Let's mix things up!

>> 2.26.2010

So in efforts to tidy my blog up a bit yesterday, I accidentally erased my template completely (d’oh!). Bye-bye tabs and three column format… :(. Since it looks like I’ll be spending a bit of time this weekend fixing things up, I thought I might as well work on the blogroll as well. So, just like I did in my 100th post, I’m asking you all to create the blogroll by sharing your own blogs! I’m starting from scratch here, so make sure you join up even if you were on the list before. Just leave a comment in today’s post with the following:

1. blog name*
2. type of blog (home decorating, cooking, thrifty, personal, etc)
3. blog's web address
4. Tell me anything else you want to share with me. Is there something you wish I would write more about?
*Please, only share if you update regularly.

Mine would say:

Thrifty Little Blog
a thrifty lifestyle blog
I wish that you would write more about your finished projects and less about all of the mistakes you make (if only...).
Please, don’t feel shy! I want people to find your amazing blog!!



>> 2.25.2010

I need your help... my house is under attack! There are Hugo puddles popping up everywhere!

I've raised a boy puppy before and never had this issue. We take him outside after every feeding, before bed, before we leave, etc. I've tried crate training before, but it just didn't work with our lifestyle.

Do you have any suggestions for keeping this problem under control?


Thrifty Weight Loss

>> 2.24.2010

I'm not overweight, but at one point I was. During the process of losing 35 lbs, I learned a lot about how we lose and gain weight as well as how I could do so as inexpensively as possible. Unfortunately, with the "I can eat whatever I want during marathon training" attitude and plenty of holiday eating opportunities present, I fell back into my old habits and ended up gaining back a few  seven pounds*. Now, while I'm back on the weight loss track, I'd like to share how I do the weight loss thing...

*After two years of heavy focus on my eating habits and activity level, I finally got to a point where I could maintain a healthy weight without counting any calories or cutting out specific foods. I only get back on the weight loss train when I stray five pounds or more from that weight.

1. Count calories and do the math
This is the most important thing you can do if you're trying to lose weight! Each extra cracker, apple, and glass of milk counts towards your total. The last thing that you want to do is to feel hungry all of the time (it's all mental) and still not lose weight. Knowledge is power, so take back control by learning the key numbers:

A. How many calories do you burn per day without exercise (your base)? Go here or here to find out (chose the no exercise option).
This is your base number if the foods you eat are equal to this number, you'll stay the same weight. If you eat less*, you'll start to lose weight.

B. How many calories did you consume?
Create a log on an Excel sheet, in a notebook, or through a web program (here's a free one, and here's a cheap, but good one)... it might seem a little tedious at first, but not doing this is what usually gives people setbacks. Plus, knowing the nutritional information on your foods (this site should have any food you need to find) will help you once you're no longer counting.

I go the low-tech notebook way.

C. How many calories did you burn through exercise? Go here or here to find out (warning: I find that many sites over-estimate calories burned for women).
This number is all up to you. Work hard and you'll see many more benefits than you will with cutting back on food alone.

D. What is your deficit?
Take your base calories burned per day (A) and subtract the number of calories that you consumed for the day (B). Now, add that number to the number of calories you burned through exercise (C).

(A - B) + C = D (for deficit)
Don't forget your order of operations ;).

Now, you can use D (your deficit) to determine how long it will take for you to lose a pound...
1 lb weight loss = 3,500 calorie deficit
3,500/ D = Number of days to lose a pound
A. Base of 1,800 calories
B. Ate a total of 1,300  calories
C. Exercised a total of 500 calories
                     (A - B) +  C = D
      (1,800 - 1,300) + 500 = D
                                1,000 = D
                     3,500/ 1,000 = 3.5 days to lose a pound
At this rate, the example person will lose two pounds by the end of a week!
*Important note: 1,200 calories per day is the least usually recommended for a healthy weight loss program (aka eat at least 1,200!).

2. Exercise
Without exercise, it's going to be a sloooow process. Think about it: your body burns 1800 without any exercise then you cut your calories down to 1300 (which isn't fun) and you end up with a 500 per day or 3500 per week deficit. That leaves you with a weight loss of 1 lb/ week or 4 lbs/ month. Why not go jogging for an hour and make it 2 lbs/ week; 8 lbs/ month (doing the elliptical machine at the gym can be a good substitute for jogging)?
When I exercise for weight loss, I like to run (it burns top calories), walk as much as possible, and fit in a workout DVD every few days (don't hate on the Paula DVD!). Gyms make life a little easier (try saving your favorite magazine or tv show for exercise time), but I'm doing just fine without one.
Thrifty tip: Discount stores like Ross and T.J. Maxx are great for finding cheapo workout equipment and DVDs.

