Swapping Shoes

I’ve started trying to cut back on my spending. This is hard because I’ve been losing weight and we are moving into warmer weather, so clothes I haven’t worn in a while and old standards also don’t fit. Several weeks ago, I was down in Richmond to see the Picasso exhibit at VMFA. I stopped at Nordstrom while I was in the area and picked up two new shoes for spring/summer.

After walking around the house in them for a while, I’ve decided they both need to go back. For the price, given the circumstances, they just aren’t worth keeping.

Born Adele ShoeBorn Adele Flat

I have been wanting the Born flats for a long time, but never caught them on sale. It seems they aren’t seasonal, so they only type I could find on sale were weird velvet versions. I went down half a size, to keep them on my feet, but my feet feel just slightly too scrunchy. I’m paranoid they won’t stretch out enough, or will stretch out too much. Back to the store!

Report SandalReport Kila Sandal

I love these. They are a good take on the gladiator trend, that I can still wear to work without getting weird looks. They aren’t too warrior-princess-y, like some extremely overdone sandals out there. I wore these out immediately. I loved them, except they zip up in the back. The left shoe doesn’t have quite enough leather to protect my ankle from the top of the zipper. So I had to use a band-aid. For the price, the shoe should be made right and shouldn’t require a band-aid. (The right shoe was perfect). I was going to just try to exchange these, but I’ve since decided to just try to find a cheaper replacement instead. Even typing this out makes me sad, because I will miss those shoes. But I will enjoy the saved money. (Focus!)

DSW Liz Claiborne Misty Espadrille

I don’t exactly love DSW, because I think they talk a big game of having good prices, when really they have average-to-expensive shoes, or good deals on shoes that are so “unique” that I won’t get a lot of use out of them. I’m also convinced (based on no actual research) they just get brand name shoe companies to make lower-priced versions for sale specifically in discount stores. So they might SAY the retail price is $80, but their price is $60, but if $60 is the discount retailer price for that shoe, then it’s $60, period.

Anyway, I picked up these wedges, which fit my feet better than the Born flats. They were $50, which is $30 cheaper than the Borns. I’m not expecting them to last as long, but they should be good for at least a year.

Dana Buchman Illaria Wedge Sandals

Finally, I picked up these black sandals to replace the Report sandals. There is an adjustable buckle and no back zipper, which is more wearer-friendly. They aren’t quite as cute, or they are more cute than cool. But get this: $9.24. That’s how much I spent, after a 15% off coupon and $20 in Kohl’s Cash (thanks to buying some black pants for work). That’s a savings of over $70 compared to the Report sandals. They just lowered the price of these shoes online. If I can get a price adjustment tonight, then I will actually get about $5 back.

So what do you think? I’m spending less than the cost of one pair of Nordstrom shoes, for two pairs of shoes. That aren’t quite as cute. But cute shoes don’t pay the bills, right?

On Jobs

I did not mean to neglect this new blog so quickly. I have a half-written post about how I bought a new car, but honestly, my mind has been elsewhere. The day I took delivery of my new car was the day my dad lost his job.

I don’t live with my parents, but they live nearby and I spend a lot of time with them. My dad didn’t know that I’d traded in my old car for a newer model (with the exact same monthly payments, which is why I did something so uncharacteristic in the first place) until I drove it over to their house a week ago. I didn’t know he had lost his job until Wednesday, when I guessed something had happened.

Mom and I spent the weekend picking up job applications for part time jobs. My mom and I are both very much action people. I don’t know if I will be able to work a 40+ hour a week job, go to night school (for my MBA) and work a weekend job. But I know I can try. And I know it will make me feel better, personally, to know I’m doing what I can to make money to help out. Sitting home will only stress me out. I need to be doing something.

I’m not trying to find freelance work at this point, because those projects always tend to drag on and on and on. I need something with set hours where I can leave on time (or reasonably thereabout) and get on with the rest of my life.

Dad has three months of full severance pay. So at this point, they have not lost any money. But mom and I both watch the days tick away into weeks, and then, very soon, months. We’re doing what we can now. And we’re trying not to let dad (or my younger brother) know how freaked out we really are.

101 Things About Me

It’s always hard to start a new blog, so when I saw this idea on My Milk Glass Heart’s blog, I decided posting 101 random things about myself would be a good way to kick things off.

