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Amy

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Why I’m Sick of Shopping

Last night while my husband and I were sitting together on the couch, I told him that I’m tired of shopping. He was justifiably skeptical and told me so, but I assured him that I was completely serious. More to the point, I’m sick of replacing cheaply made clothes that wear out before I am tired of wearing them.

This all started earlier in the day when I was consignment shopping. Spring is slowly arriving this year, and I’ve been looking around for a pair of leather slip-ons to replace a pair that is too torn on the toes to been seen in the office again. I realized my current pair of shoes has a synthetic lining, which means the leather upper can tear away from the lining, so I’m looking for a shoe with leather upper and leather lining.

While browsing the racks, I came across a great looking pair that was leather on the inside and outside, and I was excited when I saw the brand was Saks 5th Avenue and the cost was $25! I’ve never purchased shoes from this store before, but Saks has a reputation for high-end clothing, so I assumed their brand of shoes would be on par with this reputation. At first glance, the shoes looked promising, but then I took a peek inside the shoes to get a better look at the insoles. I wanted to see how well the shoes were put together, so I gave a slight tug to lift up the insole, and I was surprised when the insole started to lift up with ease and reveal a layer of yellow foam and glue. I realize insoles are designed to come out so they can be replaced, but this seemed too easy and I wasn’t excited by the look of the foam. I could only imagine what the foam would do on a hot summer day. So I put the shoes back on the rack, bummed that a pair of shoes from a high-end retailer were shoddily built.

Later that night while I was talking with my husband, I told him about the shoes. He told me they were probably worth $25, which on the surface I agree with. But then it’s $25 here and another $30 in a few months when I have to replace them, then another $30 when I have to replace those cheap replacements. Pretty soon I’ve spent the same amount of money replacing cheap shoes that I could have spent on one really nice pair of shoes that will last years instead of months.

A perfect example of this is a pair of LL Bean slippers that my husband inherited from his grandfather. These slippers are 20+ years old, but they still look great! None of the seams have come undone, the leather soles are free from holes, and the lining is still intact.

I, on the other hand, have to buy slippers at Target once a year because I wear holes through the soles, the heels always crumple up and won’t stay on my feet, and the lining looses its fluffiness. If I would just spend $90 on a pair of LL Bean slippers, I could stop spending $15 a year at Target for cheap slippers.

Now, I want to take a moment to say that I do not have a limitless clothes budget. Buying more expensive clothes (and shoes, handbags, etc.) will definitely mean that I will buy less items, less often (a lot less). But if it means that an item will last years versus months, then I’m willing to do it.

resolutions

Locally-Made Souvenir Shopping

World Map by TheMapShop

Three years ago when my husband and I went on our honeymoon, I made the decision to only buy locally-made souvenirs. It didn’t seem right to travel all the way to Italy to buy souvenirs made in China. Obviously I wasn’t the first tourist to have this thought because a lot of shops had signs in their windows that said “Made in Italy, not China.” And yes, the signs were in English. The most common items we saw were leather, lace, glass, art, liquor, and food.

Last summer, we were fortunate to go on an Alaskan cruise, and I made the same souvenir buying decision. It was actually harder to find locally made items in Alaska than it was in Italy, but not impossible. When I walked into a souvenir shop, I would ask where their locally made items were. Some shops had lots, some only had one shelf. The locally made items included jewelry, art, holiday decorations, and food.

Turquoise

We just got back from a trip to Arizona to visit family, and without even searching it out, I picked up some great American Made souvenirs. At a jewelry shop, I found a bracelet and earrings made with Sleeping Beauty turquoise. This type of turquoise is only mined in Arizona, and is popular for its deep blue color with few veins. The bracelet and earrings with crafted by Native American artists in New Mexico (sorry, if the shop owner named the tribe, I didn’t catch it).

I’ve loved turquoise for as long as I can remember. My grandparents used to spend the winters in Arizona, and my grandmother wore a lot of turquoise jewelry. I’ve always enjoyed wearing turquoise because it reminds me of her.

Maternity Clothes

I am 20 weeks pregnant and I’ve started buying maternity clothes. I’m lucky to still be wearing all of my regular clothes, but those days are definitely numbered. The baby was not happy today with the tightness of my skinny jeans.

I don’t want to spend a fortune on clothes that I’m only going to wear for a few months, but I don’t want the clothes falling apart before I can wear my regular clothes again either. So I was very excited to find PinkBlush Maternity online, and doubly excited to learn that their clothes are Made in USA.

They were recently have a site-wide sale, so I picked up four items. Although I can’t say that I’m excited to wear maternity clothes, it does help to have some cute items to pick from.

Mustard Heart Print Maternity Top

Update: I returned this top. I loved the pattern, but the fit was off.

Mint Green White Striped Maternity Tank W/ Necklace

Update: Love this top! Mine has a lot more extra fabric than the model in the front and back, but I’m sure I’ll grow into it.

Aqua Red Colorblock Maternity Maxi Dress

Update: I returned this dress too. The fit was cute, but the material was way too thin.

Royal Blue Print Ruffled Maternity Tunic

Update: This is my favorite! I need to sew the straps as they are a little long (and they don’t come adjustable), but I love the pattern and the fit.