Paper Buzz

Over the course of getting married, I became absolutely enthralled with paper.

I started frequenting a place in Raleigh called “If it’s Paper,” and I became absolutely enchanted with all of the products they had on the shelves.

They had beautiful cards, beautiful envelopes, pads of paper for lists, blank card stock for you to print on, recycled envelopes…you get it.  My desk at work is full of Le Pens (the felt-tipped pens that don’t smear) and cute pads.  The thought of being the envy of folks while I’m at a meeting makes me cackle.

So when I was at my parents’ in Charlotte, I dragged my mom to the paper store, Paper Source to pick up some pens for a guest book that we needed them for later that day.  If If it’s Paper was special, this place was even more so, in the way that featured workshops – and I found a papercrafters holy grail – an L-Press Letterpress machine.

My mom indulged me because she’s into things equally as corny as I am – she is an avid knitter, and has gotten so skilled, that she hooks it up with not only with the hats and gloves, she’s made clothing, blankets, and toys for kids in need.

On the way to my parents’ we hit the Wells Fargo towers, and scooped up my dad for lunch.

“We went to the paper store!”

Papa Cheri sort of laughed, realized I was serious about my excitement, and then goes,

“What is this obsession with paper?!”

He’s right, I’m a little obsessed, but really pumped to learn more about it, acquire a little letterpress for me to start pressing some projects, and to eventually open a little Etsy store.

But now the question is, now that I’m starting to legitimately get into weird-type hobbies, how the heck am I going to find time to do everything?  Because as of right now I’m obsessed with:

  • Reading my Kindle.
  • Running/Working out
  • Blogging
  • Paper
  • Making our new house presentable for my parents when they come for Thanksgiving

I really need to come up with a plan so that I can thoroughly enjoy these hobbies without  losing lots and lots of sleep.

What are your hobbies?  How do you manage your time? 

Clark Howard, I’ll let you do your job, let me do mine.

During yesterday’s snow day debacle, where I literally spent the entire day inside, blogging, doing laundry, and cleaning.  I did not do any running, and for that, I feel extremely guilty.  [addendum to this post] I finally couldn’t take it anymore, and Austin and I put on our winter finest, and shuffle-ran to to local coffee joint, grabbed a cup, and shuffle-ran back.  My feet are very cold!

But anyhoo, when I was working on the blog and doing my usual scan of Facebook/Twtiter/Bloglovin, I came across this gem by Clark Howard.  Clark Howard, if you’re not familiar, is the resident financial guru on HLN, and he offers tips and tricks to “Save More, Spend Less, and Avoid Rip-Offs,” which I’m all game for.

imgres – Clark Howard

Seriously, as I moved toward getting married and merging finances with another human, I’m working to get better with my finances, as Austin is seriously amazing with money, and I’ve learned a lot from him. So I try not to spend money on stupidity, but I was blown away when I came across this article, that was credited to things Clark Howard had said.

The main premise of the article? 

Cheapo sneakers are actually better for runners.

No, no, no-no, no no no no no.  Absolutely not.  The article credits a Scottish study that somehow concluded that less-expensive shoes are just as good as low cost one.

Full disclosure here.  I work for Fleet Feet, and I am biased, however, having run in both $25 shoes and $150 shoes, there is really no comparison.  You pay more, your feet feel better.

I consider myself something of specialist when it comes to running shoes (since it’s my job) and I’ve said it once, and I will absolutely say it again.  Go to a specialty shoe store, like a Fleet Feet or a Pacers, get a fitting, and pay the full price for your running shoes.  If you’re running, there’s no reason you should be pounding around on shoes you found in a Payless.

And now, I present to you a list of stuff you don’t need to be skimping on!

  1. Your bras.  Sports bras or not, you don’t want to be turning into a floppy mess by the time you’re 25.  Spend the money on something good and supportive, and you won’t regret it.
  2. Your jeans.  I’ve purchased jeans from Target, and they smell like mothballs.  I’ve purchased designer jeans from a consignment store.  Designer digs > Target jeans.
  3. Your vacuum.  If you buy it cheap and your ish is gonna break in 6 months anyways, spend the extra bucks and enjoy your vacuum for years to come.  I have an Oreck XL that’s like a million years old.  I don’t remember how much it cost when it was first purchased, but it’s still going strong.
  4. Your food.  Now let me clear, you can certainly afford healthy foods on the cheap.  Heads of lettuce, fruits, and juices can be purchased for cheap.  But don’t run out to some bargain place and sweep the bottom shelves for Ramen.  You’re doing your body no favors.
  5. Obviously, your running shoes.  Unless you like bunions and bone spurs.  But that’s completely up to you.

So what are you willing to spend your hard-earned money on?  

It’s getting cold in the Carolinas.

