Shop Good Blog

Learning (slowly) to shop, give, & live with more dignity. Also: Blankets.

How Do I Choose & Style A Throw Blanket? Top Tips from a Design Expert

June 05, 2019 12 min read 1 Comment

A throw blanket is an easy, cost effective element to add big style to your home! Compared to bigger investments like furniture, rugs, & wall paint, a throw blanket allows you to take a bit more risk & have fun.

In choosing & styling the perfect throw blanket for your home, there are several considerations for what will make the best functional & attractive solution. Color, size, style, texture, location, and your own personal design style all come into play. Here are expert tips for choosing a perfect throw blanket!

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What is The Four Tendencies Framework... And Why I Love It

May 17, 2019 4 min read 1 Comment

The Enneagram is super popular right now as a typology of nine interconnected personality types. I am familiar with the Enneagram and while it hasn’t been a particularly impactful tool for me personally, I value the depth of the insight and the common language it provides.

Similarly, Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies framework provides definition and a vernacular to what is already present in ourselves. For me, this one has resounded like a deafening gong in my ears & in my life!

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Shop Good Book Club | Different POVs

May 11, 2019 6 min read 2 Comments

Over the last year or so, I've made a conscious priority to read books written by — or written from the perspective of — people different than me. As a white, rich person (and I have a job, a bachelor's degree, a house, 2 cars, and 3 computers, so that sounds pretty rich to me; maybe not in the 1%, but high enough), I have a pretty limited perspective. Also, our culture is essentially designed for me to thrive, so it's easy to take that all for granted.

Books, both non-fiction and creative stories, have a way of landing you right in the viewpoint of an other, and I am so grateful for that gift; it's one of the best things about reading.

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How Do I Teach My Kids About Money?

May 03, 2019 7 min read


Conversations about money can be awkward, but having uncomfortable talks, at age appropriate times, will set up our children's essential, lifelong skill in handling money well. Allowance is a key tool to teaching these money management skills.

Money, along with politics and religion, is often considered impolite conversation to have outside of yourself & maybe (hopefully?) your spouse. How much do we spend on groceries, gas bill, or date nights? Is this car payment normal? We are often afraid, or at least reluctant, to compare any of these details… R. Paul Stevens said the proverbial fig leaf from the Garden of Eden has moved from our naked bodies to our bank accounts!

Add kids into these conversations, and there is an additional layer of hesitancy: kids can be notorious loud-mouths! 

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A Capsule Wardrobe is Old News... What About A Capsule Meal Plan?

April 26, 2019 2 min read 2 Comments


The idea of a "capsule wardrobe" has gained a ton of momentum over the last few years. This is the concept where you have a limited wardrobe of items that you really like instead of a closet full of clothes that you rarely wear. Some people have taken the idea further still by creating a personal "uniform" and only wearing the same thing every day. Famous examples of this are Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barack Obama; I wrote about personal uniforms already over here

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5 Steps to Choose a Thoughtful Gift (with ideas!)

April 12, 2019 10 min read 2 Comments


Every month, we need to put a category in our personal budget for gifts. There is always an event or occasion that is calling for a gift: Christmas, anniversary, birthdays, retirements, graduation, sympathy, gratitude, and on. And, like most people, we want to make the gifts that we give count! So how do we choose a thoughtful gift that will be meaningful to the recipient?

Giving a gift is, of course, a subjective exercise; there is no perfect formula that will help you reach the “perfect gift”. However, there are certain questions you can ask that will help you choose a thoughtful gift:

  • Does the gift make the person feel known?
  • Does the gift represent a story or have a story behind it?
  • Does the gift bring a sense of connection?
  • Why is the gift being given? (context & occasion)
  • What more can the gift give?

Let’s look at these questions, some common gift-giving mistakes, and, finally, some thoughtful gift ideas!

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Promises, Lies, & Fear of Trust in Bangladesh

March 15, 2019 3 min read


Our production partner, Basha, began in one little office in Dhaka, Bangladesh — the most densely populated city in the world. Over the many years they have been in business, creating kantha textiles & jewelry, they have expanded: both in number of staff, and also locations.

It was helpful for some women to leave the norm of their old life environment, to get away, to start fresh in a new city. So, Basha created different offices in varied locations. They established a girls' home to safely house daughters & other vulnerable young women as they come of age.

As Basha has continued to identify the great need of women in Bangladesh, there is another area they have expanded: actively seeking women in brothels & whispering the potential of a new life.

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Can I Bring A Blanket Onto a Plane?

March 01, 2019 6 min read

As I was packing for our first family international flight (to London UK), I wanted to make sure that we had everything we needed to make our overnight journey the most comfortable. As you know, those flights can be a little chilly - so I wanted to bring blankets for all of us. Naturally, I wondered...

Can I bring a blanket onto a plane?

In short: YES! According to the TSA you are allowed to both check a blanket in your luggage and to bring a blanket on a plane within a carry-on (and this also includes electric blankets). You can even bring your own blanket in your arms as you would a jacket or hat, without it counting towards your carry-on or personal item limits or paying any extra fees.

 

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Do I Need A Budget? YNAB Review From A Reluctant Budgeter

February 23, 2019 4 min read


When I got married as a baby (4 days over 21), I was still a student. Then, we both worked for a bit, then we had babies, and then my husband was a student. For almost all of those years, our "budget" was: try to not spend money.

This head-in-the-sand tactic has served us... ok... BUT, now that I'm pretending to be a real grownup (at age 35 — youngest children tend to be late to the responsibility party), I'm taking a new approach!

After Christmas, I started using You Need a Budget (YNAB) to track every expense & plan for future spending. Two months in, here’s what I think.

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What Will Fill The Void of My Decluttered Life?

January 19, 2019 3 min read 1 Comment

I don’t need to have Netflix anymore to know that the new show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has surged a whole new wave of excitement over the KonMarie stuff cleanse & its “life-changing magic”. 

On Instagram stories, in my neighborhood, and blogs across the internet, women and men (though, let’s be frank, the latter are mostly of the indulging-their-significant-other variety) are purging books, refolding clothes, and asking the question, “Does this spark joy?” (a fancy version of: do I still want this thing?)

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In Praise of Missing Out

December 15, 2018 2 min read


This JOMO post (or its likeness) has crossed my radar a few times this week... One person said,

"Yes! This is me!"

while another said, "This is so not me! But I long for the desire to embrace it!"

To all the FOMOs, the Maximizers, the Overachievers out there... there is no better time to try to embrace this than right now during the holidays. 

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How Do I Choose Where to Donate My Money? Or Spend It?

December 01, 2018 3 min read


This week was “Giving Tuesday”, a day that has captivated consumers into funnelling some of the shopping mania (of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend) into charitable giving.

One of the huge questions that potential donors have is: what happens to my money when I donate?

It’s a great question, and a worthy one to ask. 

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