What’s On My Mindgrapes

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Window shopping for the cubicle-confined

These days, I’m rarely actually shopping, except for the weekly trip to my local discount supermarket or Trader Joe’s. And clothes shopping is limited to the clearance section of already inexpensive stores like H&M or Target. Sure there’s a financial crisis going on, but I’ve been living in one of those since I left college. It’s called the Real World.

But don’t worry, I’m doing ok. My fridge is stocked with wine, cheese, and the occasional vegetable. I can go out and have fun, but am always on the lookout for student discounts (thanks to my University ID sans graduation date!) I’m becoming more mindful of where my money goes, which can be rewarding at times, and other times cause stress on top of the existing stress. Which is stressful.

I’ve never been one for online shopping. I like to buy my books at physical bookstores; I live pretty close to the Mall of America and seem to have an unusually high tolerance for shopping there. I usually do my holiday gift shopping for my family all in one day because I love the feeling of entering my warm, cozy house with several shopping bags, basking in the glory of my purchases, then wrapping presents in the glow of the fireplace while holiday music fills the house. Would you expect anything less cheesy from me?

This year, I’m going to give online shopping a try. I’ve been making a list and bookmarking ideas for my family and friends, which will hopefully save me lots of time in the months ahead. I won’t reveal any specifics here, but I will share some of my favorite non-food, gift-centric websites. They’re excellent for browsing during lulls at work.

Etsy is my favorite site at the moment. It’s philosophy is simple: Your place to buy and sell all things handmade. You can browse over 170,00 shops, run by the artists themselves. They have tons of jewelry, ceramics, glassware, clothes, and lots of other things I didn’t even know you could hand-make. I’m not crafty at all, but I’m fascinated by the creativity and thought that goes into the products on Etsy. They make it easy to spend hours on their site by enabling customers to search by item, category, materials used, location, or color. My favorite way to browse is Pounce, where you can view the latest items sold or listed.

If this all seems overwhelming, check out my favorite shops I’ve found so far:

Michelle Brusegaard
The Broken Plate Pendant Company
DomestiKate
Erica Weiner Jewelry
Roxie Speth
 (and her mom’s new book is available!)

Other sites with interesting gifts (and some with green gifts!)

Pop Deluxe
Uncommon Goods
Pretty Good Goods
Great Green Goods

Roxie's lovely mugs

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2 Responses to “Window shopping for the cubicle-confined”

  1. October 16th, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    JAG Ultra says:

    No date on student ID’s was the best decision the University of Iowa ever made. If only I had a nickel for every time that ID saved me money… Oh wait, I do.

  2. October 28th, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Roxie says:

    Thanks for the plug! I definitely need to spend some quality time thinking of gifts (and surfing the interweb) so they’re up to par with past presents.

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