First thing’s first: I recommend that you head over to a fellow FitFluential Ambassador Christine’s blog, Oatmeal in my Bowl, to check out her Oatmeal Toppings feature! It’s a great link round-up of topics like fitness, food/cooking, outdoors, and challenges. A great way to find new blogs, recipes, and routines. And I may be a bit biased, because she featured my Hotel Room Workout!
Image courtesy of oatmealinmybowl.com
Also, please head over to the lovely Katie’s blog to check out her recap of the Sunday Cafes do Brasil Week Press Brunch at Bistro Cassis! My brunch was on a Saturday at Casa Restaurant, so Katie’s recap will show you a new Brazilian coffee experience in NYC. Cafes do Brasil Week may be over, but that’s no reason you can’t learn more about the coffee and try it for yourself!
Now, let’s get to it. Happy Cyber Monday! Anyone out there doing some heavy-duty online shopping today? I would, but I had enough fun and spent enough money on Black Friday to account for several shopping trips, so I’m going to try to hold back on checking websites for deals. Try.
Does anyone else LOVE Black Friday? For me, it signals the official beginning of the holiday season. As I browsed racks of clothes and displays of accessories this past Friday, the Christmas music in every store really got me into the spirit. So did picking out gifts for friends and family! Well, a friend and a family member. I can’t lie, my Black Friday shopping is usually more about getting great deals on stuff for me than gifts for others. It’s not that I’m selfish – it’s just that most of the gifts I plan to get people don’t end up being part of the Black Friday deals!
Thanksgiving morning tradition
After finishing up a spin class on Thanksgiving morning, I grabbed a nonfat cafe au lait at Whole Foods and headed home to spend time doing an activity that I probably enjoy more than the Thanksgiving meal itself: browsing circulars and making a plan of attack while watching the Macy’s parade. I had my eyes set on a new camera, and luckily the very one I wanted was on sale at about 8 different places, and all for the exact same price! The pressure was off for my big purchase, leaving Hannah and I plenty of time to devote to shopping for fun stuff like clothes, accessories, and shoes. We decided to hit Kohl’s first, then the mall.
Hannah with her 2nd cup of Dunkin after we left Kohl's.
Usually my Nana Connie joins us for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. In fact, for as long as I can remember she has been up at the crack of dawn, before Hannah and I, ready to get going on finding those deals. When my Granddad was alive, he used to come with us too. There has been only one Black Friday other than this one that Nana C didn’t join us, and Hannah and I really missed her this year. She had to work, but I know she was with us in spirit as we hunted down those bargains. We owe our Black Friday addiction to her!
Nonfat cafe au lait with cinnamon.
I selected the Nordstrom’s cafe for my cup of coffee, but held off awhile before having it. I was still feeling pretty nauseous from the evening before. We hunted down some fabulous deals! Hannah didn’t really think they were that great, but I was very satisfied with my day’s purchases.
This year's loot.
Last year’s pile looked way more impressive, but it was also a combination of not just my stuff, but Hannah’s and Nana Connie’s.
You probably saw the Trader Joe’s bag creepin in this year’s photo. Of course – I was right nearby, how could I NOT make a stop? I went in to stock up on my favorite veggie chips, but ended up leaving with a bunch of goodies!
Lentil chips, veggie chips, and everything pretzel slims.
All of the above three carbalicious snacks have crazy large serving sizes, something which I am all about.
Roasted peppers for salads, horseradish hummus, dill pickles, and egg white salad.
I’ve seen the egg white salad on Monica’s blog before, but couldn’t remember whether or not she liked it. I guess I’ll find out if I do! I’ve already been devouring the pickles and peppers in my salads.
I’ve been dying to show you my favorite purchase of the entire day:
Wait…I didn't buy this. That's a joke.
KIDDING. No, that prize has to go to my new camera from Best Buy. I was correct to not be worried about finding it later on in the day. I didn’t arrive until about 1, and there were still plenty left. For $20 more, I also got a bundle with a case, memory card, and cute mini tripod!
Forever 21 wasn’t having any sales, but their prices are usually fine by me anyway, especially their cheap accessories.
Ann Taylor Loft had 50% off of every single item in the store, so I got two shirts, and the Icing‘s buy one, get one 50% off earring promo and my tendency to think of multi-packs as a good value led to me being fairly stocked on earrings for about the next ten years.
Kohl’s completely surprised and impressed me with the Lauren Conrad collection. So much cute stuff! And I’m clearly obsessed with pleats. I love how everything this season is so delicate-looking.
My old high-school standby Hollister was selling everything at 40% off, even sale stuff! So I naturally headed straight for the clearance rack, but I did spring for a full-price (before the 40%) pair of corduroy jeggings as well.
Because I really need more yoga pants, or a skirt in the winter.
Another part of my family’s Black Friday tradition is the lunch we have each year with my dad. He doesn’t shop, just meets us for the food! This year we went somewhere I haven’t been in too long, Ruby Tuesday’s. I love it there, and I was also really craving their salad bar and veggie sides after my indulgent evening.
Garlic cheddar cheese biscuits!
I devoured a biscuit when they were placed in front of us, because at that point my nauseousness had subsided and I was starved.
Good thing I didn’t have to wait long to put in my order for the salad bar and help myself! I always ask for a side of pickles and a side of salsa to dump on my salads at Ruby’s as well. Does anyone else think their croutons are the best thing in the world? I’ve never been able to find better ones!
Grilled asparagus, grilled zucchini, and roasted spaghetti squash.
I got the Veggie Trio combo deal and chose the above items as my three sides to go with the salad bar. Ruby’s has so many sides options. I absolutely love it! How many restaurants offer spaghetti squash?! I’ve only seen it at Ruby’s and Bonefish.
My gym session later that day was less than stellar (easy elliptical), but it still made me feel better because I sweated out some of that wine, went home, showered, and got cozy.
Oh, and before heading home, I treated myself to one last Black Friday tradition: a manicure! More specifically, a polish change. As you can see, I was in desperate need.
OPI "I Brake for Manicures"
What was your best Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday purchase ever?