purpose), willing to buy something, anything, just to get the damn $$60 umbrella that I didn’t even want or need. Will that umbrella make me look like a VS supermodel?

No. it’s bad enough I believe their push-up bras will. They don’t.

I finally realized what I was doing was ridiculous, and am happy to report I didn’t blow a bunch of money just to get a ‘free’ umbrella.

My next stop was in the Gap, where they basically told me tried to persuade me into opening a Gap card today to save a bunch of money, because of course that’s what credit cards are for, to SAVE you money. Those credit card companies, so generous!

I had fun today, and shopping can be a treat, but it’s also important to be smart and keep that consumerism in check.


American consumerism is about buying things we don’t need,
with money we don’t have, to impress friends we don’t have time for.

— Leo Horrigan

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How you doin?

Seeing as my last post was the day before the St. Patrick’s day 5K, I thought I should let everyone know I did make it through alive and well. It was great running with my sister, and even though I totally regretted wearing my long sleeved shirt UNDER my t-shirt on this random 80 degree day in March (it took a strange combination of willpower and body insecurities not to just strip down mid-race), there was plenty of free beer to make up for my overheating/quench my thirst post race. We escaped the madness that is Davis Square bars post-race and went to The Druid in Inman square.

*I stole these photos from my sister. Remember that new camera I got last month? It’s amazing! The fact that I accidentally threw away the charger cord for the battery? A little less amazing. Luckily Ross got a new one so I’ll be back to posting pictures soon. If I don’t accidentally throw away my laptop next, that is*

It’s amazing how as I get older, running is gradually getting easier. Does anyone else feel this way? I don’t feel like I’m necessarily getting much faster, I’m just enjoying it more or something and it feels easier because I’m looking forward to it so much. The other day I forgot to bring socks to work, and I was so looking forward to running on the treadmill at lunch that I decided to run without socks. This would normally horrify me (I’ve been known to cancel a run for something as trivial as a broken hair elastic or dead iPod), and I did end up with a blister on my big toe, but I got the run in and that’s all that matters. It did take almost 8 years straight of pretty consistent running for me to get to this point, but there is no turning back now.

Oh, but this was 2 weeks ago. I’ve done a few things since then, including a weekend away in Connecticut, Cooked a lot of great food, I saw the Hunger Games movie, worked a lot, worked out, spent some quality time with my boys and had a little fun. Last night Ross and I took advantage of restaurant week here in Boston and went to dinner at Mare I’m a huge fan of Neptune Oyster and I don’t tend to try other seafood restaurants in the North End, but Mare is a good 2nd option and the view/ambiance is much better. I ordered raw oysters and a lobster roll, which I think are pretty hard to mess up (and if you do it’s probably food poisoning really bad news but luckily my dinner last night was great.

I’ll be spending this rest of this Thursday night watching the Biggest Loser on On Demand and eagerly anticipating this weekend. We have had a few very busy weekends, so I’m looking forward to some R&R here in Boston. I have an 8 mile training run planned, but also a pedicure. It’s all about the balance after all ๐Ÿ™‚

Green Eggs and Beer

Happy St. Patricks day! Boston is probably the 2nd greatest city in the world to celebrate St. Patrick’s day (coming in second only to Dublin). Well, greatest, or worst depending on how drunk festive you want to get.

I started out my St. Paddy’s day by getting a haircut at Adara Salon. I love getting haircuts. It’s even better when I have a Groupon!

Now we’re going to go to Haymarket and stock up on fruits and veggies to make some green SMOOTHIES. We’ll hopefully get to the green beer later, but we can’t be too crazy as we have a 5K to run in the morning! My sister and her friend are sleeping over our house tonight, and we are heading over to Davis Square tomorrow for the Ras na hEireann 5K. This will be my sister’s 1st road race, and I’m so excited to run it with her. I’m also excited that this race is sponsored by Harpoon and includes free beer in several local Irish bars after.

I tried finding some pictures of Ross and I in the Guinness Brewery for this post, but apparently I didn’t take any (that’s what too much Guinness will do to you) but I did find this one of us in a random pub in Ireland:

And can’t help but share this one (read the sign behind Ross’s head. Priceless.)

