Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday five

Raise your hand if you ate a delicious meal yesterday!  :)  Hopefully all of you had a fantastic holiday with those nearest and dearest to you.  Matt and I are in Reading with his family (first holiday with them!).  The weather is supposed to be fantastic at the end of this week, so I'm hoping for lots of walks outside to stave off the sleepy post-meal feelings.

Only in America do we follow the biggest eating day of the year with the busiest (and earliest!) shopping day of the year: Black Friday!  As of typing this on Wednesday morning, we have no plans to visit the malls or any stores, but that may change.  I've actually never gone out for the early morning Black Friday deals because there's never been a hot ticket item like a toy or electronic device that I simply had to have.

Black Friday newbie I may be, but shopping novice I am most certainly not!  Over the years, I've perfected my shopping strategies to create a stress-free and fun day browsing and boosting the economy.  Here are my must-have shopping essentials for this week's Friday five:

1. Mini bottle of water - hydration during shopping is key, and especially after a very filling and slightly salty day of feasting and grazing.  I've learned that large bottles of water weight me down and use up precious energy (and space!) that could be used for carrying bags of goodies, so I stick with a mini bottle that I refill at water fountains.  Hydrated shopper = happy shopper!

2. Crossbody purse - When it comes to serious shopping, I try to make my hands and arms as free as possible.  That means that my beloved Kate Spade tote stays home because I can't stand constantly flipping a bag over my shoulders as I lean down to pick up a potential purchase.  I have an older Fossil crossbody purse that I adore, but it's leather and becomes a little heavy after a few hours.  I think it's high time for an update, don't you?  This nylon Marc Jacobs number tooooootally fits the bill: lightweight, simple, and cute, to boot! 

3a. Hand lotion - There's nothing worse than dry hands as you rifle through racks of clothing.  My skin tends to dry out in the winter months, so shopping takes them a step further.  After years of experimenting with various hand lotions -- too greasy, too thin, too smelly! -- I finally found what works for me.  Eucerin's intensive repair hand creme is rich without being greasy and fragrance-free.  Plus, it comes in a convenient little bottle that will easily fit into any handbag.  3b. Hand sanitizer, 'nuff said.

4. Granola (or other portable snacks) - Something small to keep your energy up as you flit from store to store.  Make a batch of cherry almond cinnamon granola and surprise your shopping companions with baggies of goodies!  I like the staying power of nuts, dried fruit, and toasted oats.  Satisfying without being heavy.  And, light enough to make room for my two food court guilty pleasures: Chick-fil-A nuggets and a mini Dairy Queen Blizzard :)

5. Comfortable slip-on shoes - In the summer, it's sandals; in the winter, it's my trusty boat shoes.  Easy to slip on and off in the dressing room and comfortable for lots and lots of walking.  I'll never understand how some women sport high heels as they traipse around the mall.  More power to 'em, I suppose! 

If you're braving the crowds, good luck!  And, if you're staying home to begin decorating for Christmas, I'm with you in spirit :)

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