Monday, January 30, 2012

lululemon warehouse sale 2012

This weekend, lululemon hosted the 2012 warehouse sale in Chicago {well, technically it was at a convention center in Rosemont, IL}. As the first one of its kind in the US - I was prepared for long lines, little variety, and mobs of people fighting for the coveted product. I'm happy to report that I was proved wrong. On Sunday, a new co-worker friend and I ventured out via the blue line to be dropped off just a few blocks from the convention center. There was no line {I repeat ... no line} to enter the warehouse. I checked my coat {mandatory}, and took only my wristlet complete with my iPhone, identification, lip balm, and debit card.

All of the items were organized by size, which proved to be very effective.  The longest line that I stood in was for the fitting room - which was basically a room with 30 women all disrobing to try on their ginormous piles of clothes. It was hilarious. Though I had a pile of 10 things, I narrowed it down to my two favorite items: the Scuba Hoodie, and a pair of the Groove Pants. I could have easily purchased more items, but stuck to my budget {if you've ever been to one of these sales you know how incredibly hard this is!}. Here are the items that I purchased as well as a few photos of the warehouse.

{Groove Pant // Regularly $98, Warehouse Price $39}

{Fur Scuba Hoodie w/ removable fur // Regularly $148, Warehouse Price $39}

{organized racks of lululemon gear}

{posted prices on the way to the fitting rooms}

{my bag of goodies}

Overall, I had a blast - it was a great experience and I'm so glad that I went to check it out. Do you go to warehouse or sample sales? Did any of you go to the lululemon warehouse sale this weekend? What was your experience?



Friday, January 27, 2012

Weekly Gratitude

This first month of 2012 has proved to be one very difficult month. Hubby started nursing school, a trauma occurred in my family, I was sick for three weeks which messed up my regular running routine, and I started a new position at work which has been more challenging that I expected. Decreased sunshine and the bitter cold weather has only contributed to my poor outlook on this new year. I finally feel like I'm starting to come out of this "rut". Finally!

These are just some of the things that I'm thankful for:

  • Peppermint tea

  • My new Hayden-Harnett handbag {post coming soon!}

  • Greek yogurt

  • My new Clarisonic Mia {post coming soon!}

  • Gossip Girl Seasons 1-4 on Netflix

  • Lennon's extra snuggles

  • Growing relationships with co-workers

  • A new challenging position {working with cardiac patients}

  • My new counselor/therapist

  • New cold-weather running shoes and gear

Do you ever feel like you're stuck in a rut? How do you get out of it?



Monday, January 23, 2012

Financial Fitness: Tips & Tricks

In order to stick to our budget over the last several months, we have learned to do more with less. Here are some of the tips and tricks that have been essential to our survival:

1) Plan for Specials: When we do dine out, we utilize our neighborhood specials. $5 burger night? $6 taco night? $4 nacho platter? We use Small Tabs to check out local specials, and frequent spots that offer weekly specials. It seriously saves us an incredible amount of money. Dinner for two for $10?! You can't beat it. This allows us to still spend quality time together sharing a meal {which we love to do} for a fraction of the cost.

2) Organize (yourself and your finances): Use - I've said it before, and I will repeat: is an excellent tool to motivate budget and goal-setting. It allows you to literally set up goals such as paying off debt, setting up a savings account, and it measures your success. It also has archives full of financial planning resources. We use this website to track our goals. even sends you "congratulations" emails when you've met a goal. So cool!

3) Get creative with cutbacks: Since we are driving our car less and less, but still paying insurance and fees {like that pesky City sticker}, we are planning to sell it. As an alternative, we joined Zipcar's car-sharing program. My employer offers free membership and discounted rates for employees. It's a win-win. If we use it, we pay; if we don't use it, we don't pay.

4) Plan ahead: A few years ago, I started using Google Calendar to track all of our bills. If you have a Google account, it’s an easy place to keep track of regular income and bills. You can share calendars between email addresses. For example: Hubby and I can both add things to the calendar, and both view what bills are coming up in the next few weeks. You can set up repeating events {repeat bills}, and also track paycheck amounts. As we pay bills, I simply edit the calendar event, and we’re up-to-date on what bills have been paid, and what bills remain. It prevents us from double-payments {yes, it has happened} and late payments {that, too}. It is so much easier to look at one centralized place instead of going to each vendor’s individual website. This also allows us to plan ahead for special events. For example:  if a birthday or dinner is on the calendar, we can plan to spend on those dates.

5) Choose your bank: ING is my preferred banking vendor. We do utilize Chase simply for the convenience of deposits and ATM access. However, ING has the most user-friendly banking bill payment and savings account service. ING syncs with various companies to provide accurate, up-to-date amounts for bills due.  ING also sends email alerts when payments have been sent.  For example: as our mobile phone bill amount fluctuates, ING updates to correctly reflect the adjusted amount.  In my opinion, it’s the most user-friendly banking bill payment service. Also, ING allows you to set up various savings accounts linked to your checking account. This makes setting individual savings goals a breeze.  

Do you have tips/tricks that keep you financially fit? Please share!

Note: This is a series on the blog to share our path to financial fitness. We are no experts in personal finance. We are, however, on our way to becoming smart{er} consumers.



Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I suppose the phrase "better late than never" applies to this post where I recap New Year's and the last few weeks. We spent the new year weekend in Michigan with good friends. We stayed up late, played a few games, and relaxed in the hot tub. It was lovely. B and I saw Young Adult on New Year's Day. Overall, I thought it was a good film, just not a "feel good" film. Charlize Theron is officially my new girl crush. She's drop-dead gorgeous.

Since we've been back, I have been sick for nearly two weeks. I finally dragged myself to the Doctor's office on Friday, and was diagnosed with a double ear infection and a sinus infection. Even though I'm on antibiotics and "getting better", I still feel pretty miserable. I also haven't been running for two weeks, which makes me feel even more out of it. I've watched Season One and Two of Gossip Girl, gone through two boxes of tissue, two containers of orange juice, and nearly 20 cups of tea.

Here's hoping this week I finally start to feel better. Ho hum.