3. Weigh in/ measure in
You don't know if you're losing weight unless you weigh in, right? Some people warn against weighing in too often, but I like to know that I'm making progress. I'll jump on the scale as often as I want to, but stick to a weekly progress check that, you guessed it, I record in my little notebook. Weighing in also clues me into things that aren't working in my system. "Maybe that Paula workout DVD isn't burning as many calories I thought..."

*Important note: 1-2 pounds per week is the average recommendation for a healthy weight loss program.

4. Make some thrifty food choices
The diet industry is a zillion dollar business ( I don't know the real numbers, but I'm sure they're big). While I wish I had the money to buy some of the delicious alternative foods (have you had these?) or pay for one of those services that delivers fancy health food to my door, it's just not in the cards right now. Here are a few of my favorite low calorie food choices that make the most bang for your buck:

*soups (all of that liquid is really filling)
*microwave meals (really helpful for calorie counting!)
*red beans and rice
*salads with protein (always measure and dip your dressings)
*"stir-fry" using steamed brown rice and little oil

My trusty measuring cups help to keep the calorie count under control.

(don't get tricked into buying expensive prepackaged foods!)
*boiled eggs
*fruit like bananas, citrus, cantaloupe
*veggies with homemade hummus

I make a running list of all of the caloric content of the ingredients in a dish and just divide that by the number of servings. I save the information in my notebook for the next time I make that dish.

*smoothies (buy fruit on sale and freeze)
*yogurt parfaits

See it's as easy as 1-2-3-4...! Okay, I know that seemed a little long-winded, but it's all important info that totally turned things around for me. Plus, there aren't any club subscriptions, gym memberships, nutritionist fees, or high-priced diet foods required!

What weight loss trick works for you?

I'm linking this post up with The 22nd Penny Pinching Party over at The Thrifty Home.
Disclaimer: Remember, these are the things that worked for me. I want you to stay healthy and safe so always talk to your doctor about what the best plan is for you!


Hugo and Formspring

>> 2.23.2010

By popular demand, here's Hugo:
He's a oneish-year-old pug/ min pin rescue with a spunky attitude and loads of energy. I'd say that he's pretty cute when he's not on the attack, making puddles near my new chair, or waking us up at 3 AM :).

While you enjoy a few cute pictures of him, I'd like to answer a few questions posted to my Formspring page (it's like Twitter, but allows you to ask anonymous questions). Feel free to ask away by heading over to the link or with the gadget on the right sidebar -->.

Q. You may have posted this before but what is your day job?

I work as a developer for a small software company. Yep, I'm at a computer all day

Q. Can you do a photo tour of your house?

It's on my list! I would like the rooms to be a little further along before I share them all (the 2nd bedroom currently contains tool storage), but I'm sure that I'll get there by the beginning of spring.

Q. How did your Olympic party go?

With the marathon and house projects on my plate I decided to go ahead and skip out on the party. As fun as it would have been, I'd rather host an event when I have more energy. What’s important is that with ten months and nine parties to go in my party project, I'm still on track!

Q. How is your kitchen renovation/appliance shopping coming along?

Slooooowly. The major construction work is finished on the walls, countertop, and backsplash so now it's all about getting new appliances and painting cabinets. The easiest way to overspend is to make big purchases in a hurry that's why I'm taking my time with the appliances!

Feel free to ask me anything here.
Do any of you have Formspring pages (or new puppies)?

P.S. I'd love to follow you all on Twitter, but I just don't have the time to check each blog for a link. let me know if you're on it or follow me here so that we can connect!

P.P.S. If you want to learn more about that spotted monster from yesterday's post, check her out here.


Bought It

>> 2.22.2010

It was a jam-packed weekend around here. I can't believe how quickly those things fly by! We did a little curtain hanging, shelf building, garage organizing, shopping, Avatar watching.... and most important of all:
Saturday was the dog birthday party. Yes, seriously. My friend hosts a birthday party for her Yorkie every February and we were excited to attend for the second time. There were about 15 dogs running around the yard, but I must brag that my girl was the only one who wore her party hat the entire time :).

