October 20, 2014

Black Friday Prep: The Kit


As you've probably come to recognize over the years, I am a Black Friday junkie. I'm one of those crazy people who goes out before dawn to hit the sales. Last year I hit it pretty good with my Black Friday Guide, but I missed one thing: your kit. Every Black Fridayer worth their salt has a kit. When you go camping, you bring certain things. When you go fishing you bring certain things. When you go Black Fridaying, you bring certain things. This is your guide to those things.

The bag
It all starts with a good bag. (PS- this is one of my life mottos.) A cumbersome bag will ruin your night. An insecure bag will pepper in unnecessary anxiety. A small bag will make your kit impossible. You've gotta have a good bag.
Characteristics of a good bag:
  • Lightweight. I know you're probably super stylish, but it's advisable to leave your leather at home. You do not want to be weighed down when you're 5 stores in and not anywhere near your car.
  • Hands-free. Over the shoulder style bags like cross-body bags and even backpacks are great, leaving your limbs free to carry things and shuffle through racks.
  • Closes. Leave the totes at home-- bring a bag that has a zipper, a clasp, a magnetic something. Black Friday gets crazy and it's easy to lose stuff without even realizing, so be sure to bring a bag that doesn't hang open.
  • Capacious. You want a bag with the capacity to hold all the stuff you need it to hold. Don't go overboard though since you want to be able to maneuver easily and without bothering other shoppers.
  • Pocketed. A bag with pockets can make it easier for you to stay organized and grab with you need without digging around. Time is money, and we're gonna save both!

Your phone
Don't go anywhere without it! Your phone is great for doing a little online research, snagging extra coupons, and keeping in touch with your shopping buddies. You might also be keeping your lists in there on a note-keeping app.

Your lists & a pen
For those who still prefer paper or don't have smart phones, it's important to not forget your lists! If you wrote everything in your notebook, it might be a good idea to rip those pages out or copy your lists down onto another piece of paper.

A snack
As much as you might have eaten on Thanksgiving, you will want a snack with how much you are moving around. I recommend going with granola bars since they're full of actually helpful nutrients and are compact and easy to pack.

Wallet
Obviously. Be sure to have it stocked with the pertinent rewards cards, gift cards, coupons, student ID, etc. It might be a good idea to carry cash since it's proven to help you curb your spending. You're gonna get tempted by a lot (a LOT) of sales, and everything is going to look so amazingly discounted, it'll be hard to stop yourself from swiping that plastic left and right. Some people even paper- or binder-clip stacks of cash together so they don't dip into their shoe fund to spend extra on jewelry.

Mall guide
If you're at a mall (for me, it's my local Premium Outlets first and foremost) you're going to want to pick up a mall guide, and where possible, their Black Friday guide. The Black Friday guide lists the store hours for the night/morning, and sometimes the sales! Hopefully, they had this online when you were planning your excursion and will just serve as a reference, but if not now's the time to map and timeline your trip.

Lipbalm
I am so serious, you guys. You don't want to be miserable.

Tissues in a travel pack
No one likes a runny nose. It's even worse when you get it on the merchandise. It's also great for when you have to wipe a tear from your eye because that purse is marked down 80%.

Hand sanitizer
A lot of people are going to be touching a lot of things. Don't get sick for the sake of sales.

Hair tie
You might get sweaty. I am 100% not joking. Keep your hair out of your face so you can shop without obstructed peripheral vision.

Emergency Advil
Don't let a headache slow you down. Just bring a couple caplets-- no point in bringing a bottle for just the night.

It's also highly advisable that you bring water, but if you're not planning on carrying a backpack, it might not be as easy to carry since they're on the heavier side, so just keep a few water bottles in your car-- you can drink as necessary during your shopping-bag drop-off trips.


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October 18, 2014

5FF: 5 Characters I'd Love to Dress Up as for Halloween



The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick host a link up every Friday called 5 Fandom Friday which I am hopping on a little late this week. This week's theme is 5 Characters I'd Love to Dress Up as for Halloween. I'm doing 3 of these characters, and the other 2 are ones I'd do it I had the time/money/occasion.

heathersthemusical.com

Heather Chandler - Heathers
I am crazy about Heathers, both the film and the musical. I knew this halloween I had to be a Heather or Veronica, and when I saw this amazing red blazer at Goodwill, I knew it was meant to be. Heather Chandler is the queen bee and a stone cold bitch, and I live for it. Everyone loves a good villain, especially when that villain is a stylish, vicious girl.