And it’s horrible.  I’m horribly cold-blooded, and yesterday, it wasn’t cold enough for me not to run.  So I suited up before work, and did a quick few miles.

At some point, between 9 and 5, the temperature absolutely plummeted from kinda cold, to I-want-to-cry cold.  It kinda started sleeting, everyone in the area started driving like idiots, and I had never been more grateful for my short 10-minute commute.

I’d planned, before work, to go to the Zumba class of a ZES, a Zumbalebrity, charged with the task of licensing us teachers.  I’d never taken class with her, as I was licensed by the fabulous and now-retired Koh Herlong, but it was time.  I’ve seen her on the DVDs and on the video game, and it was time to see what she was all about.

But it was cold. And sleeting.  And I made the mistake of lying on the nap couch in my living room with Shahs of Sunset lulling me to sleep in the background. 

I woke up with a cat staring at me, and about 30 minutes until class started.  I asked myself a few questions.

  • Did you tell someone you’d meet them at class? (Yep, one of my students was meeting me with a pass to enter the gorgeous Lifetime Family Fitness, and I hate for people to regard me as a flake.
  • Did I feel physically capable of going?  (Yes.  I’d only run like two miles that morning, and I felt more than capable of dancing for an hour without hurting myself.)
  • Did I mentally feel like going? (Not really.  It was cold out.  And it was dark.  But if I didn’t go, I’d probably feel really bad, especially since I had no real reason to be playing hooky from the class.)

But I peeled myself off the couch, and I went.  And boy, am I glad I went.  Loretta is beautiful.  And not only was she beautiful, she’s not an education specialist for nothing.  Geez, this woman could teach her butt off, and she shared the stage with a few long-time students and teachers that she plucked from the crowd.



I’d be lying if I said working out has been easy since I started working in an office full-time.  It has been a constant struggle.  When I worked full-time at Fleet Feet, I didn’t generally have to be in until 9:45, and I was usually gone by 7:30.  I was surrounded by like-minded folks, who really put an emphasis on their health.  Now that I’ve entered the land of the office workers, not so much.  I’m largely alone in the fight to stay active, and it makes it hard to stay motivated.  Thankfully, I still work at the gym, and at the running store here and there, and it’s just enough to keep me motivated to keep doing what I’m doing.

As the holidays draw near, and everyone in the office starts bringing their holiday best, as far as meals go, the struggle to stay sexy is so real, but I am daily recommitting myself to not become some of the millions who become grownups….and gain 40 pounds.  But dang, it’s hard!

Don’t do this annoying thing. Please?

I cannot stress enough the importance of going to a running specialty store and getting a proper shoe fitting.  You may think you’re getting some kind of steal online or at Dick’s, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for, or if you’re buying a model that’s three cycles old and already breaking down, you’ve kind of screwed yourself.  If you’re getting a pair of sneaks for like $54, you might be making a mistake.  Not you might, let me stop with this passive language.  Something isn’t right.

Okay so anyways, I love working in running retail.  It’s exciting.  The technology is always changing.  It’s interesting.  And working around all those runners is truly inspiring.  They’re cool peoples.

But contrary to what a lot of people thought, we don’t make commission selling running shoes.  And we like it like that.  It keeps our motivations clean and honest.  But there was one thing that was so annoying, I could rip my own hair out. 

Let me make this clear.  We never minded if you went through the process to get a fitting and decided you weren’t ready to buy anything.  That’s fine, and that’s what the whole process of “shopping” is about.  Go home, think about it, maybe read up on it, and decide if that’s what you want to do.

But when folks would come in, get fitted, and tell us, usually at the end of the process, that they were going to go see if they could find the shoe online cheaper, and snap a iPhone pic of the box, complete with the name of the shoe and style number? My blood would boil.

Why this is Problematic

  • I understand everyone is looking for a deal.  I get it.   I have student loans, and I have to limit my fancy times to stay afloat.  But this isn’t Best Buy, and you’re not going to really find the exact same model any cheaper.  You might find an older model, and that’s not gonna be the same as the shoe you tried on.
  • You’re not paying taxes in some states (well not up until recently).  Sorta shady.
  • We just provided you a service, and you took the service elsewhere.  That kinda sucks.  Would you like it if I did that to you?
  • It’s just kinda not nice.

If you’re at the place where you feel like you need to do this, do a few things.  Be upfront with the person helping you, and understand, that there’s probably no way you will find the same model for cheaper.

Quick Example and I’ll let you go. 

The Brooks Glycerin 11 retails for $150.  In-store, and on Zappos.


What you will find online for cheaper?

Glycerin 10

The Brooks Glycerin 10, which is pretty different.  It was heavier, and it still had the plastic piece in the middle, which is called the midfoot shank.  If you were to try the 11 on in the store and purchase the 10, you’d be pissed.

Anyhoo, just be NICE and don’t do that annoying thing, okay?