My search for the perfect pair of nude pumps has been an extensive one. It all started after I laid eyes on these. Of course, by the time I saw them, they were long off the shelves. So the hunt began for something similar.
The first time I saw something close was by Chinese Laundry. But the buckle rubbed against my ankle bone so that I had to send it back. The second time I saw something similar was a pair by Ivanka Trump. But the strap didn’t wrap around my ankle. Because it fit at a weird angle, and (hopefully) not because I have big ankles.
Then, I saw nude sandals from Zara. Besides the color, it wasn’t what I was looking for but I bought them anyway – a regret I have till this day.
A short while later, I saw a pair of nude pumps by Jessica Simpson at Marshalls. I bought them without much hesitation (another regret) even though something was off about them. I realized way later what it was – it was patent leader and I guess don’t like patent leather heels all that much. Plus, the ankle strap would spin around my ankle because it wasn’t fixed.
So my search continued. I considered another pair (the brand name escapes me at the moment) but it was kind of pricy and the front of the heel looked a bit long. I’m glad I didn’t buy them because 1) my coworker bought them shortly after and 2) I finally found a near-perfect pair at Marshalls recently by Nine West (photo above). It was definitely meant to be because a few weeks before I saw them at Marshalls, I saw them at Ross but they didn’t have my size. I thought they also didn’t have my size at Marshalls but I found one last pair hidden in a separate section.
Looking back, I think I like my Nine West heels more than heels that I originally wanted because of the color and skinnier heel.
Have you ever searched so extensively for a perfect something before?
My BCBG pumps have seen A LOT of wear over the last 5+ years. I held onto them for as long as I could but when you find yourself worrying about your coworkers taking too close of a look at them, it’s time to say goodbye.
By now, most people have heard about The 5 Love Languages. My top love language (to give and to receive) is gifts. Quality time comes in at a close second. Since finding someone a gift (especially a friend that I’m close with) comes pretty easily to me, I thought I’d share some of my strategies for those who struggle with gift giving.
1) Take Notes
I actually keep a running list of things my friends have mentioned wanting or needing. I also take notes on their specific likes (i.e. favorite colors, favorite animals, favorite sports teams, etc.).
2) Buy As You Go
I regularly buy gifts for people months in advance. The reason why this tip is called “buy as you go” and not “buy early” is because I don’t think buying early is entirely necessary. But if you happen to see something that your friend or family member would really like, I’d say go ahead and buy it now even if their birthday, graduation, wedding, etc. is still a couple of months away.
3) Keep A Small Stash (keyword being small)
I keep a handful of gifts that I know someone will enjoy, eventually. Sometimes when I’m out shopping, I’ll spot a really unique item or an item that’s usually really expensive but happens to be on sale for a really good price. Even if I have no one in mind to give it to at the moment, I’ll still buy it and keep it in my closet until a gifting opportunity presents itself. You have to be careful with this tip though and be very picky about your selection!
4) Last Resorts
If I really don’t know what a person likes, I’ll resort to buying something fancy and edible like macrons or gourmet cupcakes. Or I’ll get them a bouquet of flowers and/or some balloons. Carrying around flowers and balloons always makes a person feel special.
This week I was finally able to find some time to stop by a consignment shop to try and sell my higher-end used items. This would be my third time attempting to sell at one of these shops. The first time was at Buffalo Exchange. They didn’t buy a single item that day. The second time was also at Buffalo Exchange. They bought one thing, a jacket which actually belonged to my mom. This week, I tried selling at Crossroads Trading Co. They also bought only one item: my Chinese Laundry boots that had been worn once (a total steal for them)! I paid $80 for them on sale and I got a whopping $9 for it.
Even though I haven’t had that much success selling my stuff at these places, I was still kind of surprised they didn’t take anything else. I had stuff from Free People, BCBG, Frankie B, Seven and Cathy Jean. I thought it might have been a fluke so after I finished up with them, I sashayed over to Wasteland to try and sell the remaining stuff I had. They didn’t buy a single thing.
I felt silly holding onto this pile of stuff for so long (instead of donating them during one of my multiple trips to Goodwill) thinking I could get a small profit from them since they were “name brand” items that cost me a pretty penny to purchase (especially my lightly worn and never worn designer jeans).
Two lessons learned:
1) Don’t bother trying to resale your stuff to consignment shops unless it’s super convenient for you to do so. Just donate it to your local charity. It’s almost always not worth the effort unless it’s a classic like Chanel, Prada, etc.
2) Be very selective with your purchases and never let yourself think that you can sell it one day for a nice profit if it ends up not working out.
A friend of mine introduced me to this novel idea (or at least novel to me) – asking for free samples of beauty products.
The first time I saw her do it, I think we were at Sephora. She asked the sales associate if we could have a sample of one of the perfumes. The sales associate then pulled out a small, plastic perfume dispenser from an inconspicuous drawer and filled it up with our scent of choice. Since then, I always carry a sample size of my perfume in my bag in case I need some freshening up.
Another time, the same friend was sleeping over at my place when she pulled out a tiny Clinique container filled with one of their eye-creams from her makeup bag. I asked how she got one in such a small container and she said it was free. “Just ask them for a sample,” she said.
That tip came in handy when I left my makeup bag at my friend’s place recently. I tried to go without my daily moisturizer but after 1 day of using a substitute, my face couldn’t take it anymore and I was contemplating buying a new one even though I still had about half of my old one left. Thankfully I remembered my friend’s advice and stopped by a nearby Macy’s during my lunch break. I asked them for a sample of my favorite face cream and they gave it to me right way (in the same tiny container my friend had) solving my dilemma for free! That tip came in handy once again when I got a huge pimple the week of my birthday and needed a concealer.
Having my stuff stolen is actually something I think about a lot since I’ve had to share a dorm, room or apartment since college and often with someone I don’t know. I’ve been blessed with some of the best roommates (for the most part) so I haven’t had any problems with any of my roommates stealing my stuff. Nor have I ever experienced a break-in. PTL! Though I have experienced roommates using my stuff without asking and then not even having the common sense to put it back in its original decent condition. That was no fun.
Anyway, I may never feel as at peace with getting my stuff stolen as Miss Minimalist because 1) I do like owning several nice things of value that I don’t carry with me at all times and 2) I give most of my purchases careful consideration, which results in me having an attachment to them. However, I can minimize the amount of stuff I have (something that I’ve been doing on an ongoing basis) and weaken my attachment to them by pouring significantly more of my resources (time, money, energy) into other people, experiences and furthering His kingdom.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21
One of my new favorite blogs these days is The Everyday Minimalist. I like this blog because the author and I share the same definition of minimalism – “Minimalism is simply keeping & using only what you truly love and want.” So living with blank walls, one piece of furniture and 10 articles of clothing is not necessary to achieve minimalism. Yes!
Plus, we’re both single women (single as in unmarried) with regular full-time jobs; two traits that are surprisingly difficult to find in bloggers behind the blogs I follow. Most of them are either housewives or self-employed or both.
One of her recent blog posts featured a video from Tim Ferriss about accelerated learning:
Here are some of his key points:
1) Deconstruction – identifying why you might fail before you start
Goal: avoid those problems for the first 5 sessions.
2) Selection – 80/20 principle (Pareto’s Law)
Identify 20% of the activities that produce 80% of the result.
3) Sequencing – doing things in the opposite order
Start with the no stakes approach.
Have an incentive.
When you’re looking for solutions, try to remove things first rather than add things.
My favorite line in the video was when he quoted Antoine de Saint-Exupery (author of The Little Price):
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”