Slรกinte!!!!!!

March Madness

Over 70 degrees in Boston? In March?! I’ll take it! The past few days of sunshine and warmth have been good for my mind, body and soul. Oh, and good for my dog too…

He had A LOT of fun at Good Harbor beach on Sunday.

We all had a great time this weekend. We’ve been loving catching up with good friends and road tripping in the new car. I went for a whole year in Costa Rica without necessarily having much control over my life (finances/job/food/etc) and while there is something fun about that, and I certainly don’t recommend being a complete control freak by any means, this experience made me really appreciate the control I have over my time now.

I always feel so inexplicably good after spending a few hours in a book store, shopping at an organic food market or dabbing at a canvas on my easel. It’s sort of a similar feeling to post-exercise, and even though I don’t quite get the same endorphins in Barnes & Noble as I do on a 6 mile run, I feel like there is some connection with doing things you love that are good for you. Just like how a 10 minute walk outside in the nice weather can brighten your whole day, even if you spend 1/3 of it inside a dark office building.

While we can’t control the weather, we can control how we spend our time, or at least a few hours of our time most everyday. So, take control and stop doing things that waste your time and don’t make you feel good (like watch the season finale of the Bachelor. That is 2 hours of my life I am never going to get back) and bring some figurative sunshine into your life by doing something you are passionate about.

Although this is incredible weather is probably just a tease, spring and summer are right around the corner. I mean, nothing says “adios winter” like the Red Sox vs.Yankees (pre-season) game tonight.

Happy Women’s Day : Thoughts on Hair Removal

Happy International Women’s day!

How did you celebrate? I took some time tonight to go for a run and enjoy the near 60 degree Boston weather. The boys (Ross and Mango) stayed home and made me dinner:whole wheat pasta with EVOO, sauteed peppers and spicy Italian chicken sausage topped with a little shaved Parmesan and Romano cheeses. Yum!

Before this celebratory dinner, I decided to stop in CVS on my way home from the run to pick up a few necessities: toothpaste, candles, mint face mask and razors. I haven’t had to buy many of these things since being back in the States, because both our families did a great job at buying us life necessities for Christmas presents and we’ve been fully stocked on shampoos, soaps, laundry detergent and the like. I’m sure they put a lot of thought into these gifts (ie it is no longer acceptable to be a dirty, hippie, backpacker. Take a shower, put on clean clothes and get a J.O.B)

While shopping for most things came back to me naturally, I did get stuck in the razor department in CVS. For one thing, razors costs like a million dollars. That may be a slight exaggeration, it’s more like 10-17 dollars a pack, but dang those things are expensive. With this kind of financial commitment, I decided I needed to pick out the perfect razor(s). But how? My first plan of action was to read the literature on the package to find out why one razor was worth twice as much as another. Unfortunately, most of the print wasn’t in English, and it took me awhile to translate. Nonetheless I definitely recommend taking the time to do this! Otherwise you might find yourself paying extra for SCENTED HANDLES. Why would someone want the handle of their razor to smell like raspberries? Does anybody really want this?

Once you get past the raspberry issue, there is the blade number. You can buy razors with anywhere from 1 to 1,000 blades. I usually go with a happy medium, like 4 blades/razor. I still don’t understand the blade/razor ratio. I thought a razor was a blade (hence razor-blade). Is it better to have one razor with lots of blades, or many blades but just one razor?

While I’m pondering this, I’m going to go ahead and book a waxing appointment. I highly recommend Jacquelyn’s Waterfront Spa in the North End. It’s super cute, very affordable for Boston prices, and raspberry handles are not included.

Taking a Moment

This week is flying by again! The hours really seem to get lost somewhere between commuting, working, exercising, dog walking and doing all those other daily things you’re supposed to do but sometimes don’t want to. Like grocery shopping. Or showering (wet hair and cold weather can take a whole lot of energy out of me).

Since I can’t slow down the hours, I’m going to take a moment to stop and appreciate some things I’m loving this week. Stop and smell the roses if you will. Speaking of roses…

1. The first thing I’m loving is fresh flowers in the apartment. They can brighten up any grey day and make the room look and smell delightful.

