Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Throughout the 12 or so years of my Girl Scouting career, I learned many important life lessons: how to pitch a tent in the dark, how to build a raft, what to do when a bear is in your tent, how to start a fire, and the list goes on and on. The most crucial of these life lessons and the one I come back to day after day is USE YOUR RESOURCES WISELY.

I love the small town I now call home. It's bigger than the small town I grew up in. It's the home of one of the country's greatest college football programs. There's an art scene, a bar scene, and a great nature scene. One thing it lacks, though, is a great shopping scene. It's gotten better in the last few years, since stores like The LOFT and Kohl's have opened their doors, but even the big stores are on a smaller scale. Just think, the nearest H&M is three hours away! But, I have found that with a little creativity and lots of patience, I have the opportunity to put together really unique outfits for a fraction of the price.

With so few options, you can really get to know your local retailers. I can tell when they will be getting new stock and when their current stock will be marked down. Because I'm shopping in less obvious places for trends (like JCP, Target, and Bon-Ton), the crowds are smaller and there's less demand, so I never feel the pressure to buy something immediately and 99.9% of the time, I can simply wait until it goes on sale. I'm also close enough to everything, that I can swing through most any store on any given Wednesday when new sales start.

Keeping a current shopping list and having specific ideas of shapes and colors that I want to add to my wardrobe really helps. This way, I can have a much more selective eye and can even think outside the box for items that can be styled in a different way. One of my favorite places to find some really fun pieces is JCP. They have a really versatile professional section that often times hits the perfect note between super-trendy and grown-up wearable. And for the quality, you can't beat the price, especially the sale price!

When your resources are limited, lots of research and an open mind are crucial. And once I've managed to pull together that perfect outfit and still have some cash left over for a night on the town, I couldn't imagine it any other way!

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