Showing posts with label shopping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shopping. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 blast off to BLACK FRIDAY

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining me today for a fitness warm up for your Black Friday shopping.  I'm here to help you ease into the day of madness that is the biggest shopping day of this year's holiday season.

Not to worry.  You don't have to be a trainer or fitness guru to work this into your routine briefly, for about 10 minutes.

You will be racing from your car to your shopping destination so you'll need to strengthen your legs.  Whether you are planning a mad dash to the item you want or plan to wander around to scoop up any of the last minute deals.   

As in any fitness routine, warm up is important to avoid pulled muscles.  First, grab a chair and put some vibrant music on, or calming classical as the backdrop.  Sit on the chair with your hands placed under your thighs, palms down and cross and uncross your legs.

Face the back of the chair and slowly squat down, using the chair for balance, and then stand up.  Count to five as you move from standing to squatting and then five to move back to stand up.  Do five sets of this.

Lay on your back and place your hands on the small of your back to hold your balance and do the bicycle:  a circular motion to the count of five going forwards and then another five going backwards.  Repeat five times.

Don't worry if you don't have dumb bells to do this exercise.  Grab two sturdy shopping bags that the stores are always trying to tempt you to buy.  Place two cans of soup in each bag or a couple of bottles of water.  

With your posture straight, head even with your body.  -- do not try to put your head in front of your body because that can cause neck strain -- slowly, swing the bags in front of you to as far back as comfortably possible.  The idea here is to simulate the motion of shopping bags moving to and fro as you march around the mall or department store.  

Similar to a windmill, cross the arms at the elbows, still holding the shopping bags in a smooth motion.  Using the count of five to keep your arms steady and not a jerky motion (there will be plenty of time for that tomorrow).  

After five repetitions frontally, do the same with the shopping bags behind you to cross the bags at least across the back behind you.  

Head and neck
Get into a comfortable, relaxed position, feet firmly planted whether standing or sitting.  Gently in a smooth motion, glide your head from the neck up to the left and hold for 5 counts and then repeat to the right and repeat five times.  This will avoid neck strain as you are making your way among the aisles looking to and fro to spot the SALE signs.  

Get in front of a mirror and smile at yourself.  See how good you can get at rehearsing this over and over again, saying "thank you" and "excuse me" out loud.  Watch carefully that you don't squint or roll your eyes to avoid hostility from cashiers, shop clerks and other patrons shopping.  People are much more patient if you are smiling and thanking them or asking for forgiveness on nudging ahead to grab the last box when you say "excuse me".

Online Shopping
For those who will graduate to Cyber Monday for those online shopping steals, you should have the right posture.  Ensure your chair has the right height to allow your feet to be planted firmly on the floor and try to keep your elbows more to side, to avoid hunching over and causing back or neck strain.

As with any event that is to be enjoyed, there are a couple of warnings and cautions to consider.

Don't take along a husband or boyfriend for anything other than carrying bags.  You don't want someone nagging at the expense to get you off your momentum.  Note, an exception to this would also be if that person is happily paying for everything and carrying all.

Avoid walking and eyeing your smartphone or texting to avoid crashing into someone or something that could cause injury to self, to others or to ego (risk of someone going ballistic on you for not watching where you are going.)

And a few other tips
Make sure you wear really comfortable footwear for making the rounds.  This will avoid tired legs and sore feet.

Have a couple of large, sturdy shopping bags to take with you to store the smaller packages, evenly distributing the weight by alternating packages into each shopping bag.  It is a good idea to host your wallet and bottled water in said shopping bags to keep yourself hydrated and nourished.  There are ones with inner side pockets to store your wallet, lipstick and cellphone.

Avoid placing bags on your shoulders to minimize shoulder and neck strain.  If you've done your warm up exercises, you should be pumped not just from the deals.

Don't sign up for mailing lists or give your email or phone number to the nice cashier who asks unless you want it to be known what your buying habits are or to receive other emails tempting you to buy other deals for the next year.  

Or, sign up if there are incentives or loyalty rewards.  That is the only time I will give my information to anyone, when there is a benefit for me, not the other way around.

Have a budget in mind for the day.  Create a spreadsheet on what you plan on buying and where and for whom to avoid overspending.   Don't forget to designate cash, debit card, and credit cards.   

Depending on whether you think you have blown it, you can go back and check to see how well you did.  If you have money left over, you are all ready for Cyber Monday for the deals to be had only online.  (Please refer to sitting posture for computer).  Keep this for next year, as a benchmark for improvement.