There was also a little trip to World Market to look at the blue chair (from my inspiration board) in person. Most of you were all for the blue and I was all for the style of that chair... so I just had to check it out for myself.
The Cloud Blue Logan Armless Chair is new and actually on special at the moment... and once you sit in it, you realize that $129.99 is actually a pretty good deal... but when you  sign up for the free Explorer rewards program and get an additional 10% off... well, you buy it!
Here it is in its new home (my home!). I was going to just try it out in the room and make my decision about it then, but after Nate flat-packed and threw out all of the packaging, the decision was made for me.

Sorry about that dog butt in the picture, but this was going on in the background:
Did I mention that we got a new puppy? More on that later!

After stalking Craigslist for a good three weeks and unable to find a good chair for my living room, I think $117 was a thrifty enough deal for such a cute piece. What do you think?



>> 2.19.2010

A few updates on things I've blogged about recently...

1. Five days after the marathon... and my legs are feeling great. I think I'll even go for a (easy) run this weekend. For the big question of "will you do another?" You better believe it! For now, I'm happy to focus on summer triathlon training. Nate is already gearing up to train for a half Ironman in the fall!

It was soooo good (and is now soooo gone!).

2. We decided to go with this:
It gives me a serious craving for days like this:

3. After reading all of your suggestions, I've decided on going with this plan for my dining room:

My inspiration file was bursting with pictures of white chairs so I decided that I'll go with the look that I'm drawn to. The table is going to get a deep, dark stain which might or might not look good with the color of the buffet behind it... we'll just have to find out when the time comes.

Without any long runs planned for my weekend, I should be able to knock out some  projects. I can't wait to share them with you!

P.S. chair, fabric, mirror, light, rug


Living Room Inspiration Board

>> 2.18.2010

Last week I shared my favorite piece of art and a few of the ways that I would use it to inspire the decor of my home. Here's the inspiration board I put together based off of those ideas:

I'm going for a modern/ worldly vibe. The fireplace, art/ shelf, couch, and rug are based off of pieces I have. Hopefully things will begin coming together soon.... I've been stalking Craigslist adds like nobody's business!

Do you think I should try to infuse some color with a blue or green chair or stick to neutrals?

P.S. Stay tuned for a dining room inspiration board...


Thrifty Car Trick

>> 2.17.2010

I'd love to be able to say that my natural thrifty instincts always lead me to the best possible deals... but the truth is that I'm always getting a little help along the way. When I can, I take note of other great thrifty ideas and file them away (in my brain's file cabinet) for the future. This weekend, while celebrating the marathon over a slice of The Cake, a friend of mine let me in on a little car buying tip I thought was worth sharing on the blog...

During a recession, buy your new car from a dealership in a hard hit area.

My friend Katie actually saved thousands by buying her car from a dealership in the NE and having it shipped down to Texas. From what I understand, the other dealership was able to knock almost $10,000 off of the local prices on the car that Katie wanted. She was able to do all the research and test driving in Texas and make purchase via phone and internet. The shipping costs aren't cheap at over $1,000, but the savings easily covered those costs.

Katie's dad got in on the savings act by actually flying out to Chicago to pick up his thrifty car purchase and making a fun road trip out of driving the car back home. That reminded me of when my grandfather scored a free trip to Sweden and nice little discount on his Volvo by doing this.

Interesting idea, right? Have you ever gone the distance for a car or other big purchase?


I dib it!

>> 2.15.2010

Yes, I know how to spell! Read on for more about the "dib" in my title...

I'M A MARATHONER! Before I elaborate on the details of the day, I want to thank you all for the supportive words you offered in my 26.2 reasons post. I was soooo nervous on race morning and rereading all of your comments helped more than you'll ever know!

Here we are before the big race. Waking up at 4:45 has never been so easy!

That's me at mile 16. I couldn't believe there were ten miles remaining!
On a side note, how lucky were we to have such beautiful weather?

Nate kicking butt at mile 11.

Okay, so now you believe that we were both running. Here's a little recap of how my race went:
Mile 1-8
I was feeling great and right on pace. I chatted it up with a few runners nearby and could talk with ease.

