Author Archives: Theodora Blanchfield

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals

I posted some Small Business Saturday stuff on Instagram yesterday and my friend Kat suggested turning it into a blog post like in the olden days, so why not? Here’s some Small Business Saturday and Black Friday/Cyber Monday/shopping season deals too.

And if you’re not already using the Honey browser extension, what are you doing?! I swear this thing has saved me hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the year. You install it, and almost any time you go to check out of an online store, it automatically checks for and applies coupon codes for you. You can sign up here—and for many of the sites that don’t have coupons, you can still get cash back. For example, I just got a $50 gift card to Lululemon because of purchases I’d made. (Or you can just get cash money to your paypal.)

disclosure: these links contain affiliate links

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Cyber Monday Electronics Deals

AirPods Pro: I use these almost all day, every day for everything from phone calls, to clients, to class, to just walking around listening to podcasts or listening to Red (Taylor’s Version) all day. $159 is a BANANAS price—nearly $100 off regular retail.

MacBook Air: I’ve seen better deals in the past, but $899 when it’s usually $999 is still decent.

Cyber Monday Clothing Deals

Hill House: In typical Aquarius fashion, I tried to hold out as long as I could to get on the Nap Dress trend, but I regret waiting. They are so comfortable, AND I can go without a bra with them, something this DD can never do. They’re doing an extra 20 percent off their sale, and I *think* my code gets you an extra 20 percent off orders above $100. With the regular codes, you can get a Nap Dress for nearly 50% off!!!

Lululemon Align: (or Lulu Berry, as my mom used to call them)—usually $100+, on sale for $79-89. These are kind of a cult favorite. This is a blog, so the phrase I am supposed to use to describe them is buttery soft, I guess. I don’t make the rules.

Lululemon Easy Access Cross Body: Marked down to $29 from $38. Cross-body bags can be difficult with big boobs, but this gets my Double D Seal of Approval. I use this when I’m walking Lucy and don’t have a pocket for my phone.

Natori Feathers: Speaking of big boobs! This is my favorite bra (am wearing it right now!) Certain sizes are $43, instead of $68. Size up one cup size—I’m usually a DD but am wearing a DDD.

Nanette Lepore Leggings: This is like a no-brainer good deal—with code BFSTEALS, these leggings are TWENTY TWO DOLLARS. I got an IG ad for them a while back and hopped right on it, but $22 for $68 leggings is absurd, so you should buy them right now. True to size.

Oiselle Mettle Shorts: This is my first foray into running in spandex shorts, and I love them! I spotted them on someone at a race and immediately tracked them down. I’ve found that they move around a tiny bit, especially at the beginning of a run, but once I’ve got them situated, they’re good.

Random—Art?

I think every year I’ve written about deals, I link to Gray Malin. I just love his photography, and his Black Friday deals are so good. 30 percent off with code TURKEY30. I have the Manhattan Beach piece linked to above, and I got it on one of these Black Friday deals. I did the 24×36 size, and with the 30 percent off, that essentially covers the cost of framing—which, I would have let it lay around for a while before I took it to get framed, and I probably would have paid close to the same for it.

Ashley’s mother-in-law, Mimi, makes beautiful paintings. Ashley’s always had them in her apartments, and I just assumed she bought them until she told me her mother-in-law did them. I’m not sure about pricing, but she has contact info on the website.

Katie Herman: If you like preppy/chinoserie stuff, she makes such happy stuff. I bought pillows from her (I think I found her on Etsy), and she also has prints, and everything is 20% off.

Food/Home

SodaStream Fizzi: I go through phases with seltzer, but when I’m really into it, I drink a TON of it, and cans of LaCroix get wasteful (and I am also really lazy about bringing them downstairs to recycling until they pile up and I resent them.) Usually ~$90, $57 on Sodastream’s site.

Small Business

Oops, this is why I started the post—to post the small businesses here I’d posted on IG.

  1. Erica Sara: If you’ve read here for a while, you know that I love her jewelry, and it’s so special to me in so many ways. (A piece we collaborated on to honor my mom.) She specializes in making jewelry to commemorate races, but she also has lots of other beautiful keepsake jewelry. 10% off with code JOY10
  2. Viva Wellness: If you are in New York (state, doesn’t just have to be city) and considering therapy, please consider my dear friends’ Rachel and Jor-El’s practice.
  3. Cleanlogic: My CA BFF, Kate’s (whom I have spent every single holiday with since the pandemic started) husband started this personal care business years ago. His mom is blind, and so all the packaging is also in Braille, and a portion goes to charities benefiting the visually impaired.

