Sunday, February 1, 2009

Key Learnings, sales and my Chicagoversery

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! This weekend the "other" man in my life, dad, came for a visit and between that, Friday happy hour and a birthday party, I am ready for some quiet next weekend. Oh yeah, that's a week away, but it's never too early to plan ahead.

So take a break from the commercials and let's enjoy some key learnings.

Key Learnings:
  • Plaid pants are never a good idea for men or women. Ever
  • Just because you can wear a fanny pack, that doesn't mean you should
  • Lite beer still gives you beer gut the next day, and a wicked headache
  • Cracking lobster is messy and unladylike but oh so good in butter
  • If you get a good tax return, it feels like Christmas morning or your birthday
  • When parent's volunteer to pay for groceries, stock up and always take them up on it
  • If a dress is on sale from $190 to $18 but needs alterations, get it. You'll save money in the long run
  • Women go crazy for deep discounts on a Saturday (I was nearly trampled at one store)
  • Calories don't count on Super Bowl Sunday (or your birthday)
  • There is never enough staff at the Apple store to help you when you have a quick question
  • When a woman says your boobs look amazing and perky in a dress, you buy that dress, flattery helps making purchasing decisions easier
Sales, sales, sales!!
I know this sounds crazy, but one thing I am loving about the recession is the retail sales. Dad got super lucky at Brooks Brothers with 60 percent off regular prices and I hit the JACKPOT at Banana Republic. I love the Banana Republic winter sale, when they clearance out fall/winter merchandise up to 60 percent off, but this weekend they offered an additional 30 percent off sale price. I got two party dresses, a skirt and cashmere hoodie for $90. Each of those items individually was over $90 at ticket price.

Finally...a Chicagoversery
I cannot believe it, but Saturday was my Chicagoversery. Four years ago yesterday, my dad moved me down to Chicago to start a three month internship, neither of us knowing how it would turn out.

Before I moved here, I never wanted to live in Chicago. Dad and I would come down for the day to shop and see the lights on Michigan Avenue at Christmas, but the thought of living here never crossed my mind. But around my 25th birthday, I was in a professional limbo. I couldn't find work in Wisconsin and I was tired of temping and having unstable employment. I was also recently let go from a job I hated and wondering if my career field was right for me. I was even looking at going to law school or nursing school as a back up.

So after a talk with my dad, we decided I would give my career one more try and apply for internships in Chicago. Within two weeks my company called me for an interview and a month later we were looking for apartments in Chicago. And now...four years later, I'm still here. Three months turned into four years and I have to say, moving here was a huge chance but one that totally changed my life.

Living in the city has given me the confidence to make it as an adult, on my own, and be the independent person I knew I could be. Things haven't always been easy and there have been bumps along the way, but for now, Chicago is home and I miss it when I go away for too long.

Stay classy Chicago, I'm not ready to quit you just yet :)

Here's a picture of me about a month after I moved here. My look has definitely changed :)


How was everyone else's weekend? It was almost...warm in Chicago. Yes, it was a balmy 35 degrees.

32 comments:

Deb on the Rocks said...

Congratulations. That's a lot to celebrate! And you are absolutely correct, lobster is always right, and plaid pants and fanny packs are always, always, always wrong. No exceptions.

Blaez said...

as much as chicago is wonderful and full of culture, i admit that i won't be sticking around... its just not "right"...doesn't quite feel like home for me.

i love a good sale too! very awesome on your finds!!!

Mandy said...

Happy Chicagoversary Jess!! I am glad that you were able to take advantage of some great deals!! I did that too yesterday. Like you, I am loving this balmy 35 degree weather.

Yesterday I went to see my college friend and her 6 week old twin daughters -- they were absolutely adorable! I hope you have a great week!

LBluca77 said...

Congrats on the tax return and Chicagoversary.This year I get to owe on taxes, no fun but I was expecting it. I wonder if the state of California would mind if I just sent an IOU?

