Camping

This weekend some friends organized a camping trip and while we could only make it for 1 night of the weekend, it was a great time. I can’t say enough good things about the campground (except for the fact that it is already booked solid for the rest of the weekends this summer!)

DSCN0195

It was great to get out of the city, enjoy some fresh air (despite the rain!) and put our awesome camping gear to use.

DSCN0201

 

DSCN0187

DSCN0184

Here are our recommendations for those of you looking to purchase som

e gear. Although after reading this list, I might be forced to rename this post “Glamping“. We certainly weren’t “roughing” it.

Sleeping Bags: Kelty Cosmic Zero Degree Down Sleeping Bag

These kept Matt and I toast warm!

Pillows: Fillo™ Luxury by Nemo*

Sleeping Pads: Tuo Standard by Nemo*
We also had a “mattress” that you put the pads into but I can’t find that online

Grill: Coleman Perfectflow Inststart Portable Grill
Perfect for hamburgers!

Cookware Set: GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookset
We didn’t use this because our friends had dishes but it is so easy to pack

Fun things: Travel Hammock, the ultimate spork! and of course, Matt never goes camping without this Leatherman!

*A good friend of my works for an incredible company, Nemo, which is up and coming (or maybe already here?) in the camping world. He gave us a ton of awesome stuff for our wedding AND the company donated a bunch of sample sleeping bags after Sandy to one of our groups doing relief work in the Rockaways. I definitely encourage anyone looking for innovative camping products to visit their website.

DSCN0202
This is how happy you will be if you leave the city too!

Cyber Monday

After the turkey has been carved, the parade has passed Macy’s on 34th street and the relatives return home we come back to work on Monday, a little rounder around the belly. While we have enjoyed time away from the office, many people will return to work exhausted from the holiday festivities. And this is only the beginning. Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we can focus on the remainder of the holiday season. For many of us, this means stringing lights, hanging ornaments and breaking out the Christmas music. It is the most wonderful time of the year and sometimes the most tiring. However, I for one, think it is entirely worth it.

After Thanksgiving, my mom sister and I participated in the craziness that is Black Friday. While my mom and Abby stocked up on Christmas presents for nearly everyone on their list, I concentrated on myself (talk about holiday spirit). As they walked around the store finding things for cousins, aunts, grandparents and friends, I walked around the stores picking up things for myself. This year, I am having a hard time coming up with good ideas for presents, and since I know what I want, it was simply easier to shop for myself. And clearly, I was trying to make the most out of the great sales! Unfortunately, when we returned and looked at our purchases, I realized that I was no closer to being complete with holiday shopping.

So now I am sitting at work, scanning the websites of stores. Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday immediately following Black Friday, the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States. The term made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled “‘Cyber Monday’ Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year”. In 2009, it was reported that consumers spent $887M online on Cyber Monday (excluding travel), the second highest spending day of 2009. Data has shown that Cyber Monday online sales have always been driven by considerable buying activity from work locations. That pattern hasn’t changed. After returning from the long Thanksgiving weekend with a lot of holiday shopping still ahead of them, many consumers tend to continue their holiday shopping from work. Whether to take advantage of the extensive Cyber Monday deals offered by retailers or to buy gifts away from the prying eyes of family members, this day has become an annual ritual for America’s online holiday shoppers.

So for anyone else who is sitting at work scanning the sales, here are some of the top deals going on right this very instant. So make yourself some hot chocolate, set your Pandora to Christmas music and let the festivities begin! (Please note that the first three sites are all part of my registry – what a strange coincidence!)

Crate And Barrel 

The Deal: Stemware, barware, dinnerware

Houseware giant Crate & Barrel is offering 25% off on all kinds of items, across the store, from martini glasses to starter dining sets.

Macy’s

The Deal: The better question is, what isn’t on sale?

The magic of Macy’s includes clothing, jewelry, home goods and kitchen tools. Just enter the code “CYBER” into the coupon code before checking out.

REI

The Deal: Up to 30% off winter gear, clothing and camping supplies!

Great gifts for all of those outdoorsy relatives. Check out the steep discounts on Padagonia jackets and Smart Wool socks. Just in time for winter!

Kohls

The Deal: Pillows, mattresses, watches, outerwear

Retail giant Kohl’s slashes prices on its site 35% to 60%, on everything from watches and jewelry to outerwear and home goods.

Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft

The Deal: 40% off EVERY THING plus free shipping

For the fashionista on your list. Use code “ENJOY” at checkout.

Victorias Secret

The Deal: Dresses, jackets, shoes

Victoria Secret is offering up to 70% off select bras, underwear and sleepwear. Shoppers who buy sleepwear will receive a free pair of slippers if they use the code VS10SLEEP at checkout–and anyone can receive free shipping on their order if they enter the code SHIPVS1. Get your holiday jammies before it is too late!

Check out these sites for other great deals:

Handmade gifts

Photo gifts

Sports gifts

Unique gifts