Orange Vanilla Polar Seltzer . It tastes like a creamcicle- but in a really good, 0 calorie, all natural way.

All my new books! I currently have 3 new books I’m very excited about reading!

Trader Joes Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Lavender mist. Perfect for spraying linens prior to bed:

Okay, my moment’s over! I’m going to bed and finish my book-club book, our meeting is this Thursday.

Don’t forget, no matter how busy you are, you can always stop and take a moment to stop and smell the flowers, indulge in a little chocolate or in my case, a lot. Maybe I should have only gotten the small bag of those peanut butter cups? ๐Ÿ™‚

Posting about blogging about tweeting about pinning….

Say what? It’s amazing how much of my day life is being taken over by social media. Facebook and my blog were the most effective ways for me to stay in touch while I was living abroad, and Twitter kind of grew on me by default (although I still don’t have many followers, so maybe I’m a bad tweeter?)

My newest obsession is Pinterest. I didn’t want to like it, in fact I think I may have been one of the first people to sign up for it (now there is a waiting list to join?!) and I didn’t do anything with it for the first few months, but as soon as I logged in, I was hooked. I still don’t really understand it; all I know is that every time I sign on I get inspired, I cook better and I manage to pull off a new hairstyle. I also manage to lose 2 hours in what feels like 2 minutes, which isn’t always a good thing (especially not according to the boyfriend, who doesn’t seem to get his motivation from pretty pictures and motivational sayings. I bet if he had a ‘sports, beers and babes board’, it would be a different story.)

What are your thoughts on social media usage? (if you’re reading this blog, I assume you are a user). Is it more of a time waster, or a inspirational tool? Both? Does it do more harm than good in the long run?

Speaking of long run, this was something I contemplated today on my 5 mile run around the Charles, and I’d love to hear your opinion!

Time for a vanilla protein shake, a post-run shower, and thinking up something to do on this rainy Saturday other than give in to Social Media. Have suggestions? Feel free to tweet them to me @LuvNPuraVida ๐Ÿ™‚

(This image was found on Pinterest- of course.)

SAD

According to the Mayo clinic’s website, below are the following symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):

Fall and winter seasonal affective disorder (winter depression)
Winter-onset seasonal affective disorder symptoms include:

Depression
Hopelessness
Anxiety
Loss of energy
Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
Social withdrawal
Oversleeping
Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
Weight gain
Difficulty concentrating

If I had to choose the one of these I’m feeling most, it’s the carbs. (By the way, they have information on Summer SAD that includes symptoms such as weight loss and increased sex drive. Medical proof that summer rocks).

I don’t think I really have SAD, though I am daydreaming about my sunshiney Costa Rican days. This is especially true on a day like today. I hated today, mostly due to the weather and it’s effect on everything. It started out with me having to walk a mile from the train station to my office next to a slushy highway in the rain/snow. Awesome.
8AM

My pants finally dried around 5pm, when it was time to go out and do it all over again. I was nervous about missing the train, so I made sure to be 10 minutes early for my train-which turned out to be running 40 minutes late. I had a great time waiting outside for almost an hour.
5PM

All and all, my day could have been a lot worse. In fact, the fact that I didn’t have to deal with this weather everyday during the last month is something to be thankful for. I had a nice day at work, a great run at the gym AND we finally got the new car today! So yes, I will be driving to work in style tomorrow, and my trials and tribulations today will only make me appreciate those heated leather seats more.

In an attempt to make the most of this evening, we just finished a great dinner of Trader Joe’s Masala Veggie burgers (so good!) and roasted brussel sprouts. Now I’m going to enjoy some much needed ‘post-bad day’ reading and relaxing before bed. I just started reading the book ‘Bright Side Up’ by Amy Spencer. I first read about it on Rachel Wilkerson’s blog, and it couldn’t be more applicable to my life right now. I definitely recommend reading this if you are also having some strong carb cravings, or experiencing any other SAD symptoms (other than the increased sex drive and weight loss of course, just enjoy that).

Good Night!