Today was my 22nd birthday! After 4 hours of sleep I woke up at 4:00 am to study for my new hire training test. And yes, this is the same girl who spent the first few months of summer sleeping in until noon. Oh snap. The day was an amazing whirlwind consisting of an new hire exam, customer service phone calls, birthday cake, balloons, flowers, serenading from the Zappos chippendales, more phone calls, more cake, and happy hour. Thank you to everyone who showed me such love and kindness today. I'm very blessed to have such a "family" of coworkers. It's crazy to think that 1 year ago I was pent up in a house in Williamsburg, VA while the College of William and Mary was evacuated due to Hurricane Eileen. Remember her? That's right, a 21st birthday with no water, no power, and no AC. That's what I call "roughin' it." And you wonder how I came up with10 Reasons Why I Love NOT Camping. Anyways, I had just begun my senior year of college. I was done with my Marie Claire internship and was working at the Easy Spirit outlet.... yes, the shoe store that caters to "mature" ladies (sorry, mom). If you asked me a year ago where I saw myself today, I never thought that I would be living in Las Vegas. I never thought that I would be single. And I NEVER thought that my hair would be this long. Let's just say, I feel very fortunate. What is even more exciting? All of these blessings come from the Lord. Here are a few photos from my life so far in Las Vegas and at Zappos.com. More updates and blogs to come soon!
Pure happiness. I'm currently snuggled into the corner of my brand spankin' new sectional. Feelings of accomplishment and excitement overwhelm me. This was my first time purchasing a sofa, or any furniture for that matter..... and, no, the disposable plastic junk from Target doesn't count. I put a lot of time and thought into this purchase, and I am super pleased. I also learned a few lessons along the way that I would like to pass along. Here are 10 tips to help YOU save money and avoid regret as you hunt for a new sofa.
1. Look up every furniture store in the vicinity, map them all out on google maps, and aim to visit each one. That way you'll never worry about what else might have been out there. It's like dating, right? Jk. Include consignment stores, furniture rental places, department stores, and wholesalers. A lot of these places have brand new pieces to sell or great deals on slightly used pieces.
2. If the salesman says, "The gates of heaven opened when I saw your beautiful eyes," then make it clear right away that you will NOT be needing his help. Otherwise prepare yourself for a tour of the furniture store filled with slimy compliments and sexual innuendos.
3. If a salesperson won't leave you alone, they're probably just trying to get the commission off of your sale. Solution? Ask for their name or card. That way they'll feel more secure about getting credit for your potential purchase.
4. Shop prepared. Bring a tape measurer AND a map of your space with measurements, windows, doors, and cable outlets noted. Carry around a tape measurer like you're Carter Oosterhouse (see left) and you might appear more informed..... even if you're a 22 year old girl wearing a sundress who whips it out of their Coach purse.
5. You should never have to pay for delivery. If the salesperson wants your money, they can get you free delivery. It's almost always a concession that managers allow their salespeople to make. Most of the time they throw this offer in as a last attempt to close the sale.
6. Take pictures while you're shopping. Take 1 photo of the storefront, take 1 photo of the furniture itself, and then 1 close up of the tag that displays the fabric and price.
7. When they ask you how much you're willing to spend say, "For everything, taxes and shipping included, I would like to spend ____." Otherwise they will jack up the price with last minute service/delivery charges.
8. Try to forecast what you would buy 5 years from now. Can you see this piece of furniture fitting into your life long-term? I almost bought a pimp-sleigh type of giant circular chaise lounge, but then I realized how impractical this would be.
9. Think about who will use this sofa. If a sofa has pillows as the back it might look more plush in the store, but when you have guests over they will undoubtedly feel awkward trying to make themselves comfortable. Imagine that you're entertaining a boss or your future in-laws and they are struggling to plop their rear on a pile of pillows. And if you ask me, too many pillows = total cuddle killer.
10. Before you buy, search the product number online for a better price from the wholesaler. Thanks to my friend, Matt, I was able to get the same sectional and ottoman online while saving $400! Not bad.
Recently I've realized that a lot of my dental habits might be a little peculiar to the average person. These habits, however, seem totally normal to me. It's what I grew up with, I guess. Being the daughter of a dentist, I always felt pressure to not get a cavity (knock on wood), and I've learned some easy tips that I would LOVE to share. Maybe some of them can help YOU out!
1. Always drink soda, juice or colored/acidic drinks through a straw. It will protect the enamel on your front teeth from wearing down and looking thin or transparent.
2. Never brush your teeth right before or right after drinking soda, juice, or anything sweet. It will only further rub the sugar and citric acid into your enamel. Instead, rinse well with water and wait at least an hour before brushing. 3. Floss, baby, floss. Let's face it, flossing sucks, but so does having dirty, yellow teeth! Choose your battles, people. 4. Use a whitening toothpaste... it has the same ingredients as whitening strips. I like Colgate Optic White. And over time, if used every day, this makes a huge difference. 5. Listerine Total Care Plus Whitening. It's more expensive for a reason-- it works! 6. Gel whitening trays with 24% hydrogen peroxide for 1 hour a day.... it works better than doing the 8% of hydrogen peroxide over night. Do this process once every 6 months. This is the most fast/effective method I've used thus far. 7. If you're seriously in a bind, take baking soda on a toothbrush and scrub for 1 minute every day for 10 days straight. This works really well, too, even if you might vomit in the process. 8. If you eat hard candy, follow up with sugar free gum, raw carrots or celery. This will help to get candy reminants out of the crevices of your teeth. If all else fails, swish with water for a longgggg time. Water melts sugar, remember? 9. Don't think that diet soda is okay because it has no sugar. Citric is just as bad, baby. 10. Swish with flouride rinse after drinking soda. I actually carry flouride rinse with me and use it a few times a day really quickly to prevent citric acid from damaging my enamel. Obsessed much? Nope. Just a dentist's daughter.