Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Boosting Local Economy

I have been thinking a lot lately.  About a lot of different things.  About the way that we eat.  The way that we live.  And the way that we shop.  And I’m thinking about making some changes.  I haven’t fleshed it all out yet, but I know that I want to change things up a bit, and try some new things.

Today I want to talk about the way we shop.  I am a diehard fan of online shopping.  Just today I ordered two sweaters for fifty percent off from  But I’d like to get better at shopping locally, too.  The small town I live in has NOTHING in the way of clothing, and very few grocery options.  But there are a lot of little specialty shops, places that are great little businesses that I would like to do a better job of supporting.  I was reading an article yesterday (in Country Living, I think) that recommended that every person try to spend 50 dollars a month in locally owned businesses.  I got to thinking about it, and I realized that with a little effort, I could do that easily.  Here are a few of the ideas I came up with.

Instead of always ordering new books from Amazon, I can check out the Village Lights bookstore downtown.


Instead of ordering gifts, I can search out treasures at shops like Whimsy, The Attic, Something Simple or so many of the other cute little places downtown.


Instead of satisfying chocolate cravings with subpar chocolate from the grocery, I can swing by Cocoa Safari and indulge in the perfection that is a chocolate salted carmel.


Instead of grabbing a bottle of whatever wine looks good at the grocery store, I can send my husband out to grab a bottle (or case) from the winery that’s just outside of town….and ten minutes away.

Do more of our eating out at places like The Downtowner, Cafe Dofi, Franco’s, Chez Danielle, the Pink Place, and some of the other great little cafes and eateries downtown.

As I think about it, fifty dollars a month seems pretty doable, at least for most months.  I look forward to trying out some new places and finding new businesses to support.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A New Trick

This week was sloooowwwww.  Like good grief it’s the week before Thanksgiving and I can’t stop thinking that I only have to go to work three days next week slow.  Like I’m definitely not getting enough sleep and can hardly keep my eyes open to drive home at the end of Friday slow.  That kind of slow.

At about 11 yesterday morning during my prep period, I sent my husband this email:


Then, a little later in the day, during lunch, I sent out this little number (I’m not concerned at ruining any surprises here…LK knows this is part of her gift):


And about 45 minutes later, I received this beauty in my inbox, and the world was good:


And that, my friends, is how to achieve the world’s most perfect Friday night.  Target + Sushi + My husband + a bag of candy cane kisses = One of life’s greatest small joys and an evening to be thankful for :)

And I have a discovered a new trick.  When I want something, I appeal to my husband’s never-ending desire for rolls of raw fish :) (it’s kind of a never ending desire for me too, to be honest.  It’s no sacrifice for either of us)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bargain Hunting

Sometimes I forget how much fun can be had inside of a mall.  There is something about finding that perfect deal in the mall that you just can’t be beat.  We spent the day in Louisville yesterday with Jon and Carrie, and I remembered a bit of that thrill.

My first deal of the day was this bag at Macys:

It is a Fossil bag that lists at 88 dollars.  I paid 32.  And I am in love with it.  It has the perfect pockets and I LOVE the different patterns.  It’s totally funky, but really neutral.  It’s the perfect winter purse :)

(I am also totally in love with these pants from Macys.  I would have never bought them on my own, but Andy’s mom gave me a pair for Christmas last year and I wear them CONSTANTLY.  They are my go-to work pants.  I want them in every color…but I decided not to buy any yesterday.  I feel like there was more selection in store than online, color-wise, though).

Then at Von Maur, I struck gold with these great casual shoes from Merrell.  They were originally 80, and I got them for their second markdown price of 40.  They are still listed full price just about everywhere I looked on the internet.  So I’m way excited.  I put them on, and it felt like a glove wrapped around my foot saying, “Welcome home.  We are dying to be your new brown weekend shoe.  Do you see how cute we look with your jeans?"

And if these go on sale at Dillard’s, they are coming home to me:

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Weekend Ahead

This week was good.  Long.  But good.

It was finals week at school.  I got all new classes yesterday, and I’m still working on adjusting to my new schedule.  Today one of the kids in my class last trimester came into my room and said, “Man, Mrs. Cook, you should have done the assignment Mrs. J is having us do.  We’re like taking a song and explaining how it’s poetry.”  I wrote that assignment.  Two weeks ago.  My classes are doing it right now too.

I became reacquainted with the gym and what Andy affectionately calls “the birthing machine.”  You may know it as the hip/thigh abductor/adductor.  I call it torture.   And pain in your hips and thighs on Friday.  But we are official card-carrying members of a 24 hour gym.  I love that we can go whenever we want. 

This weekend is jam-packed with fun. 

Tonight I’m doing this with a friend:

Then later tonight, we’re having other friends over to watch this:

And tomorrow we’re going to Louisville to hang with J&C Harris and do this:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What We’ve Been Up To: A Photo Essay

Here is a photo essay of the past week of our lives

We learned to make California rolls


And ginger salad and gyoza



We made up some dessert sushi


We went for a hike in the woods with some friends


We broke down and bought a Neti pot (my new BFF)


We ordered take out sushi and nearly fainted from the joy of eating a spicy tuna roll in our home

The Year 2009 1433

We got Andy’s new glasses

The Year 2009 1442

The Year 2009 1443

We hung out and relaxed late Friday night

The Year 2009 1438

We rode ATVs