beeandpuppycat.cartoonhangover.com
Bee - Bee and Puppycat
Bee and Puppycat is currently one of my most favorite things in the world. If you haven't seen it, check it out right meow. New episodes start in November and I couldn't be more excited. Bee's outfit is super cute and I kind of like that's she's the sweet, incompetent, brave person I think we all kind of think we are. She's not successful in the traditional sense, but she's still pretty extraordinary, and that's awesome.

gravityfalls.wikia.com
Mabel Pines - Gravity Falls
Mabel is absolutely amazing. I've always wanted to name a kid Mabel (I guess mine, probably, if I have them, since I can't just go around naming random kids) because I really like cute Grandma names and she has only strengthened my resolve! Gravity Falls is a hilarious and amazingly intricate cartoon with hilarious jokes and mind-boggling mystery-- if you're not watching it you are missing out on life. It's one of those shows where if you watch it and don't like it, we probably can't be friends. In addition to being a great character on a great show, she's voiced by Kristin Schaal, so you can't not love her.

mtv.com
Batgirl - DC Comics
As someone who seizes Halloween not only as an opportunity to get dressed-up, but as an excuse to acquire awesome wardrobe pieces, I would be remiss in not including Batgirl, who just got an amazing costume redesign. Seriously, I totally feel Barbara Gordon on this, because who wouldn't want to wear this outfit all the time?

fairies.disney.com
Zarina - Tinkerbell: The Pirate Fairy
Real talk: I have unabashedly watched all 5 (FIVE) of the Tinkerbell movies. As a hard core Peter Pan fan, I really disliked Tinkerbell, but I adore the "Disney Fairies" version of her, so I completely disassociate "Peter Pan Tinkerbell" and "Pixie Hollow Tinkerbell"-- it's the only way I can kill the cognitive dissonance. That said, my absolute favorite outfit in the series thus far is the one worn by Zarina, the Pirate Fairy from the last film-- with good reason too, since the outfit was designed by Christian Siriano. Corset top, flouncy skirt, killer boots, wild hair-- what's not to love?

That's my 5 for 5 Fandom Friday! As a bonus, check out this amazing mix of spooky girl songs!






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October 17, 2014

Weekend Links 10.17.2014


This week was kinda weird because most of it was the weekend, thanks to my school's fall break. I had a friend visit me and it was pretty cool! I'm also almost done with my halloween costumes which is very exciting indeed! Here are your links for this weekend.

"10 Things I've Learned About Trauma" by Catherine Woodiwiss is a great read whether you've experienced trauma, or if you care about someone who has experienced trauma.

Brianna Wu tells you about gamergate and, since she's a badd bitch, how she's refusing to back down.

Actual facts about Ebola because fear-mongering is irresponsible and dangerous.

Not all sexists wear a neon sign, and since we live in a sexist culture, you might be sexist without even knowing it. This piece is about how men in tech are unintentionally sexist, but a lot of it applies outside the tech world. It breaks down concepts like "microaggressions" so that you can understand what it is, how it happens, and why it's not okay. Great read all around.

Is Shonda Rhimes your queen yet? The showrunner of Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder talks about reaching your dreams-- by not "dreaming."

A nerd gets real and talks about how now that nerds have money, status, and power, they're becoming the very bullies that he had so long been forced to endure in Nerd Culture is Destroying Silicon Valley.

A song for the weekend. (Thanks to Sarah for turning me on to this band)


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October 14, 2014

Long Weekend Canareunion

I had a long weekend thanks to my school's Fall break, and so did my friend Sarah! We met in New York this summer while working at a tech start-up, and we knew we had to take the opportunity to see each other again, and so she hopped a train and hung out with me!



We watched a lot of movies-- High School Musical, Clueless, and Trading Places to name a few.



Sarah toured campus and checked out a bunch of sculptures.  Then we went to the lake by the amphitheater!







Sarah felt super inspired by all the nature around us, and we had some down time, so we decided to hit up the craft store so she could make a sculpture thing.





We hung out with some of my friends and played the best game ever-- Settlers of Catan. Sarah and I played it once before together so it was really nice. She had a better understanding of the game and there were less sheep involved this time.


On her last day in Williamsburg (Virginia, not Brooklyn) we had a little picnic by the Governor's Palace. 






That's us in front of the Governor's Palace! After we ate we walked around Williamsburg and goofed around.












It was a great time. Super relaxing and so great to see a dear friend again and do stupid things together!

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