Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Best. Deal. Ever.

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The KitchenAid stand mixer is my absolute favourite kitchen gadget of all time. My mother-in-law bought me mine a few years back and I use it almost daily. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

Today, for one day only, The Bay has this magical machine on sale for an absolutely incredible price. ALL of their colour options are available for $239.99. The regular price is $449.99 so you can see why I am raving about this being the best deal ever! If you don’t have one of these, buy it today. Buy it as a Christmas gift for the amateur gourmet in your life, buy it for the busy person who needs time saving measures, heck, buy it for yourself and start using it as you delve into Christmas baking and cooking!

You can find this great deal at http://www.thebay.com/eng/brands/search/home-thebay/12584?gclid=CO-1w7–3qwCFU1x5Qodkgggsw

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Shopping is a contact sport….

I’m home from our second annual girls weekend and Black Friday shopping extravaganza in the US, exhausted and broke. This year I blew my budget but pretty much completed my Christmas shopping, added a ton of new items to my work wardrobe and bought a few little extras; like a new t.v.

A t.v. was not on my list of things to buy, but Lee and I have been talking about the possibility of getting a new one and I came across a deal I couldn’t pass up. This is what I bought:

I know absolutely nothing about t.v.’s or what makes a good picture or whatever but my Dad recently got one of these and he seems to really like it. Apparently there is an extra colour in the sub-pixelation (yellow) which improves the contrast or something of that nature. I’m not a huge television watcher so I’ve never been very picky about the device but I am excited that that this new one is significantly larger than the one we currently have (it’s a 46″ compared to our existing 32″) which means I can hopefully watch the game or a movie without having to squint! I’m a little on the blind side so I look forward to giving my eyes a bit of a break with a bigger picture. Mostly I’m just proud of myself for buying my first electronic!! Other than my computer, I’d never bought anything before so it was kind of an exciting purchase.

T.V. aside, we mostly shopped for clothes (hello 50% off EVERYTHING in Banana Republic!) and Christmas gifts (kids clothes and toys for my nieces and nephews and a what I believe to be a kick-ass gift for my Mother-in-Law). We started in Erie, Pennsylvania, traveled to Grove City to the outlets (and no tax on clothing) and then up to Buffalo, Amherst and Niagara Falls. Throughout our shopping, my biggest observation was that despite the insane number of shoppers, the sales staff were exceptionally friendly, helpful and kind! I was really blown away by the amazing service we received in every single store and we made a point of telling the sales staff how impressed we were and giving them feedback notes to submit to their head offices. Shoppers were also generally very considerate. We ran into a few of the “elbows up, I’ll tackle you if you touch that item that I want” kind of people but they were very few and far between. Most people kindly held doors, excused themselves as they tried to get around us in the packed stores and  chatted amicably about who and what they were shopping for. You go into Black Friday assuming the worst and we definitely got the best. So kudos to all the patient people who were working the Black Friday weekend sales for setting a positive tone in their stores by being so friendly and helpful. And kudos to all the shoppers who realized that a sale is not worth inflicting physical or emotional harm on another person for.

Possibly for the first time in my entire life, I’ll be done my Christmas shopping before December (normally I’m scrambling to finish it up the day before Christmas…). All I have left to do is pick up a few items from the local shops in Paisley to ensure I support them (plus they all have cool stuff that is very unique and can’t be found in the big name stores anyways) and I’m done! That means I can sit back, relax and enjoy the holiday season without having to battle any more crowds as the countdown clicks away towards the 25th!

The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness

I’m getting paid to talk about “outdoor activities” and rate outdoor gear. Seriously this might be the best “job” ever!! I filled out an online survey a few weeks ago about outdoor activities and these folks contacted me and asked me to help them out. Tomorrow I’ll be spending a couple hours with a consulting group, going around an outdoor equipment store and giving them my feedback on different products. At the end of the 90 minutes, they’re paying me a bunch of $$ and giving me some free products. How cool is that?

This is really perfect timing since I’m looking to buy some new classic cross-country skis and considering some new snowshoes as well. I fully intend to get back into cross-country skiing this year and since there are very few skate groomed trails around us and hundreds of miles of trails that are perfect for classic skiing (ok – really for backcountry but if enough people hit the trail, it almost grooms itself into classic tracks), it’s time for some new classic skis!! The money I make tomorrow is being directly rooted into the purchase of new skis – yay!!!

I’m also considering new snowshoes because the ones I have (Atlas Elektra) are spring loaded and I find they throw a lot of snow up my back on ungroomed trails. They are fantastic on groomed trails -light, quick, good traction- but since the majority of ‘shoeing we do is on ungroomed trails, I think it’s time to find something that keeps me a little dryer. I’m looking at a few different options and am actually hoping that I might see something interesting tomorrow. Merry Christmas to me?!?