Mile 8
This is where my stomach began feeling queasy. I've run this distance hundreds of times, so it didn't make sense for me to be having issues here. I think I might have been over-hydrating at the aid stations.

Mile 8-11
Did I mention that Austin has a bit of a hilly course?

Mile 14
This is where the big problems started. I felt like I could lose my dinner at any moment and watched my pace group fly right by me. I like to call this the beginning of my ten mile "wall."

Mile 16
I realized that I had 10 miles to go. TEN MILES??

Mile 18
My pace had slowed by at least a minute per mile, but I no longer focused on what kind of pace I was making. I just wanted to finish that thing!

Mile 21
My dad met up with me on the course to help me pull through to the finish. I don't know what I would have done without him. He reminded me to stand straight, relax my shoulders, and make light steps to loosen my legs.

Mile 24
Mile 24!! Now the finish line was really within my reach. I was going to make it!!

Mile 26.2
Seeing that finish line was the best feeling ever. Running it wasn't the most fun I've had in my life, but I accomplished my big goal and ran the entire 26.2 without stopping!

This is me pretending to be happy after the finish. Trust me, there was some dry heaving a couple of minutes later. Oh, that was TMI... sorry!

How was Nate doing after the race? He was as sore as you might expect, but in an overall good mood because he ran a strong race...
...but with the combo of short running shorts and warming blanket, looked like he was walking around without pants :).

What is a marathon without the loot? All finishers received a medal, technical finisher's shirt, and sporty backpack:
I just love all of the heart details... this might be too cute to make the tree!

Oh, and about that "dib..."
The shirt, backpack, and medal are great and all, but my favorite thing of the day literally took the cake! Rember my little mention of the DQ Blizzard cake pig-out fest I planned for after the marathon (see #23)? When my mom went to go get the cake, she explained to the Dairy Queen staff that I was running a marathon that weekend and she wanted a special cake to give to me for the occasion. My mom requested "congratulations" on the cake, but the staff said that the cake was too small to fit a word that large. "You did it!" was the next thing that popped into my mom's head. She wrote it down on a piece of paper after she realized that the employee didn't quite get the message. Ten minutes later, the employee returned excited with a special cake for the marathoner...
My mom felt bad for the employee so didn't correct her on her mistakes (1 for 3 isn't that bad, is it?).

Does it get better than a marathon and a Cake Wreck in the same day?! How did your first marathon go?

P.S. All ten toenails are doing great! I'd call that a victory in itself, right?
P.P.S. For you runners out there, I ran a 4:15 and Nate ran a 3:35.



>> 2.12.2010

This Sunday is a big day for me... big enough so that the thoughts of romantic dinners and  heart shaped boxes of chocolates have been put to the back of my mind. Sunday is a new holiday in my house. It's Marathon Day. For the first time, I'll attempt to run 26.2 consecutive miles with the hopes of earning a shiny new finisher's medal and the title of marathoner.

As you know, I'm careful with my cash... so why would I shell out $125 for this race?

1. A little Valentine's theme: Nate (jokingly) said that I had to run it in honor of our love... there might be a little V-day tension at home if I decide to quit early ;).

2. I'll have someone waiting for me at the end... Did I mention that Nate would be running as well?

3. People will be watching. Spectators, friends, and family will all have their eyes on me. How lame would it be if I just sat down?

4. I've trained for this. The long runs and sore muscles were preparing me for this. My body is ready.

5. It's going to be fun. A friend of mine said, "the training was the hard part, but this is the celebration!" I think it's a great mindset to have going into Sunday with.

6. So I can cross it off of the list. I don't know if I'll be the grandma that runs marathons, but at least I'll be the one who tells stories about them.

7. To impress myself. For some reason I have always looked up to runners, but running was always for someone else... someone fit, someone athletic, someone with good hair (strange stereotype, I know) and a toned stomach. I don't think I have ever been as proud of myself as I was the day I ran 5 miles without stopping. Now, 35 pounds and seven years later, I'm realizing that I am the person that I was so impressed with before and I'm going to run 26.2 without stopping.

8. To win. Okay, I'll admit it... there are a couple of people I'm racing. We're not technically going head-to-head or anything, but I reeeally want to beat them (and no, they don't know that I'm "racing" against them...).

