The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Storage Lockers

I think we need to rent a storage locker or something. We have so much stuff that our house is starting to feel cluttered, which is something I can’t stand. We have zero space left in our garage or basement, and installing one of those pre-fab sheds in the backyard is probably not an option at this point. We’re actually looking at outdoor fireplaces right now, so if we go ahead and get one, we’re not going to have any room left for a shed.

The only other option is to rent a storage locker. There are a couple places within a mile or so of the house, so I know the facilities are available. The only question now is about the prices and contract length. We don’t want to pay an arm and a leg just to store stuff that we hardly ever use, nor do we want to get locked into a long-term contract.

Or here’s another idea. Why don’t we just throw away or donate the stuff we never use and quit buying so much junk??? Now doesn’t that sound far more reasonable?! 😉

No Big Macs in Iceland

bigmac Well, it doesn’t look like I’ll be heading to Iceland anytime soon! I read the other day that McDonald’s is pulling out of Reykjavik, where it opened its first restaurant in 1993, due to the collapse of the Icelandic economy. According to franchise agreements, the three McDonald’s restaurants operating in the capital city have to import their raw ingredients from Germany — an expensive proposition these days. Continue doing so would require the franchisees to raise the price of a Big Mac to $6.36, making it the most expensive in the world.

I love my McDonald’s, even when traveling (insert “stereotypical American” joke here), so I guess I’ll just go ahead and cross Iceland off my list now. Only kidding… like Iceland would ever be on my list in the first place!

Meijer Fudge Treasures Caramel Coconut

CIMG2869 I don’t shop at Meijer all that often, mostly because Wal-Mart and Target are closer to my home and therefore more convenient for me. But after discovering Meijer’s line of “Fudge Treasures” cookies on my last visit there, I might be going a heck of a lot more often from now on!

Meijer has a few different varieties of Fudge Treasures. I chose the Caramel Coconut cookies, and absolutely loved them! The cookies look like the picture on the box at the top of this post, and they feature a regular cookie base covered with a layer of caramel and then covered by fudge with coconut slivers mixed in.

I love coconut, so I couldn’t get enough of these things! Unfortunately, they contain a lot of fat and calories — as you would expect. One serving size is two cookies, which will cost you 150 calories and 7g of fat. Not exactly a healthy snack here, but it does take care of my afternoon sweet tooth cravings very nicely.

Anyway, I’m surprised that a store brand cookie could be so good, but I love these Meijer Fudge Treasures. Can’t wait to buy more!

Missouri Tigers Windpants

tigers windpants In the winter, I like to lounge around the house in a comfortable pair of windpants. My favorites have a nylon shell and cotton lining through the legs to make them warm and perfect for the cold weather. I used to have a very nice pair of Adidas windpants, but those finally gave out after about 7 years. I actually wanted to go back to Adidas this time around as well, but as soon as I saw the $50 price tag, I backed off.

After some browsing at my favorite online stores, I found a pair of Missouri Tigers nylon windpants on clearance for just $19.98. They looked and sounded perfect in the description: they’re black with a Tiger head logo and the word “Missouri” sewn on the right thigh near the pocket area. They have the cotton lining that I wanted, as well as quarter-zippers and elastic cuffs on the legs. Of course, since I was ordering online, the sizing would be a bit of a gamble. The store I ordered from only had size S left, so I took a chance.

Fortunately, that gamble paid off very well. The Adult Small fits me perfectly, and the pants are as warm and comfortable as I could have hoped! In addition to front pockets, there’s also a zippered back pocket, which wasn’t mentioned in the product description on the store’s website.

Anyway, I feel that I got a very good deal on these pants I think the regular price was $40 or something, which I probably wouldn’t have bothered with. but $19.98 seems fair considering the quality of the product, and now I get to show off my Mizzou colors. Win-win for me!

St. Ives Apricot Scrub

st ives apricot One of the most important things to do in the fight against acne is to exfoliate on a regular basis in order to help remove dead skin cells and bacteria and keep pores clear. I have been doing this, but I previously thought that the actual exfoliator I used wouldn’t make much difference. So I was using a gentle Aloe blend from the Body Shop, and liked it well enough. But it didn’t do anything for my acne.

