Saturday, November 29, 2014

Shopping Small on Small Business Saturday (and Beyond)

Every year my Christmas shopping and giving has a theme. For instance, in the past we've tried to limit spending to $25 per person with the goal of finding super amazing stuff. We've also made most of the gifts ourselves just to see if we could.

This year, inspired by the changing face of our downtown, I decided I wanted to shop locally as much as possible and buy from people I know who make stuff (or from people who know the people I know).

So far so good as of Small Business Saturday!

This morning we dropped P. off for a day of fun at the dance studio and hit the streets with Bo bundled in the stroller. The goal? Find cool stuff for cool people. I didn't have a shopping list but we did have a general idea of who we needed to buy for.

The Small Business Saturday totes were awesome this year. Canvas and polka dots? Yay! I snagged one at my first stop, where I bought something for me. That's what happens when you put up a sign in the window advertising fleece-lined leggings for $12. From there, though, I swear I shopped for other people.

And that's why I usually don't buy local, actually. I'm too weak willed when I'm actually in shops. Shopping becomes one for me, one for them - instead of all for them. Whereas I can spend hours browsing Amazon and never buy myself anything.

Plus shopping at home makes it a lot harder to end up in cafes for snacks. Another one of my many vices. But I'm glad we did today since we met another family who had their own gorgeous two year old and it was fun to chat for a while.

In the end, we bought plenty of interesting and pretty things for the people on our list - shout out to Plum Consignment, Diamonds & Rust, Coast to Coast Paddle, and Clay Dreaming so mission accomplished. Between today's haul and what we bought from Periwinkle Soap, Board with Splinters, Kilnwork, Witch City Wicks, and Darn It! Sew What? we're close to being done with Christmas shopping.

Except we still need to figure out how to work around P.'s Christmas wish list, which is always oddly specific. Like I want a baby doll that does this and comes with these exact clothes. Or some esoteric thing she saw once a year ago but we've never seen and she can't tell us what it's called.  

For that? We need Amazon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I'm Not Sorry

That I roll the biscuits into plain old boring bun shapes instead of manipulating them into teddy bears or bunnies or hedgehogs that'll get a thousand shares on Pinterest.

That my kids eat too much pasta. 

That I drink too much coffee.

That sometimes I secretly hope P. will wake up in the night, from a nightmare or dancing to pee, because it means we snuggle back together into her bed - even if it is too tight a squeeze and getting more uncomfortable every month.

That I'm not more successful. Whatever that means. 

That our biggest non-essential expense is probably dance studio tuition. Because my definition of non-essential is probably not the same as yours.

That it takes me forever to write and then actually send thank you cards.

That I treat myself far too often. More often, maybe, than the people around me realize.

That it's not so unusual for me to think about what I'd be doing in a given moment if I hadn't had children. I'm pretty sure other parents do this, too, but now I'm too afraid to just ask.

That the reason I started wearing red lipstick was because I feel ugly a lot.

That I still blog about my miscarriage four years later. (I still cry about it, too.)

That about half of my birthday money went toward French cafe chairs we didn't even need because we already have chairs. (C'est la vie.)

That there are times when I just don't want to be touched. Even by my children. It's overwhelming some days to have hands hands hands on my clothes and on my skin every waking moment like I have no end or beginning. I power through the hugs and the tugs but still.

That I never got serious about homemade baby food. Baby led weaning was so much easier. So were squeeze pouches.

That I'm a bad friend sometimes. It's hard to be a mom and bring home the bacon and manage a start-up at the same time. I swear I am doing the best I can.

That I made him wear his rain boots.

That I can never decide if life is beautiful or life is ugly and so I go back and forth and back and forth for ever and ever. Some days I am an optimist and the world is so beautiful I want to live forever. Some days I am so carried away by my cynicism that I almost want to die.

That I didn't cross off a single thing on my 2014 to-do list. That's why I don't make resolutions.

That there's never enough time. It's okay, I guess.

Because honestly, I'd be more worried if I had the time to be bored.

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