9. For the cheers. Hey, I like attention. Thankfully, I get to wear "Kasey!" across my shirt.

10. Guilt-free face stuffing! AKA: I'm going to eat A LOT of food afterwards.

11. So that I can collect a few more good stories. Monumental, funny, or frustrating... there's always something worth retelling.

12. To raise awareness. Our marathon actually partners with 26 different local charities.

13. For the well-deserved break. I'm excited to start devoting more time to the house and less to long weekend runs.  

14. For the street cred.

15. For the community. There should be a lot of energy in the group of 14,000!

16. Did I mention the face stuffing? Food NEVER  tastes as good as it does after a hard, long run!

17. For the bumper sticker.

18. The finisher's shirt. I'm not usually one to get excited about a race shirt, but this one will say, "marathon" on it!

19. To not embarrass myself in front of you guys! I can't come back Monday having not finished.

20. It saved me on gym fees. With all of the running on my to-do list, I didn't need a gym membership to keep in shape.

21. So that I can put all of my expensive gear to use. ($100 shoes, $50 pants, $15 socks, $30 sports bra, $20 mittens...)

22. To be in that 0.1% who see the finish line.

23. There might be a DQ Blizzard ice cream cake waiting for me at home... (see #16 & 10)

24. It brought us closer (see #1 & 2).

25. I love being a runner. I can't wait to be a marathoner.

26. Because there are people who can't.

26.2 Because there will be a day that I can't.

Wish me luck!!


Full Frontal

>> 2.11.2010

Because everyone(okay, just a couple of people) seemed interested in seeing a wide shot of the art above my IKEA Expedit shelves, here's the full frontal. The art is actually a framed museum poster from that I picked up from a thrift store ($100) a few years back. It's very large... so large it wouldn't fit in my Crossover SUV after I bought it! I had to call in a favor and have a friend drive across town with his truck in order to take it home.

I feel like this is one area in my house that is completely to my taste. I love the simple black and white of the bookshelf mixed with the global feel of the artwork. I'll probably use the colors in the print to direct most of the choices in my open living room. The walls are a very light shade of grey and the rug is yellow-based. I'm thinking of painting the entry table a dark blue a and using teal for the window treatments. Black and white accents will probably be everywhere from the art to the fabric for the dining chairs. Hmm, maybe a moodboard is in order...

Do you have a piece of furniture, art, or textile that inspired the decorating scheme of your home? How do you decide on a color palette?

PS Bad winter weather strikes again! I'm sorry, but this was the best image I could get with all of the clouds :(.


Thrifty and Free Valentine's Day

>> 2.10.2010

Although many might hate Valentine's Day, I think it's a fun little break from the cold weather of winter. As fun as it is, it's still not worth shelling out the big bucks for! I skip out on the fancy dinners and new jewelry... but never on the love.

With a few household supplies and about 45 minutes, I was all set to treat my guy to a Valentine's full of big gestures, yummy sweets, cute surprises, and sentimental keepsakes.

*I'm so sorry about the photo quality. Don't you hate this cloudy winter weather?!

1. The big gesture... because they aren't always so great at noticing the small things.
Can you tell I've had that Sharpie for ages? The Post-Its were freebies from a local race sponsored by 3M. When else will I use heart-shaped notes?
When he comes home, Nate will find a sweet note on the door...

...and giant gesture on the wall!

2. The sweets... because guys speak chocolate.
Shhh... don't tell that these were 70% off Christmas Kisses! (Don't worry, I'll take care of the green ones.)
Nate really gets a kick out of finding these. I've hidden them in his lunches, on the computer, and slipped them in his hand while we're watching T.V.

3. The cute surprise... because who expects Valentines in the shower?
After removing the labels, all it takes is a little Sharpie action.
Hopefully he'll pick up the bottle so that he notices!

4. The sentimental keepsake... because it's something we'll both enjoy.
Don't we all have empty photo albums lying around (if not, find one at a thrift store)?
I signed up for a CVS account and printed 50 of our favorite pictures from the past year for free! *No, I don't have a clue as to why Nate wore sunglasses underwater.

How do you celebrate a thrifty or free Valentine's Day?

I'm linking up with Penny Pinching Party over at The Thrifty Home. Come join in on the fun!


