columbus day sparks creativity

The school I attended for undergrad never had Columbus Day off. However, I’m lucky enough to work at a college that does close for this joke of a holiday, and I was determined to be productive. Laundry? Check. Reading for the week? Check (almost). Cleaning my room? Check.

Bought new shoes as per my strict October budget guidelines? Check. They weren’t the ones I went into DSW for, but I like these a lot better. In person, the shoes I looked at online seemed a little chintzy, and I wanted a pair that would last awhile. I got these instead, and my old squeakers are already in the garbage. They were a little more expensive, but tax-free and my roommate gave me one of her extra coupons, so they clocked in at $45, not too bad at all. They’re less loafer and more ballet flat than the pair I replaced, but I think they’re versatile enough that it won’t make a difference. Plus, they’re Liz Claiborne so they’ll perfectly match my schoolbag, sweet!

Cute, right?

So after this productive morning/early afternoon I was left to my own devices, which is always a little bit dangerous. I’d already painted my nails, and as it was the middle of the afternoon, unless I wanted to watch the rest of the Columbus Day Parade, I could either nap or waste some time on the internet. I found out the the National Novel Writing Month website was re-launching today to prepare for this year’s NaNoWriMo, and well, there goes my day.  If you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo, it’s a challenge where you write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Quality? Who cares! It’s about quantity.

I participated and finished in 2006, then participated and came up short in 2008. I’ve had an idea rumbling in my head for about a year now, but I never sat down to write it up. Probably because I’m busy working full time, going to school, and attempting to give my family and friends the attention they deserve. Plus, I find it hard to sit and write out even a synopsis with the world of distractions that my neighborhood has to offer.

So why the heck did I decide that I was going to try to participate this year?

Apparently busy people have the easiest time finding moments in their schedule to get things done (or so I’ve heard). I have an idea, so why not try? I’m not big on sharing my fiction writings with anyone, so don’t expect any excerpts (or even a synopsis, for that matter). For that, y’all can breathe a sigh of relief.

This all comes back to fashion, I promise. I already decided that I might invest in a pair of fingerless gloves for my office, since it’s always freezing. Not big knit mittens, but rather some nice, form-fitting ones that won’t feel bulky. Not only will that help keep my hands warm at work (there is only so much area a pashmina can cover), but it’ll help me get into the starving writer groove, right? So now I need to add that to my October budget…I’m quickly kissing my new winter coat goodbye, at least until November.

Sidenote: I plan on rewarding myself handsomely if I somehow finish this mad attempt at novelry. I’m thinking…clothes. From a special “congratulations, self” fund rather than my budget. I think that would sweeten the deal quite a bit. Any thoughts on what I could buy?

Sidenote 2: The fingerless glove thing to help me write isn’t my own idea, it’s pretty common on the NaNoWriMo website. Unlike Columbus, I refuse to lay claim to something that another person already said/did/bought/mentioned/discovered.

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october = my “must-have” month

I felt incredibly accomplished as the clock ticked toward midnight on September 30th. I went the entire month (after my Labor Day spending spree) without buying a single article of clothing. I didn’t open the sale emails delivered to my inbox each day. With the exception of perusing the Uniqlo pop-up store near my office, I didn’t even window shop. Yes, I nearly caught up with my Vogue back issues and found about ten thousand things I want that I can’t afford, but still. I set up a clothing budget for myself and stuck to it.  It felt pretty damn good.

That being said, now that it’s October, I have a new month and a new budget to work with. I decided to set aside this month’s budget for things that I really need. While it was nice buying another cross-body bag and pair of leopard flats last month, I didn’t need them.

Sidenote: I know, I know, when it comes to fashion, you don’t really need anything besides enough clothes to keep you warm or cool or to cover up your indecent parts or to get you through the week between visits to the laundromat. You certainly don’t need fancy clothes or multiple turtlenecks, etc.

So when I say “need”, I mean that I need to replace particular items I already own, but that have seen better days. With one exception, the items I plan on purchasing this month with my budget are going to directly replace things I already own (that will be discarded). My budget to work with this month is $150. We’ll see how that goes!

  1. Black flats. My woes about my squeaky black shoes have already been well documented. They had a good life, but they need to be retired. I’m eyeing these Rocket Dog flats, they’re corduroy but look nice enough to wear to work. Plus, I’ve heard good things about Rocket Dog, in terms of their longevity and comfort. I love living near Atlantic Terminal, where I can just swing by DSW on my way home from work.
  2. Skinny dress pants. This isn’t a direct replacement, per se, but as I’ve started to wear sweaters to work (hello, Autumn!), I realized that the whole flared dress pants with long sweater thing just isn’t working. So for the good of my closet and to maximize the clothes I already have, I feel like a pair of skinny dress pants (grey ones) are necessary.  And they’re cheap, so I don’t feel too badly about buying a pair (or two).

    Hello, skinny dress pants.

  3. If I still have room in my budget, I’m going to spring for a new winter coat from Uniqlo. Their down jackets this year are really lightweight, and you can actually fold them up, stick them in the included pouch, and throw them in your handbag. I’m hesitant because it’s so lightweight, but my winter jacket right now is really bulky and I’d like to phase it out.

Sidenote 2: I’m also buying a baseball glove. Because I’m a lefty, and that means that whenever someone says “lets go throw the ball around, I have extra gloves”, they don’t have one for me. That’s fine, it just gives me an excuse to buy one of my own. And then I can put it under my mattress to break it in! Plus, I have a coupon for Modell’s, and part of the money I spend gets donated back to the Prospect Park Alliance, so I’m really just doing it for charity’s sake.