Thursday, January 14, 2016

F**k Cancer

What the fuck universe? I’m tired of opening Facebook every morning at the train station and seeing someone who died. The last 30 days has been a bad time to be a celebrity, particularly if your British and I am a fan of your work.

First it was Lemmy, the Motorhead frontman who prided himself on how much he could drink and toured right up to the end, passing away from an aggressive cancer just before the new year.

The Goblin King watches over my babes
Next we famously had David Bowie. When I saw it I thought it was an internet hoax, and after some frantic Googling I realized it was real and choked back tears as I sat waiting for a late train on a bitter cold Chicago morning.

Now Alan Rickman. The voice of God. The bad guy from Die Hard. The Sheriff of Nottingham. Most famously, Snape. This is a really long list, so I’ll end with that one since almost everyone but me has seen all the Harry Potter movies.

All three great. All three taken by aggressive cancer before the world was done with them.

Bowie was perhaps the biggest shock to me. As a child I remember finding the Goblin King oddly attractive. As an adult I decorated my twin’s bedroom around a Labyrinth movie poster with the Goblin King prominently looking down over them as they sleep. Through the years his music was a constant. Always pushing boundaries. Rarely making a song that wasn’t likeable, danceable, and somehow new and fresh. Bowie told us it was OK to be weird. It was OK to be different. It was totally OK to want to turn your younger siblings into goblins and become the Goblin Queen.

A sorry not sorry to my younger sister, who totally would have been made a goblin if I had the opportunity.

Motorhead was one of those bands that would have been prominently featured on a soundtrack of my 20s (which would have been a box set). From hanging out in a punk/industrial/metal bar to seeing Motorhead perform live at one of the shittiest venues in Chicago with the man I now call Husband, they were pretty much a constant. I just assumed they were immortal. Lemmy Lived a hard life with all the smoking and drinking and playing music so loud that my ears were ringing for two days after the concert. I assumed because he wasn’t already deaf and dead he’d live forever.

Movies were always a little better as soon as you knew Alan Rickman was in them. From the brilliantly evil Sheriff of Nottingham in the Kevin Costner Robin Hood movie I can’t decide if I love or hate, to the neutered voice of God in a Kevin Smith film, and his epic death in Die Hard you never got the same thing from Alan Rickman. Sure, he was a bad guy in a lot of movies, but he was a different bad guy. Since I’ve never actually seen the role he’s most known for as Professor Snape I have no opinion on that, but I can only assume he played the role brilliantly like all others.

Here’s to hoping that we don’t lose any more greats this year. Here’s to hoping that their legacies and deaths prompt more cancer research to help the millions of people currently fighting.  #FuckCancer

Click here to donate to the Cancer Research Institute.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Closet Purges: My favorite sites

New year, same resolutions. Actually, I don’t even bother making resolutions anymore because they’re just the same damn things I try to do every year, all year.
  • Lose weight
  • Be healthier (fruit is a better snack than a Reese cup and I'm already failing at this)
  • Be more organized (at home, my office is fine)
I actually started the whole organized thing before the new year by cleaning out everyone’s closet. The girls fit in things for all of 3 months and then they’re on to the next size, and if I’m lucky everything got worn once.

While pregnant my feet went up a size and none of my shoes fit, so I started selling all of them. I also recently came to the conclusion that even if I do manage to once again fit into all the clothes spilling out of my closet, a lot of them won’t be in style, aren’t my style or are something I’ve been holding onto for far too long for no good reason (sequin mini skirt, I’m looking at you).

Husband has managed to miraculously lose weight by doing basically nothing at all except chase the twins and start exercising a few minutes a day. He found two things in his closet to get rid of and I seriously considered strangling him with a shirt because he lost weight so effortlessly and because I know there’s a hell of a lot more than two shirts in that closet that don’t fit.

With all these extra clothes sitting around I have found the perfect sites (all available as apps) to take care of all these things at all levels of luxury.

A screen shot of Tradesy
Totspot: You guessed it. They sell kids clothes, and they recently expanded to men’s and women’s clothes. Everything from the gently loved to new with tags (NWT) and original pieces that smaller designers sell, it’s a one-stop for the whole family. When something sells they email you a printable USPS label so there’s no guessing about postage. Just pack and ship. Use code QAMOXA to get $5 when you make your first purchase. Click here or download the app and sign up with code QAMOXA to save $5 off your first purchase. 

Poshmark: Everyone knows this one. Post pics of your clothes, people buy them, print a label, pack and ship. Super easy. Women’s clothes, shoes, bags and accessories and maternity only. Easy to share stuff and be seen. Click here or download the app and sign up with code PKFUO to save $10 on your first purchase. 

Tradesy: If you have a lot of luxury labels or you don’t feel like dealing with finding boxes, then Tradesy is a good fit. Tons of designer items, it takes forever to search through stuff. When something does sell you can print your own label or they’ll send you a pre-addressed poly bag to pack your stuff in. Super easy and they take women's maternity, bridal and accessories. Click here to get $20 off your purchase of $50 or more. 

My Poshmark closet.
Seriously, this could not be easier 
ThreadUp: Perhaps the easiest one of all. After creating an account you can order a clean out bag, which they mail to you. Once you get the bag fill it with clothes for women or children (sorry men), but be sure to check the labels to make sure it’s an accepted brand. Once the bag is full, have USPS pick it up and it ships off (for free) and someone goes through your stuff and they give you money for the items they accept. Items they don’t accept are upcycled. The whole company is very green and philanthropic, and while you won’t get a ton of money for your clothes, it’s by far the easiest of all the options, especially if your closet is full of good brands that are barely worn. Plus they pay you upfront for most items, so if they accept something and it doesn’t sell, it doesn’t matter. Click here to sign up and get $20 towards a purchase. 

Of course at all the sites you can also use the money you earn to buy stuff from other people, including that designer handbag you've had your eye on or a designer coat at an amazing discount simply because it's pre-loved. I have gotten some really amazing deals on each one of these sites at various times and I constantly keep a list of items I like saved for the occasional splurge. 

When all that's done whatever is still at home that you want to get rid of can of course be donated to any number of wonderful charities, many of which will come and pick up at your house.  

If you want to follow any of my closets, you can always find me by following the links above or by searching for Cat in Heels.