 Happy shopping!!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Awkward remorse

Most of us experience remorse at one time or another in our lives.  We women often feel  regret when we have gone and shopped a little more than we intended.  Cringing at the thought of the next credit card bill or looking at our bank statement.

  1. deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed.
    "they were filled with remorse and shame"
    synonyms:contrition, deep regret, repentancepenitence,guiltcompunction,
     remorsefulness, ruefulness,contriteness; 

I am no different.  Yet, we have to stop the senseless guilt and put to practice some ideas to offset the remorse:

* keep the receipts so you can return the items? That is not always practical because that would mean a hassle or getting around to it before the return policy expires.

* give it as a gift to someone else?
Well, sure that means you are passing your guilt on to someone else (who doesn't suspect the reason behind it.)

* donate it to charity?
Not a bad idea.  Give to someone in need who may like it as much as you do

* juggle the bills to hide the evidence?
Postponing or setting aside financial commitments is not the right way to deal with it.

* tear the tags off and hide the receipts?
That was a trick that my former mother-in-law showed me when I was engaged and we went shopping.  Her imparted advice was: when your husband asks if you're wearing something new, you say:  "No, not at all" (because you make the heck sure you have worn it to work before)

True story to demonstrate the lengths we go to hide the evidence of our shopping excursion: 

A few years ago, my husband and I were relaxing in the family room when my stepdaughter came home and, like she usually did, came in to say a few words before she would scurry into the basement.  This time was a bit different because she was holding a shopping bag. She held it up and asked:  "did someone put this in the recycling bin?" 

  1. One look at me and hubby said:  "busted!"  We all broke into a fit of laughter.  

Well, yes I was.  Guilty that is.  I had gone shopping and with intention of hiding the evidence when I got home, placed the bag in the blue recycling bin.  Later on, when hubby fell asleep on the couch, I would begin my covert operation of sneaking out to the recycling bin and bringing it in to the under the guise of darkness.

I would say I have relaxed the covert operations for the most part.  Recognizing that it was a form of nondisclosure and dishonesty.  It broke the rules of "practicing the Golden Rule" (treat others as you wish to be treated yourself).

Now, I will consciously put aside a small budget every month to allow myself to succumb to shopping fever minus the guilt.  It is a whole heck-of-alot easier.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fresh is a good look on anyone

"A girl should be two things:  classy & fabulous"
~Coco Chanel
Yesterday I was in the mood to explore - find a flea market, garage sale or second hand shop.  Instead, I got as far as a Drug Mart.  You can't even get into the store itself without being sequestered into the beauty department with a young gal who had probably not see the light of 20 yet.  That was okay, because I needed a new foundation and was in a patient mood to be a guinea pig to find one.  It had to complement my combination, sensitive skin, and avoid a break out.
I did find a few things I thought I would share ... you'll notice I strayed from my original purchase a few times.  That's normal for women in a drug store.  Going in, with one intention and coming out with over a hundred dollars worth of "necessities" extra.  The secret is to bring along a large purse so they aren't carried in with the groceries by your husband.
I did say I was in the mood to explore.  So explore I did.  I actually liked the intimacy of this beauty concept over going to a big department store where the girls are trying to trap you into trying either a new perfume or makeover.  There was no crowd.  Just me and this ivory skinned beauty who only had on a great foundation and well manicured lashes.  Freshness in all its glory that has been behind me for a few years. 
Now that I hit my 50s, it doesn't mean I don't like a clean fresh look.  There is nothing worse than seeing a much older lady plastered with makeup, lip liner that is four shades darker than her lipstick with a Marilyn Monroe wannabe look, puffy hair and claws that just seem to irritate the hell out of me when I see it.  Nor does san makeup imply you take yourself seriously on the inside out.  You can be classy.
I must have tried at least 8 different foundations with my beauty guardian at my side, patient and helpful.  I hit eureka with a great combination compact by Clinique.  It glides on like a second skin while evening out the tones and not cracking with my smile lines (words for wrinkles).  It includes SPF 15 and comes in an elegant case with mirror and sponge. ($32 U.S.)

