Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

Fun STEM-themed clothes from Svaha USA August 8, 2017

Filed under: baby,Science — Stephanie @ 9:03 pm
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[Disclosure:  Svaha USA sent me two items for free to try in exchange for a review.  All opinions are my own!  Also, they have a referral program, so I can get points towards future purchases if you click my referral link.  (This link is the only time I use the referral link, every other link in this post is just a regular link.)  Also you can sign up for the referral program too to earn points for yourself!  Check the bottom right corner of their website to join Svaha Rewards.]

I first heard about Svaha USA when I read an article (I think it was this one) about new clothing companies trying to break gender stereotypes, including selling fun STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) clothes for women and girls.  They were one of the new companies that grew out of a desire to provide science-related clothes for women and girls.

Anyway, after I followed them and a few of the other companies from that article on twitter, the folks at @SvahaUSA sent me a twitter message asking if I’d like to do a review. Of course I said yes!

So, here’s me modeling the Caffeine Molecule Infinity Scarf.  I like it for a bunch of reasons:  It’s science!  But it also still looks really fashionable!  It’s just the right length so that it’s not too tight or too loose.  It’s a great conversation starter.  At a friend’s house, they asked “Are those molecules?”  And I said “Yes! It’s caffeine!”.  Lots of fun!

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And, here’s my daughter modeling something from their Baby collection: the Chemistry Lab Baby Bodysuit.  This is the size 12 months, Ruffled version.  She’s just about 16 months in this photo, but she’s small for her age.  Super cute!

 

 

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I’m glad that there are companies like Svaha out there making great clothes with science-related designs, especially for women and girls (but boys can get clothes from them, too!  Plus they sell plenty of unisex shirts that men can wear, too!)

Thanks to Svaha for sending me these clothes!  Glad you make STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART!, Math) clothes for everyone!

Where do you find your STEM clothes?  Share your suggestions!

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Kohl’s is my Kryptonite June 23, 2012

Filed under: Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 5:44 pm
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I’ve mentioned before my strange relationship with Kohl’s.  For those of you who haven’t heard of the store, it’s basically a department store, with clothes, shoes, accessories, and housewares.  And they are REALLY good at getting you into the store, and at using psychology to get you to buy.

I was made painfully aware of this fact today.

I knew I wanted to add a few new tops or maybe a light jacket or two to my wardrobe.  I’d noticed I’ve been wearing the same 5 or so tops to work every week.  I mean, I wash them in between.  But I wanted to spice things up a little.  So, Kohl’s knew just how to make sure I showed up and spent my money!

Method 1:  Have a time-sensitive sale

Kohl’s has sales all the time.  (And many people have asserted that they actually mark up prices before discounting them again.)  But one of the really effective sales they have (in my opinion) is their Night Owl/Early Bird sales.  On some weekends, the sales get REALLY big for only a few hours.  The Night Owl sale lasts up until store closing on Friday night, and the Early Bird sale last until 1pm Saturday morning.  Not the earliest of early birds.  But still, for a weekend, you have to get up at a reasonable hour to get there.

I finally arrived around 10am or so and strolled around the store.  I grabbed tons of stuff, brought them to the dressing room, and realized none of it looked good on me.  So I went on a few more rounds, and found a few cute tops, plus a bunch of REALLY inexpensive wardrobe staples (i.e. camisoles and v-neck t-shirts).   I knew that this is probably the lowest price I was going to see on these items in a long time, so I ended up stocking up and probably taking more than I should have.  My reasoning?  Buy them now at this price!  Quick!  Before the prices go back up!

Then, because of the mindset, I rushed to other parts of the store to see what other items I could grab up at their lowest prices.  I picked up a new purse.  Why?  It was on sale.  For only a few hours.  Yeah, I know how crazy it sounds.  But I assured myself that if I didn’t like it, I could just return it later.  (Yeah right)  Might as well buy it now at a really low price, just in case.  CRAZY TALK.

Then, oh, don’t I need sneakers to wear on the weekends when I’m not wearing my running shoes?  Of course I do!  Why not grab a pair of Keds?  Okay, if all else fails, I can return it.  And it’s on sale.  QUICK.  THERE’S NO TIME!  Sane part of my brain says:  “What about just going to Payless?  You don’t need anything fancy.  Just something that doesn’t make you look like you’re in the middle of a 5k. ”  I assure the sane part of my brain that I’ll check out Payless afterward.  But that for now, I might as well buy them.  SALE!!!!! (I do go to Payless later.  I spot a pair for only $14.99.  Do I buy them and return the Keds? Nope.  Because I’m CRAZY.  Or maybe lazy.)

So yeah.  Sales can get you.  You think you’re getting a deal.  And when you realize that you only have a few hours to take advantage of that deal, you just run like a crazy person snatching up everything…JUST IN CASE!

Method 2:  Send out occasional additional discounts at varying amounts

Well, the first problem was that they got me to sign up for their charge card a few years ago.  So now I get discount coupons mailed to me on a pretty regular basis.  Sometimes it’s for 15% off, sometimes 20%, and sometimes it’s the ever elusive 30%.  As I’ve mentioned before, seeing that 30% off coupon, then thinking about things I “need” (but really, I just want) makes it hard to avoid shopping.  “I’ll just take a look around…”

Knowing that this is the rare 30%, and knowing I can use it on top of the Early Bird sales, I’m pretty much done for.  Plus, seeing a price at the store, I don’t actually take the time to calculate how much less it will actually be.  I just see a price and think “hey, that’s a decent price, and it’ll be even better after 30% off”.  Or, even worse, “it’s a little pricey, but it will be cheaper after 30% off!  Yeah, that’s a bad mindset to have.

