Things I’m loving this week


Ready (early) for the holidays. Don’t ask me how this happened, but…I’m totally ready for Christmas and I have been for days now. I had my shopping done a week or so ago, baking done a couple weeks ago, and I even got my wrapping done last weekend (thanks mostly to a canceled swim meet). So, I’m ready…bring it, Santa!


This will be me…doing lots of couch-sitting and reading, but probably not in fancy clothes and boots and more in fleece jammy pants and old race t-shirts.

12 glorious days of Christmas. Next to the tuition discounts, the single biggest perk in working at Penn State — and maybe even better than a tuition discount for the kids — is more than a week off at Christmas every year for free, free, free. The University CLOSES between Christmas and New Year’s, which means we not only get to stay home & relax, but we get paid for it, too, and it doesn’t even cost us any vacation time.  Also…because nobody is working…you don’t come back to piles of work and emails. It’s awesome.

Ulta Beauty. So…when this store first opened, I was all…whatever. I’m not into makeup and beauty and all that crap, but then I learned that the people who work there were actually really helpful and the merchandise is not too overpriced. They have an in-house dermatological-something-or other (spa) that offers beauty treatments that actually do improve the skin and they aren’t too pricey (I’ve had some treatments done for blackheads on Kelly…and they work!). Also…they recently allowed our Girl Scout troop to come in & they did a little makeup lesson & then helped the girls pick out a few products. I think the employees enjoyed it as much as the girls. So….yeah…Ulta, you won me over.


Frontier Pharmacy. My friend Tom Toale owns this Erie pharmacy and yet I had never gone there because it was on the other side of town. Then, I found out that I was paying up the a** for some prescriptions AND they were not even telling me the info I needed to know about what they were giving me. So…I went to Frontier because if I’m going to line someone’s pockets, it might as well be a friend & local business owner, and….let me tell you what….the people who work there are NICE …like, really, really nice…also, they are FAST. If you wait…it’s not going to take more than a few minutes. AND there’s free coffee in the waiting area, which is the one fact that pretty much won me over for life.

The hours are convenient, the location (right off the bayfront connector/6th street) is easy to get to AND Frontier is cheaper on most medications (or if you ask, they will give you options to reduce the price…maybe a different product or a smaller dose, etc., after checking with your doctor, of course).  You won’t find that at Rite Aid where they will gladly sell you the $60 tube of cream when all you need is a $20 portion of it.

Things I’m not loving this week

I got nothing….What’s not to love right now? It’s 60 degrees. I’m off for 12 days in a row and it’s not costing me one vacation day. It’s Christmas. I’ve got tons of family & friends to celebrate with. And I’ve got enough money to pay the bills and still have a little left over. I can’t really ask for much more, so…no complaining from me this week.

(Though…if I were to complain, I’d certainly include some comments about the Miss Universe pageant…cause I can’t believe we still have beauty pageants today.)