Described by Clinique as: A light cream with a powdery finish, our compact makeup creates more even-toned skin, instantly. Shades for Very Fair, Moderately Fair, Medium, Deep. 
You can check out their website to see more reviews like these ones:

 You cant tell that I even have make up on because it looks so natural - yet it covers flaws! Love this stuff :)
 I love the way it evens my complexion out and lasts all day 
Since I had found a terrific foundation, I got into the groove and asked my beauty guide on her suggestions for a concealer.  Concealer can be a battle for any woman who shows laugh lines (aka wrinkles) or having trouble with sleep patterns brought on by menopause resulting in dark circles as a curse.  They can be amplified when you try to put on a concealer that fills in on the cracks of expression lines (aka wrinkles) or too light they make you look like you were in the sun with sunglasses on because of the stark contrast around the eyes and the rest of your face.
My first purchase was not too expensive, however, it did indicate that quality is important to me (neither was it apparent that she could remotely relate to dark circles). You'd think that the beautician may hunker down in her territory. She didn't.  She came back with a duo concealer from Physician's Formula called "Concealer Twins 2 in 1 Correct and Cover Cream Concealer" ($11.99 U.S.)
If you're like me and always wondered what the difference is  between the colors for concealers their website suggests:
  • Yellow hides dark under-eye circles and other bluish skin discolorations
  • Green corrects red blemishes and scars.
  • Light covers yellow and any minor skin imperfections
Heck, what'd-you-know!
Sounds like I am a schizophrenic shopper?  Yes, at least easily distracted in the beauty department.  I had really got into the swing of things: squirting perfumes randomly (I do have a rule that I don't buy a perfume the same time I try it.  I like to see how the aroma lingers with my natural scent).   My  graceful guardian glided over to perfumes to share one of the season's biggest hits:  Narciso Rodgrues for Her
Experts suggest that you shouldn't try on any more than 3 perfumes and often there are coffee beans to sniff in between to avoid blending fragrance.  You are often given a clever marketing tool of a slip of paper with the brand and perfume sprayed on.  I let my nose tell me later on.  The scent that is memorable is the one that will complement my own aroma.

The winner, not really a surprise, as I lean towards being a fan of Chanel (how can you tell?) was "Chance".    Chanel's description for the $97 U.S. 3.4 FL.OZ. Eau de Toilette:

It's your chance . . . TAKE IT! A decidedly young scent for those who dare to dream. A light, subtly sensual fragrance, filled with vitality and energy, evolves from one moment to the next, each wholly unique.

Pretty much described how I wanted perfume to transform me.  I did leave the scent behind even though it lingers today -- I will definitely be going back to my beauty cupid and buy it this weekend.  (With more treasures perhaps?)
Lipstick was next.  I was looking for something that wasn't too red or pink.  More along the lines of coral.  I outdid myself trying on just about every product and hit lipstick heaven with Shiseido's "Temptress"  ($25 U.S.).  Ha! What a name.  Not only that, it slid on my lips so wonderfully you could tell that it was packed with moisturizer. 
Being of the older fashionista variety, moisturizing lipstick is a must.  If lipstick tends to bleed on you, like me, a matching lip liner is helpful.  Just don't be a dunce and have your lip liner too many shades darker because everyone can tell it is a poor attempt at looking like you have fuller lips.  A medium tone can do that naturally. 
Doing the background on this blog, I did read the reviews on Shiseido which were not perfect.  Many, like me, adored the moisturizing effect.  Unfortunately, they often said that it wears off easily.  Other's suggested wearing it as a gloss over another lipstick.  I'm sure there are cheaper lip glosses out there.
Another thing I learned while going to the various sites: they have discounts and coupons along with the reviews, of course.  Then again, doing the research beforehand takes a lot of the impulsive-out-of-shopping-for-cosmetics and trying them on experience.  On the other hand, if you combine the two, trying on and going to the brand website, you can surf for coupons, free shipping, on your own.
Bethany Hamilton
I do recommend you pay for your goodies at the beauty counter.  You will help your goddess be credited for the sale (not all have establishments pay commission yet often have performance metrics).  I boldly asked for any samples "since I had made a substantial purchase" on a quiet day.  She bundled me up with a cute tasseled Chloe cosmetic bag to host my new treasures (and hide the expenditure from hubby).  Along with that, she tucked in a purse size Narciso Rodriguez for Her.  Smart girl.  Not only was the perfume going to linger, the pleasant experience will now too.
I had also bought some Clinique mascara that is promoted for lash growth as a result of my Eyelash Extension adventure (more like nightmare).  I'll write about how good the magical mascara is along with an eyebrow cosmetic another time.  I've got a few chores to do to make up for the guilty escape.