Shopping Small with #SmallBizSaturday #ShopSmall and Finding Happiness with @MissBritt

Yesterday we babysat Sandy’s two little ones, and I did what any responsible wife and parent would do, and ditched my husband with all those kids and did a little shopping for Small Business Saturday (to his credit, he’s much more patient than I am, so he’s probably the better babysitter anyway. Also he said the kids were all good.)

My first stop was the Simple Sugars HQ in Sharpsburg which hosted an open house for a Small Biz Saturday shopping event.  You may remember Simple Sugars from ABC’s Shark Tank.  They are a lovely local company who manufactures all natural sugar scrubs.  I’ve never used scrubs before, and I picked up their Grapefruit scrub a few months back, and was an instant devotee.


I enjoyed chatting with Simple Sugars founder Lani Lazzeri about the various scrubs, the business, and Simple Sugar’s plans for the future.  I’ve been eyeing the Simple Sugars Collection pack, and hoped to pick it up on Saturday, but it is only being sold online (helloooo Cyber Monday purchase).  So since I could not pick up that at the time, I treated myself to a green tea facial scrub, almond body scrub, and pumpkin body scrub for the time being. I also picked up some gifts for others, but no pics here, don’t want to ruin the surprise!


My next stop was Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery in Millvale for, what else, macarons!  The macaron trend is still going strong and I’ve made it a priority to eat every macaron I can get my grubby little hands on.  In my humble expert opinion, Jean-Marc and Zia Custom Desserts tie for the best macarons in the ‘burgh (although due to the scale of Zia’s small business, you cannot order a mixed dozen of flavors).


I picked up a dozen macarons plus some croissants.  Although it was very painful to share, I did share these macarons with Sandy, and thereby both made her happy and did not saddle myself with the sugar-laden guilt that comes with eating an entire dozen of macarons myself in one sitting.

Next stop up was Wild Card in Lawrenceville.  Small Biz Saturday was in full swing in Wild Card, the shop was hoppin.


I picked up some more great gifts which I wish I could show you because they are so darn clever, but again, that ruins the surprise. You’ll have to stop in to Wild Card yourself to examine their marvelous wares.

I’ve spent a lot of time in pajamas over the last few days and have done a lot of for-fun reading.  The pace of work has been, shall we say, like trying to sprint through an entire marathon.  A brief break was in order. Can I really afford such a break right now? Probably not. But it was necessary because December shows no sign of slowing down.  I’ve been suffering a persistent case of the Sunday Night Grumpies lately.  You know, that feeling of dread for the following work day.  And it has not limited itself to Sunday.  I have given this feeling more headspace than I should.  And finally I sat down to really examine what is going on.  The result: I need to adjust my attitude.  These bad feelings are not to be blamed on my workspace itself.  Work is busy, but that is what this field of law is like, and being busy is a good problem to have.  My coworkers and superiors are good people to work with.  I’m treated fairly and paid fairly.  Most of my stress is actually caused by one very demanding and very difficult client.  And goodness knows I’m not going to be able to change this client’s behavior.  The only way I’m going to change the stress this client is causing me is if I stop letting this client stress me out.  I need to let it go.

I am not good at letting things go.  I tell myself “let it go” and do all kinds of deep breathing and yoga classes, but still I let whatever is stressing me persist in having a foothold in a tiny little corner of my mind.  Letting go of stressors does have a flipping-a-lightswitch quality to it.  I experienced that a few years back when I came to the realization after many yoga classes, runs, bottles of wine and bars of chocolate failed to diminish my stress for me, that I am only going to get rid of stress if I decide to let go of it.  Making that decision is the first step, and a big one. But the real work comes in with the thousands of little decisions you have to make every day, in doing little things where you refuse to give worry headspace, and make all those individual little decisions to push stress out.  These little decisions are much harder to actually make than to execute.  The easy path is to accept the stress and feel miserable.  It is a lot harder to focus on the health of your headspace, and make all those decisions to keep it clear of clutter.

My miserable attitude made clear that I needed a refresher on the legwork of getting rid of stress.  I downloaded An Amateur’s Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness a few months ago, but had not yet started it.  This was the perfect time.


I have gotten to know Britt through Propelle and Creative Mornings events, and she is quite a lovely person.  I have chatted with her briefly about her book, but all I really knew about it was that it talks about “happiness.”  I figured that since I was not feeling very happy, this was a good place to start with adjusting my attitude.  I’m about halfway through this book, and it is a perfect guide for the space I’m in.  Just like me, when Britt is frustrated, she tends to take the “nuclear option,” which is so counterproductive on so many levels. This book is not kitten pictures and other cute happy things (although those do make me happy).  Rather, this book breaks down the elements of attitude that lead to happiness, and articulates the roadmaps for the kinds of decisions you need to make for you to adjust your attitude and make your own happiness.  Britt does not tell you what to do.  Far from it.  Instead she articulates the tools that we need, but often cannot see, that will enable the reader to forge their own path to happiness.  Exactly what I need for my attitude adjustment.

I’ve spent Thanksgiving Weekend doing a lot of reading, and am feeling more relaxed, and thanks to the roadmaps I’ve been working on from Brit’s book, I am on my way to feeling less stressed (massage and yoga wouldn’t hurt, though).  I have a positive attitude about returning to the office tomorrow, and am fired up to work hard and work well.

Hope you found time for a little breathing space this weekend!

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