So after a bit more research, I decided to try the St. Ives Apricot Scrub. There are a few different varieties of this scrub; I went with the Blemish and Blackhead Control version. To be honest, I’ve tried so many acne products that I wasn’t expecting this to work at all. Imagine my surprise, then, when it at least helped with my blackheads!

While I can’t say that using this scrub has resulted in fewer pimples, it makes a noticeable difference on my blackheads. Right after I use it, I can see that all blackheads are completely gone from my nose. I mean, it’s even more effective than Biore Pore Strips, which I love! Sure, the blackheads eventually come back, but I can’t really blame the scrub for that.

The only thing I don’t like about this St. Ives Apricot Scrub is that it’s pretty rough on my skin. Even when I massage it in gently, it still hurts a bit and isn’t very pleasant. So I can only use the scrub once a week at most, which might be having a negative impact on its effectiveness.

Overall, though, I have to say that I’m pleased with what the St. Ives Apricot Scrub — Blemish and Blackhead Control does for my blackheads. It’s a very noticeable difference, so I use the scrub a few hours before going out to an important event. Now, if I can only find something to work on my stubborn pimples…!

Under Armour SubZero Mock

subzero mock My main form of exercise is to walk or jog a couple miles outside every day. This is possible for about 8 months out of the year without any problems, but starts getting uncomfortable — and sometimes impossible — from November to February because of weather issues. I hate being out in cold weather, and do everything I can to avoid it. That usually means gaining some extra pounds while being shut in, only to have to work twice as hard during spring to get my conditioning back.

But this year I’ve decided to try working out outdoors for as long as possible instead of just crawling into my shell as soon as the temperature drops. That’s why I bought this Under Armour ColdGear SubZero Mock.

If you watch professional sports at all, then I’m sure you’ve seen athletes wearing Under Armour garments. The sleeves and logo are very recognizable, and depending on the line you buy, can be used either in cold weather (to keep you warm) or hot weather (to keep you cool). The SubZero series is part of the ColdGear lineup and is meant to be used as a base layer for temperatures under 55 degrees.

The SubZero Mock uses Under Armour’s “compression” technology. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but the result is that the shirt is skin tight. I usually hate stuff that’s skin tight, but Under Armour actually feels good this way. It’s not restrictive at all, and it’s more comfortable than I imagined it would be.

Plus, the SubZero Mock actually does its job. I’ve been wearing it under a regular long-sleeved t-shirt during my morning runs (where the temperature is in the 30’s or 40’s already), and have not felt the cold very much. I’m cold for probably the first three or four blocks of my walk/jog, but once I start moving in earnest, I’m fine.

The only drawback to Under Armour thus far is that it is very, very expensive. This SubZero Mock cost me $50 at Sports Authority, and even though the product works as advertised, I do feel that I spent too much on it. I really want more shirts like this (and perhaps even a pair of Under Armour gloves), but the price is definitely holding me back. I’ll just have to get by with one shirt for the time being.

Chicago Bears Ear Warmers

ear warmers I don’t like to wear knit hats, but hate having cold ears in the winter. Traditional earmuffs aren’t really to my liking either, but I love these new Chicago Bears ear warmers that I just bought. These ear warmers wrap around the lower back of my head to cover my ears comfortably without messing up my hair or otherwise getting in the way. They’re nice and warm, fit well despite being one-size-fits-all, and sport the Chicago Bears “C” logo on each flap.

I paid about $14 for these things at Wal-Mart, and am very happy with the purchase. I now use them during my morning jog to keep my ears nice and toasty out in the cold weather. Thumbs up!

Catalog Shopping?

af catalog I still get catalogs in the mail, which doesn’t make much sense to me. Who shops from catalogs these days when it’s a whole lot easier to just go online to find what you want? Sure, I can see the appeal of, say, the Victoria’s Secret or Abercrombie & Fitch catalog because people find the pictures to be sexy or whatever, but there’s really no reason to get catalogs for things like modern furniture, kitchen appliances, toys, or books. And yet I still receive these items in the mail every once in a while.

I’m not exactly a green crusader or anything like that, but in this case, I’d just as soon save the paper and not have to deal with all this junk mail.