LJ said...

Awwww Chicago! I love the green river behind you in the pic!

jlc said...

Omg YES!! I just got a 12 dollar dress from Banana yesterday! Even blogged on it. Haha. I <33333 Banana.


And yeah it was 50 today! I thought it was soooo warm. Yeah for a break!!

Miss Merry said...

Happy Chicagoversary! I hope my move here proves as successful as yours!

Kate said...

Awww ... sometimes I miss the green water! Happy anniversary!

Melissa said...

Aww Happy Chicagoversary! And yes- the weather was quite beautiful this weekend! ;)

emmaelizabeth said...

You're pretty! and yay for the Chicagoversay! And heck yes to warmer weather. It was 37 in Southern MN on Saturday- tropical heat wave!

SarahBeth said...

Congrats on your Chicagoversary! Sounds like we had a similar weekend. I, too took advantage of the recession-induced sales and scored a jacket from Express that was marked down to $29 from an original $178! I also finished my tax return and made out well this year. Unfortunately, my visit to the Mac store was not as successful. I found out that my hard drive is fried and I will have to spend thousands if I want to retrieve the data. There goes the ol' tax refund! Happy Super Bowl!

Maki said...

Congrats on your anniversary. I'm sure Chicago is happy to have you too!!!

I am a big fan of your dad:) Everytime you talk about your father, it puts a smile on my face... I just love that you and your father have a great relationship!!!

bianca said...

I totally agree, calories don't count on superbowl sunday. I kept repeating that today as I ate..and ate...and ate.

Congrats on the anniversary! I always get happy when I know someone love Chicago as much as I do!

and her heart it is in ireland said...

yay for your chicagoversery!

i miss jcrew, those sales sound amazing! the sales in ireland are only ok right now, but spain had fabulous ones when i was there last week!

Lil' Woman said...

i love tax return time!! Happy tax day to me! :) Happy chicagoversary!

Classy in Philadelphia said...

Congrats! You're adorable in that picture!

A Super Girl said...

Happy Chicagoversary! And happy sale hunting...I think I need to go shopping here pretty soon!

Jamie said...

Happy Chicagoversary! I so hope you bought that dress. I am sure it is fabulous.

I wish my parents would offer to buy groceries...sigh.

Beave said...

Happy Chicagoversary! That is a day that should always be celebrated!

surviving myself said...

The Steelers won the Super Bowl, so my weekend was pretty damn good.

PunkyBean said...

First timer to your blog. I loved today's post and will be stopping in to read again! I love Chicago... Minneapolis is going to have to be my consolation prize!

Katelin said...

happy chicagoversary! and i totally agree on parents paying for groceries, you can never turn that one down :)

Megkathleen said...

Congrats on the Chicagoversary! And all the good deals!

The New Black said...

Calories, what are those?

lifeintheleftlane said...

Happy Chicagoversary! Isn't it funny how some things can impact your life in such a major way!

Lauren said...

I'm going to Banana Republic as soon as I get off work. Extra 30% off? Yes, please!

Miss Grace said...

Plaid skirts can be okay sometimes though.

Happy Chicagoversery!

From the title I couldn't quite tell what words we were combining: adversary, university, for some reason those both seemed like good options even though you would spell them differently...

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

i got some excellent sales this weekend too, i got a $125 dress for $20 - score!

also my three year cleveland anniversary is this week! i'm planning to write about it too.

chitowndebutante said...

we must have moved into the city on the same day!

Melissa said...

Congratulations! So glad you made your way here and that it's been a good experience for you. :)

Rebekah said...

Happy Chicagoversary and yay for Banana Republic sales!

Please don't judge me for my charcoal gray pants with just the tiniest navy blue plaid. They are lovely and they want you to love them. Plus, they fit, which gives them bonus points in my book.

Little Miss Obsessive said...

SO agree about calories not counting on Super Bowl Sunday :)

Happy Chicagoversary!