do you know the muffin man? [minimalist challenge item #284]

[item] Teflon muffin pan

[purchase info] Purchased new

[time in my possession] Approximately 12 years

[last used] A really, really long time

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Fundraiser

[replacement item] None

[info] I never bake, so I really have no need for this.  I’m not sure I’ve used it in the past 5 years.

vintage spatter screen [minimalist challenge item #283]

[item] Vintage spatter screen.

[purchase info] Purchased at a thrift store in Kansas

[time in my possession] Approximately 7 years

[last used] A couple of years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Fundraiser

[replacement item] None

[info] I just use my pan lids to keep things from spattering.

kitchen aid toaster [minimalist challenge item #282]

[item] Cobalt blue Kitchen Aid toaster

[purchase info] Purchased at a thrift store for $4

[time in my possession] Approximately 4 years

[last used] A few weeks ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Difficult

[destination] Fundraiser

[replacement item] Toaster oven / convection oven

[info] This toaster works great.  I decided to go with a small convection oven / toaster so I don’t have to heat up my big oven every time we want to make something small.  I’m hoping this will save a lot on my utility bill, help with the heat issue in the summer and make cooking small thing easier.  I will miss this appliance though.  Kitchen Aid makes great stuff.

high heels [minimalist challenge item #281]

[item] Pewter and gray high heels

[purchase info] Purchased at a discount store

[time in my possession] Approximately 5 years

[last used] Over a year ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Fundraiser

[replacement item] Black glitter TOMS, but see the story below.

[info] Let’s face it.  Last time I went to a black tie event, I wore my formal dress with my mismatched Converse shoes.  I really can’t remember the last time I wore these.  I don’t do well playing dress up.

So I decided to get a pair of glitter TOMS in black.  I thought that would take care of my formal needs, as well as keeping my son from wearing them.  He loves my gray TOMS.  So I bought them over 24 hours ago and I can’t bring myself to take them out of the box and wear them.  I don’t think I can justify these.  I don’t typically like bling.  Wait, let me rephrase that.  I don’t do bling in the shiny object sense of the word.  I’m “colorful”.  Anyway, after careful deliberation, I decided I will take these back to the store and get the regular black TOMS.  Those I can wear with anything and I can add my own artwork to them.

Bye, bye high heels…


…customers will form a line outside the store…

I love reading and making fun of the Black Friday ads, but better than that, reading the fine print can be quite entertaining.  I started this last year on black friday.  I got to do it this year with my friends Jason and Carrie.  You can read last year’s post about this or just read this year’s insanity.  Get out your reading glasses…

Let’s start with the big stuff.

ACADEMY.COM OPEN THANKSGIVING DAY!  Wow!  What a great idea!!  Have your online story open on Thanksgiving day!!  Why didn’t anyone else think of that???  LOWES.COM says you can start on Thursday.  Sure glad they gave me permission!

Guitar Center:  They have happy returns and surprise protection.  And you can shop from your smartphone!  Again, why didn’t I think of that???

Kohl’s Early Bird Deal:  For $19.99 (regularly $49.99) you can get a motion-activated candy dispenser.  (a) It’s plastic crap nobody needs, (b) do you really want candy spilling out on the floor every time you walk by this thing?  (c) It probably takes batteries, and really big ones.  (d) Does your family need candy?  You probably still have leftovers from Halloween.  (e) Candy not included.

Now for some fine print.

Old Navy:  Customers will form a line outside the store.  I guess it’s good to be prepared.  It’s kind of presumptuous though.  And they’re giving out cameras.  If they’re a clothing store, why give out cameras?  I just don’t get it.

Burlington:  *Savings off other fine department stores.  Great!  they’re cheaper than Neiman Marcus!  I’m getting a deal!!

Dick’s Sporting Goods:  Something about a cash bonus.  Here’s a picture of it, because I cannot read it easily and it would take so long to figure out what this deal really is that it’s just not worth it.  The one thing we know is that your $99 purchase must be all the same brand, even though they have 3 brands pictured.  Don’t even think about mixing and matching!


the 7 shopping holidays

Black Friday:  So I didn’t go out for Black Friday like I did last year… to make fun of people shopping.  Here’s the video from last year.

Small Business Saturday:  Why is this after the big retailers get all the money (applied credit card debt) the day before?  Seems like people supporting this cause may want to skip Black Friday.  I like supporting small businesses whenever I can, and I also like supporting service based businesses.  Less buying stuff, but it still keeps people employed without creating more waste for this planet.

Cyber Monday:  Is there really any money left for this?  Lots of credit I guess.  It seems as though you would want to start with this, as you don’t have to fight crowds and drive around.  If I was going to shop, this would be the way.

So there’s still four more days in the week that are not associated with shopping.  I would like to take this opportunity to use and name all of them now.

No Shopping Sunday:  Just don’t shop.  Do you really need the stuff you’re buying?  Take a break.  Spend some time with friends and family.  Take a long bubble bath.  Do a staring contest with your dog.  Clean your car.  Fix that loose door knob you’ve been ignoring for a year.  Stay out of stores.  Your bank account will thank you.  This particular shopping holiday can be applied any day of the week.

Service Only Tuesday:  Instead of buying stuff, use services.  Get your nails done.  Get your car washed.  Get a massage.  Support people that use their skills for a living instead of filling the planet with more stuff.

Resale Wednesday:  Buy used stuff.  Shop at a thrift store or resale shop.  Buy on eBay or craigslist.  If you buy it with door dings, you don’t have to worry so much about it looking perfectly new.  A lot less stress.

Benefit Others Thursday:  Buy something that benefits other people with your purchase.  Buy a pair of TOMS or a pack of gum from Project 7.  If you just need to spend money, go give a Kiva loan or support a cause through micro lending.

Okay, so I’m being a bit snarky, but at what point do we say enough is enough?  You can try and keep up with the Joneses, but let’s be real.  You really think they paid cash for all that stuff?  I wouldn’t want to be sitting on their nest egg.  Did you notice all of this is based on Christmas, yet I didn’t even have to mention that word.  Did you miss it?

ugly shoes [minimalist challenge item #280]

[item] Ugly brown shoes

[purchase info] Purchased at a thrift store

[time in my possession] Approximately 4 months

[last used] 4 months ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Fundraiser

[replacement item] None

[info] These are comfortable but they are not pretty.  Well, pretty ugly!


adidas [minimalist challenge item #279]

[item] Adidas shoes

[purchase info] Purchased at Nordstroms Rack

[time in my possession] Approximately 10 years

[last used] A long time ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Fundraiser

[replacement item] None

[info] I have 2 pairs of shoes like this and I only need one.  These lost the contest of favorite athletic shoes.

simple black shoes [minimalist challenge item #278]

[item] Black shoes

[purchase info] Purchased at a thrift store

[time in my possession] Approximately 3 years

[last used] Several months ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Fundraiser

[replacement item] None yet, but replacing these and a couple others with a pair of black TOMS.

[info] I never wear these anymore.  I want a pair of black TOMS because they’re comfortable, and if I get the sparkly ones, my son won’t wear them.

freddy kruger sweater [minimalist challenge item #277]

[item] American Eagle striped sweater

[purchase info] Given to us with a bunch of boys clothing

[time in my possession] Approximately 6 months

[last used] Never

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Thrift store

[replacement item] None

[info] I just don’t need it.  I kept it so I could make fun of all my friends and coworkers that have freddy sweaters.