Content Creators

I got on a wee soapbox yesterday on Instagram about how content creators are small businesses too, though most people don’t take them seriously as such! They are often wearing multiple hats: writer, social media manager, graphic designer, photographer, marketer, etc, etc. You can support content creators by: reading, listening, clicking on their links/using their codes, reviewing their podcasts, subscribing to their Patreons. My fave content creators right now:

  1. Grace Atwood: I’ve been a long-time fan of her blog and trust most of her recs! (On a sidenote, I’ve been thinking for a while about writing about Hits and Misses of Things I Was Influenced to Buy.) It is so obvious how much time and thought goes into her posts and reviews. I own an embarrassing amount of stuff she influenced me to buy.
  2. Be There In Five: I have spent hundreds of hours listening since I discovered Kate’s podcast in 2019. Come for the pop culture and nostalgia, stay for her impeccable command of the English language and sense of humor—and leave feeling a little less alone in the world. I think Kate’s podcast appeals to me, and so many others, because I see a lot myself in her. Her Patreon offers lots of random bonus eps where she either does even deeper dives or just random chatting that makes you feel like you’re hanging out with her.
  3. Your Social Media BFF: My dear friend and former intern Kayla has launched a social media coaching business. If you have a small business/are a solopreneur, check out her offerings.
  4. Ali on the Run: I am so, so proud of what my friend Ali has built over the past few years with her running podcast. The podcast mostly talks about running, but you don’t need to be a runner to listen—there are so many applicable life lessons in running. Subscribe to her Patreon for Sassy Ali (my fave kind.) I was on the show, too, a few years ago! It was at the height of my depression (was hospitalized three weeks later) and less than a year after my mom died, so I have no idea what I said.
  5. Emotional Support Lady Patreon: Allison is a podcaster/YouTuber/person with lived mental health challenge experience/future therapist, and I love her Patreon for its thought-provoking posts and videos.
  6. Shameless plug? Inspired by Allison’s Patreon, actually, I started one called Your Mental Health Cheerleader. I wanted a place to share mental health content that just didn’t really fit anywhere else—both personal mental health musings as a person with lived experience and a therapist-in-training and more service-y information like how to find a therapist, how to fire a therapist, etc. It’s on hiatus for now because I bit off more than I could chew by launching it over the summer when I was also juggling two internships on top of school full-time and freelance work??? but I hope to relaunch it in the new year. You can subscribe now and won’t be charged until it’s active again.

Like a Butterfly

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve really been going through it with headaches. They’re largely tension headaches, which means that while I don’t usually deal with nausea or light sensitivity, they’re not quite as straightforward to treat—there’s a lot more options for treating migraines than there are tension headaches.

I am getting closer to figuring out some treatment options after exhausting A LOT, but one of the causes of tensions headaches is—you guessed it—tension. Some helpful doctors have said “just reduce stress!” like it’s that easy. As someone who is in grad school/interning/freelance writing during a global pandemic, it’s hard to find opportunities to destress—but I also know I really need to not just for myself but if I want to actually have a career in this field.

My therapist and I have talked about the pressure I (/society) put on myself being part of the pressure I am quite literally feeling in my head—which would be pressing in. But recently I’ve started to picture the energy as trying to burst out.

I’ve been trying to journal more again (these are my fave notebooks to use to journal) to try to unpack more of those feelings myself between therapy sessions, and I just keep thinking of Mexican jumping beans struggling to be contained.

The other night as I lay in savasana, two strong visuals came to mind. The first was a caterpillar going through metamorphosis and busting out of their caterpillar skin (this is probably not actually how it works but stay with me) to become a butterfly. The second was of Superman jumping out of his Clark Kent clothes and into his Superman suit.

There’s something inside of me dying to come out, and I’m not sure what any of it means yet, but it’s there.

(Or maybe my head just literally is about to explode, unclear.)

Weird side notes:

  • in writing this, I learned that jumping beans are actually larvae turning into moths, which tracks with the butterfly thing!
  • there’s a real hole in the market for pretty illustrations of metamorphosis, so if you’re an illustrator, you should get on that
  • this is the most I’ve used the word metamorphosis since third grade science class.