Method 3:  Offer a reward that requires customers to come back again

Kohl’s also has a gimmick where they give you a $10 voucher for every $50 you spend.  This both conditions you to spend more (“If I spend a few more dollars, I get 10 more dollars!”) and ensures that you’ll come back to spend that “free money”.  And in my case, I also thought of the “extra” $10 as a consolation prize for spending too much.

I know.  I’m not good at this game.  But I’ve learned a few things about myself.  I’m not good at avoiding these types of marketing techniques.  And apparently, I like boatneck shirts with cap sleeves.  And shades of blue and purple.

What stores or sale techniques trick you into spending?  Do you shake your head and laugh at my inability to break free from Kohl’s clutches?  Or sympathize with my unhealthy relationship with a store?

 

Holiday Spending March 12, 2012

Filed under: General Blogging,Just for Fun — Stephanie @ 10:44 pm
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I know.  When you think of holiday spending, you think of the ridiculous amount of money people plunk down for Christmas (and Hannukah) presents.  Followed closely by Valentine’s.  Debt Ninja had a guest post from Jenna at Adaptu about it.

And I’m not immune from holiday spending.  Heck, I splurged on the Xbox holiday bundle for my boyfriend (which is a bit of a boomerang gift…I wanted it, too!)  I’m a big fan of giving gifts, as long as I have a good idea of what to give!

But the other thing that stands out for me is holiday apparel.

What?  Is that a thing?  Yes.

Take, for example, a holiday party I attended last year.  Festive apparel and costumes were encouraged.  So, I wore things like this:

Holly socks in bright red shoes

A jingle-bell ring I picked up at Davis Squared

And the obligatory green on red (green short-sleeve sweater over a red long-sleeve sweater)

There’s something about dressing for the holiday that makes me feel extra festive!

 

I’ve got Halloween pajama pants and two different pairs of socks (don’t worry, I don’t wear the pajamas in public!)

Red heart earrings for Valentine’s Day

And most recently, on a trip to A.C. Moore for sewing supplies, I caved and bought myself some St. Patrick’s Day socks for $1.  Big spender!

Whether  it’s obvious (like the earrings or ring) or more secret (like the socks), I really love dressing up in holiday colors and designs.  Since it’s usually frowned upon to wear Halloween costumes to the office, wearing fun socks is my own way of secret celebration.  So every once in a while, I’ll pick up a new pair of holiday socks.

How do you celebrate holidays?  Do you buy lots of stuff at the party store every year?  Or have a collection of holiday decorations and swag you pull out every year?

Do you have a stash of holiday socks like I do?  Wear all green on St. Patrick’s Day, orange and black on Halloween, and red on Valentine’s Day?  Because I do! 😀

 

A trip to the Wrentham Outlets August 3, 2008

So, I may have lived in Boston for almost 6 years, but I have to say, I’ve never been to the Wrentham Outlets.  I’ve been to outlets before, ages ago, but I hadn’t been to the ones that are south of Boston.  Well, I knew that I needed a wardrobe update; my friend Melissa offered to help me with a mini “What Not to Wear” trip.  Except I had to spend my own money.  And I only bought clothes at 2 stores.  And she didn’t make me throw all my old clothes away.  But other than that, it was like the show!  (okay, so maybe it really wasn’t much like the show at all).

I’ve known for a while that my wardrobe needed some improvement.  And now that I’m earning a steady paycheck (I got my first paycheck this week!), I feel a little more comfortable spending money.  Most months, I don’t buy any new clothes/jewelery, and most expenses go towards food, rent, transportation, and the like.  So, I tend not to spend money on extra things for myself, except for dinner out with friends or something like that.  And I also really have an aversion to getting rid of things (what if it fits? what if I need it? I paid for it, I can’t get rid of it!) so, I have a closet full of plenty of free tshirts from dorm events and clothes I’ve had since middle school.  And that’s really not the kind of clothes a 20-something should be wearing on a day to day basis.  Really, I’m just too cheap and lazy to buy new clothes for myself.  And I think I’m so afraid to make any purchase without another person’s opinion.

And so we drove out to the Wrentham Outlets.  So that was a bit of a trek, which meant using up a bit of a tank of gas.  Which is of course counter to saving money.  But I think overall, I managed to buy a lot more for the money I spent.  Overall I spent about $300.  Yeah, that’s a lot.  I spent $200 at Gap on 10 pieces of clothing (khaki slacks, jean skirt, tops), and then another $100 at Ann Taylor Loft for two sweaters and 3 pieces of jewelry.  I guess that means I got things that were an average of $20 apiece.  Could have done better (maybe gone to cheaper stores, but could end up with less quality pieces), could have done worse.  But I think that these are all key pieces for my improved wardrobe.  They’re all relatively solid, basic pieces that can be dressed up a bit with accessories.  My next step is likely to look to see where I can find some cheap but good accessories to pump up the outfits I’ll have.  That and sort out my closet, eliminating (and donating) the clothes that I really should stop wearing.

I’ve come to grips with the fact that I spent quite a bit of money.  But this is because I rarely actually go shopping, and it’s all clothes that I need for work and life as a more mature and put-together looking woman.  I guess the last time I went on a big spending spree for clothes was about a year ago.  Well, looking at my walletproof history, it looks like I’ve spent ~$80 on clothes in a few different months.  But most months in between I spend nothing.  So that’s my justification.  Whether that’s the right thing to be doing, I’m not sure.

How have you all been doing on your budgets?  I know wellheeled was working on cutting out clothing purchases.  And what do you think?  Am I justified in buying all these new clothes?  Or am I a crazy spender like the rest of Americans?