Award Love

>> 2.09.2010

Two awards in two days?! I'd like to thank the lovely ladies at Delightful Dwelling and Chic Little House for the Kreativ and Happy 101 Awards. As part of the awards, I'm supposed to list 5 things about myself, 10 things that make me happy, and link up to others. Well, after doing a random fact posts here and here, I can't imagine what else you might want to know about me, but I do have some great blog love to give out*:

1. Whims and Inconsistencies~ Why doesn't my blog look this good? I'm still jealous about the camera!
2. Hiphousegirl's Blog~ She is hip... I'm really excited to watch how her house evolves.
3. Welcome to my humble ablog!~ I love their unique style. Check out the living room wall treatment.
4. Kelly Hicks Design Blog~ Click on her design and home tags for loads of inspiration and free printables.
5. Serenity Now~ I love her Decorating Dilemmas Party (another one is coming up tomorrow).
6. Little House on the Corner~ Seriously, I can't get enough of first-time home blogs like this one.
7. Life at the Chateau Whitman~ A house blog with can't miss photography tips!
8. Lizzie in Progress~ The girl never fails to crack me up!
9. Our Condo Space~ Looking at her reno pictures gave me flashbacks!
10. One Grand Home~ I swear she could have done an entire blog on cheap headboard ideas.
11. See Jane Get Rich~ A personal finance blog and law school... I can't believe she does it all!
12. 20Something Knowitall~ Her version of a diy headboard is too cute!
13. Goodbye Dallas Hello World~ I felt so boring after reading her 100 before 100... this girl has adventure in her blood!
14. Donkee House~ Don't you want to check it out based off the name alone? Thought so.
15. If You Ask Me~ She finished week 5 of 365. Rock on!
16. The Brick Cottage~ Her house is going to be on TV... TV!

Upset I'm not participating in the random fact portion of the awards? I started a Formspring account so that any randomness that needs to happen will!

Oh, and while we're on the topic of link love, I'm patiently waiting to reach 100 followers, 200 posts, or 300 subscribers (whichever comes first) to celebrate with another open blogroll post like I did here. Stay on the lookout so that you can link up!

*I tried to add people who didn't just get these awards or receive awards from me in the past. I wish I could create a list of all 157 blogs I subscribe to! EDIT:  I'm really bad at giving out awards and have doubled up on several people who just got them... oh well!


How do you gift card?

>> 2.08.2010

As I mentioned last week, a $50 L.L. Bean gift card was among the losses I took when my car was broken into… or so I thought! As it turns out, the card my grandfather gifted me for Christmas was in my room all along (sorry thieves, no sweaters or monogrammed luggage for you!). Seeing as things can disappear so quickly, I figured now would be as good of time as any to use that sucker up.

When I receive a gift card there are usually a few things that I think about before taking the plunge on a purchase:

*Is it on the “Looking For” list? If I’m planning on purchasing something anyways, why not use someone else’s money?
As sad as it is, the only warm winter jacket I have is from high school.

With all the time we spend outside, a cooler has become a big necessity! Plus, at this price, I have enough extra to do a monogram!

*Am I making up reasons to buy this? With the funds in my hand, it’s easy to convince myself that I need certain things. Sometimes I don’t really have anything that I could use from the store in question. At that point, it’s probably better to either wait for new merchandise to come in or trade the card in for a store that I’m more likely to find something at.
As great as it would be to have a Camelback, I don't know if I would buy it so that I could use it on a hike or if I would be going on a long hike just to use it...

*Should I save it for a rainy day? When it comes to retail or restaurant cards, it’s nice to have a little fun money laying around for the times I’m on a spending freeze. A negative to doing this is that you might never end up using that manicure gift certificate (d’oh!).

*Could I go to another store for less? Even with free money, I wouldn’t buy sheets from Macy’s if I knew that Marshalls had the same quality for half the price.
I'm in the market for a cute umbrella... but I could do better than $23.

*Am I spending money that I wouldn’t have otherwise? Isn’t it funny how you start out with a gift, but end up using money out of your own pocket?
These weatherproof flats would make rainy days so much more fun, but would cost me an additional $20 plus shipping.

*How can I stretch the funds? Usually, I’m all about using my card along with any sale or promotion that a company offers. Three shirts for the price of one… count me in!
Under $20 for a cute swim cover-up... so tempting!

I know, I over think shopping sometimes… but it usually helps me make the most out of my money! How do you gift card: are you a splurger (J.Crew card for cashmere mittens) or practical spender (Visa gift cards on groceries)? P.S. What do you think I should buy?


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