365 Days of Random

Random musings about nothing at all

Bargain Hunting

What is it about rainy days that make women spend money?? I think it’s actually an inevitable occurrence. When it rains – we shop. It doesn’t matter if we shop online or go to a mall there is just something about shopping that can brighten the dreary days. Today was no different.

Saturdays is generally the day that I spend a few hours with X (my little sister in case you forgot). Today when I woke up I didn’t have any real plans set for our afternoon and it was grey and raining and just kind of miserable outside. As I was starting to think about what we should do I remembered that I need some new work clothes. I have a couple of big meetings and presentations coming up and my typical ‘business casual’ attire doesn’t seem to be the image I want for those events. I want to have a more ‘business professional’ look. I have a couple of pants suits in my closet, but as I’ve spent the last year getting back into shape (through climbing and other things) they are just too big now. I really don’t like the saggy butt look in women’s pants. It looks shlumpy. Also not the image I want to convey during these upcoming meetings and conferences. As it really doesn’t take much to convince me to go clothes shopping – and I am very good at justifying spending the money I suggested a trip to the outlet malls to X for our afternoon. It was a great deal of fun. I got two suits and a variety of shirts to go with them (or with other things in my current wardrobe. X got to help me pick stuff out and offered thoughts and commentary as I tried things on. It was fun. I haven’t gone shopping with a friend in ages (I generally go on my own).

When I got home this afternoon and was putting my purchases away I decided to go in search of another great bargain today. My BF and I have been talking about taking a trip to Canada in March to visit my family and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in true “Mountain Style” (what that is should be a post all it’s own and probably will be in a couple of weeks). But since flight prices these days are typically astronomical we made a deal that we’d only go if we could find REALLY cheap tickets. Most of the time when I go looking for flights to Ottawa from DC the price ranges from $500 – $650… which is crazy since it’s only an hour flight. But about a year ago a friend of mine introduced me to “Priceline.com”. If you’ve never used it I highly recommend it. Especially if your travel times are at all flexible. Essentially priceline let’s you ‘bid’ on the price of your ticket (I am sure you’ve seen the William Shatner commercials). If your price is accepted you’ve booked a flight. The catch is that you have no say in the departure time of either flight. But in the past year I’ve been really lucky when I go looking for flights home and gotten some really cheap flights using priceline.

Now since my BF and I had set a maximum price that we’d pay for tickets and we have some time before the mid March trip our plan was to enter an offer below our price and see what happens. Then keep offering that price or up to our max every few days until we were hoping to go and just see what happened. Today was attempt number one and I entered a bid of about 65% less than the average price of the ticket. Generally priceline saves you about 40-50% and I honestly didn’t think they’d accept the offer I made but I guess today was my day to find good deals.

So today’s rainy day bargain hunting resulted in two new suits, three new tops, new earrings and two plane tickets to Canada. Seems like a good day to me!!

February 5, 2011 Posted by | Random | , , , | Leave a comment

Rainy days and … Wednesdays?

As I sit here in my office this afternoon trying to think of what to write about the rain has started to significantly pick up. So I figure, that’s as good a topic as any for today’s post – that and the fact that it’s Wednesday.

Once again the DC area is starting to ‘buckle down’ for a nasty snow storm. The federal government closed at 3pm, people were leaving work early to get out ahead of the weather and so on. Some of the hardier folks are sticking things out until the end of the day. This ‘hardy, not afraid of a little weather, canadian girl in DC’ is plugging away on her task list despite the rain and the fear of a horrific commute home. Although as I sit here and it gets darker and darker outside I can think of nothing I’d like better than a cup of tea, my couch, a blanket and a good book. Since my happy hour plans for this evening were canceled due to the storm that may just be what’s in the works for me this evening.

In general, I actually find rainy days to be quite peaceful. They are cleansing if you think about it. Washing away all the crud and making everything seem ‘fresher’. But when the rain turns to sleet turns to ice the peacefulness of the experience goes away. There is not much worse than freezing rain hitting your windows so hard that it wakes you up from a dead sleep at 4am (which by the way is what happened to me last night and is likely why I am suddenly so fixated on the rain). One COLD rainy days I think most of us want to run and hide. Some place where we can’t see or hear the rain, or be reminded of how cold and miserable it’s going to be when you finally do need to step outside. WARM rainy days though… I actually like to be outside – not IN the rain, but perhaps sitting on a porch somewhere and simply enjoying the experience. On a warm rainy day you can smell the air change, there is something distinctly different about it. When you grow up on the outskirts of town – surrounded by grass and farmlands – you can’t help but notice the refreshing feeling that occurs when it rains. I used to love that feeling. Living in the city nowadays I think I’ve forgotten just how peaceful rainy days can be. That said though, I am not interested in rushing back to farm country living either… the smell on hot not so rainy days…. distinctive, yes – but FAR from pleasant.

As for Wednesdays… well, Wednesday’s mean that the week is half over. It means there are only two more days until the weekend – both of which are great things. But, Wednesdays can sometimes feel like the longest day of the week. You know what I mean, you’re excited in the morning to realize that it’s Wednesday and that it’s ‘hump day’. But then, quite often on Wednesdays, I find myself thinking (multiple times a day) – wow, I’ve been so productive and busy today it MUST be time to go home already – only to discover that’s it’s only 11am or 3:30pm or 5:45 and just not quite time to call it quits. Wednesdays are the days that ‘trick’ you into being extra productive. You keep thinking, if I get this done now I MIGHT just get to leave early on Friday. So you press on harder than you might on a Monday or Tuesday (I mean you have all week to get stuff done right). You are definitely more focused that you would be on a Thursday or a Friday (you see it’s nearing the end of the week and I can’t possibly finish that – it should just wait until Monday). Wednesdays are generally the day when I get all caught up on my list of things to do. I honestly don’t mind that it seems like the longest day ever. But rainy Wednesdays… well those are just torture.

January 26, 2011 Posted by | Random | , | Leave a comment