  1. I was named after Carly Simon
  2. I’ve met her twice, both times at malls. She cried when she found out I was named after her.
  3. I was an only child until my senior year of high school
  4. As a kid, I loved Art and Theater equally
  5. Since I always had after school jobs in high school, preventing me from attending rehearsals, Art eventually won out
  6. I had my first job when I was 15
  7. I have worked as a file assistant at a eye doctor’s office
  8. I have worked as a grocery store bagger and cashier (at Ukrop’s)
  9. I have worked as a ice skating rink party host (second worst job ever)
  10. I have worked as a basketball games operator at King’s Dominion (third worst job ever)
  11. I have worked as a dishwasher at a college eatery (this was the grossest job ever)
  12. I developed an deep aversion to seeing food floating in water (gag)
  13. I don’t think I’ve ever worked on a Sunday in my entire life
  14. I lived outside Los Angeles as a toddler and I constantly wish I could go back to California
  15. I won’t move back to the West Coast while my parents are still on the East Coast
  16. Traveling is my favorite hobby
  17. I went to London for a long weekend once
  18. I went to Cancun after high school graduation thanks to a generous friend who took about 10 of us there to stay in their time share suite for free
  19. I took an awesome one week road trip from San Diego to Oakland California when I turned 25 and could rent a car without penalties
  20. I’ve been on two cruises, both to the Caribbean
  21. I’ve love to to a European Cruise
  22. I went to Lourdes France the day after Senior Prom, on a religious pilgrimage sponsored by friends and family
  23. I’ve been to New Orleans once pre-Katrina and stayed in a sketchy hotel full of prostitutes
  24. I’ve been to New Orleans once post-Katrina and stayed in a sketchy hotel where the bathtub faucet fell off from being rotted
  25. I organized that trip for my whole office. We were there to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.
  26. Even though I don’t party, or like strippers, or gambling, I love Las Vegas
  27. I’ve gotten to see Oprah in person, at the groundbreaking for the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial
  28. I’ve heard then-President G. W. Bush speak at the National Prayer Breakfast (still cool)
  29. I’ve seen Mo Rocca at a book signing in DC
  30. I’ve also seen him live at a taping of The Daily Show
  31. I’ve seen John Oliver at a performance in NYC during the writers’ strike (and got a picture)
  32. I also saw him at UVA
  33. I met Neil Gaiman at the DC Book Festival
  34. I had him sign a book for my then-boyfriend
  35. I hadn’t liked Gaiman until I met him in person and saw what an amazingly nice person he was
  36. I still don’t think I like Sandman, though
  37. I’ve slept in the car overnight at a rest stop (with my parents) once en route to a family vacation
  38. I am a terrible singer
  39. This doesn’t stop me from sing-talking, especially at work, when things are frustrating or stupid
  40. I like what I do for a job, but wish I had more flexibility
  41. I hate that I get extremely passionate and opinionated about things that I cannot change
  42. People think I look much younger than I am
  43. I’m not flattered by this. It’s annoying.
  44. And potentially creepy if I’m out trying to meet people, and they assume I’m a teenager
  45. I just turned 30
  46. Every boy I’ve ever actually loved is now either married or engaged (to someone that isn’t me)
  47. I’m glad they didn’t end up married to me
  48. I like being single
  49. I don’t want to be single when I’m 50, though
  50. I’m Catholic and I’m down with a lot of their religious philosophy, and the social justice stuff where you help people out, but not the social stuff where homosexuals don’t deserve basic human rights
  51. It’s complicated
  52. My mom is my best friend and I don’t care if you think that’s lame
  53. I hung out with adults, or alone for most of my childhood
  54. I would spend all day in my room reading
  55. I sorta hate the library, because I don’t like the way the books smell, and when they have weird stains in them, or the fact that the popular books are wait-listed for months
  56. But I love the library in theory and have been a lifelong patron
  57. I would be 100% on the e-book bandwagon if they would more bathtub friendly
  58. I buy a lot of clothes
  59. I return a lot of the clothes I buy
  60. I went an entire summer (possibly 2) in high school never once wearing shorts because I was so embarrassed by the stretch marks allover my legs
  61. I got over it… mostly
  62. I’m one of those bitches that is actually trying to GAIN weight
  63. My favorite food group is candy
  64. My least favorite types of candy are black licorice and chocolate
  65. My favorite types of candy are gummy
  66. My favorite brand of gummy candy is Haribo
  67. I drink a Red Bull every morning because coffee doesn’t really get along with me. People think I’m totally hardcore, but it doesn’t really have that much caffeine in it.
  68. I used to take growth hormone shots as a pre-teen.
  69. I’m 5’3″…
  70. … I used to be 4’11”
  71. My favorite typographical element is the em dash
  72. I throw out 90% of the catalogs I get in the mail, so I’m not tempted to buy things
  73. I lived across the street from a crack house for years as a kid
  74. I lived next to subsidized housing for a year and would walk through a parking deck to get to the grocery store, which had my roommates convinced I would get murdered
  75. I’m not really afraid of getting murdered
  76. I used to ride horses, then I became severely allergic
  77. Also allergic to: cats, dogs, pollen, mold, dust…
  78. I finally got an iPhone this month
  79. I’m working on my MBA
  80. I’m that annoying girl who likes learning and does her homework early
  81. I also like education because it’s pretty much the only constant source of measurable, merit-based, praise I get as an adult. (Not just “You look nice today” or “good comps.”) I like getting that A, even if the grading scale isn’t that tough.
  82. I don’t think I ever want kids of my own
  83. But I like other people’s kids
  84. I run a support group with my mom
  85. I always want to “help people” – whatever that means
  86. I met a lot of my friends on the internet
  87. I got back in touch with a lot of my friend because of the internet
  88. I eat a lot of rice
  89. I eat a lot of sugar
  90. I love bread, but pretty much only freshly baked bread. I hate sandwich bread you get in the grocery store.
  91. After a childhood of nothing but horrible canned asparagus, I discovered fresh and fell in love
  92. I once went two (medically supervised) weeks without eating
  93. I’d rather eat a small amount of something really good than a bucket full of something mediocre
  94. If I had a bucket list, then it would include a visit to miniBar
  95. My favorite vacation destination: the beach
  96. Runner up: the city (San Fran, NYC)
  97. I’ve never been to Chicago
  98. I’d like to improve my Spanish
  99. I’d like to take voice lessons
  100. One day I’d like to write a book