November 27, 2013

Last shopping thoughts.

November

I'm so glad you joined me as we talked about staying safe as we shop this holiday season. I know there were a dozen items I didn't hit, and some I hit may have seen simplistic. Just remember, we don't have to do big things or walk around in fear in order to stay a little safer.

On a last note (because the holidays actually start tomorrow don't cha know!) I ask you to make sure you are staying aware of your surroundings. The bad guys want you distracted. They will also take advantage of your politeness and generosity. I'm not saying to be rude and stingy, but be aware when you do all things.

I hope your holiday season starts off wonderfully! And if you decide to take advantage of some of those black Friday deals please stay safe!

I would love for you to join the conversation through 
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November 25, 2013

Shopping online.

Let's be honest, in today's electronic market so many of us get a lot of holiday shopping done online. I love this, and I know some who have done ALL of their shopping online in years past. A few ideas to keep in mind when shopping this way.

(1) When you finish a purchase make sure your credit card information is not stored on the website. I know it can be a pain to type in every time you purchase something, but it is less of a pain than when someone hacks your account and spends your money.

(2) Pay attention to the delivery date. Make sure you or someone else will be around to receive the packages. I know Fed Ex no longer rings the doorbell and this frustrates me to all belief. It's too easy for someone to follow the truck and pick up what they deliver. I have heard of it done for several years now. So, if you know something is to be delivered check the door/front porch on a regular basis so that you actually receive what you paid for.

November

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November 22, 2013

Repack those shopping bags.

I'm pretty sure I learned this idea online from Kathleen Baty, but I couldn't find the clip to share with you. Here's the idea:

You have just spent a few marvelous hours at the mall with friends. Much shopping was done, along with some coffee drinking, and pizza eating. You have hit nearly every store in the mall and it is clearly evident by all the bags you are carrying. Stop. Before you head out to your car encumbered by the multitude of bags, repack them.

Take the smaller ones and put them in the bigger ones. Minimize what you are carrying. The size of bags most stores give you are perfect for their advertisement, but not so great for your maneuverability. So, fold them up, and stick them all into one, or two if you must. This will make you less of a target as you head to your car, and allow you to carry everything easier as well.

November

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November 20, 2013

Your shopping valuables.

Whether you are in a store, or in your car, don't leave your valuables alone while you are shopping. Let me make this clear, I mean anything valuable.

valuable

I have seen young children left in shopping carts when the mother took an older child to the bathroom.
Please don't do this.
I have seen purses left in shopping carts while the woman stepped away to look at an item.
Please don't do this.
I have seen children taken out of shopping carts while the mother was looking at an item.
Please don't leave them.
I have seen items stolen out of a car which were left in plain site.
Please don't do this.

While you are out shopping, keep your purse on your body and all children with you where ever you go. Keep your hand on your cart if your purse has been placed in it and if your child is sitting in it. Put everything in your trunk. Don't go through it in the parking lot, wait until you get home.

I know, these seem like they should be second nature, but sometimes we simply don't think when we do things. So, please, keep your valuables with you.

November

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November 18, 2013

Shopping with children.

Children are adorable, loving, and sweet. They are also cranky, tired, and hungry. When we go shopping and we have children to take along with us we truly need to be organized, on our guard, and aware because they can distract us more than anything else.

(1) Go when the children are rested and full, but take some snacks with you in case they get hungry or thirsty. This will keep you from having to buy something when you are out, and you can nip it in the bud rather than wait until they are full out tantrum because they need food or sleep.

(2) Set ground rules with the children before you head out. One in the cart, the other stay right next to you, holding hands or hand on the cart. Whatever rules make sense for you and your children, put them into place before you enter the store, and then enforce them.

(3) Take another adult with you if possible. Not only is shopping with another adult more fun, as we have talked about, but having them there to help with the children allows you to try clothes on, or turn your back for a second. I have tried clothes on with a baby in the dressing room. It's difficult and put us both in a bad mood.

(4) Leave the kids with a friend. If they have children offer to swap so you can both get some shopping done. Yes, shopping with another person is safer, but if you can go without children you have minimized your distraction and that allows you to be more aware than another person might be with the children there.

(5) If you have no one to go with you, and no one to leave them with, make short trips. Be organized with where you are going and what you are looking for. Go early in the morning when the crowds are smaller. I understand, it's hard. I was there many a year myself.

November

I would love for you to join the conversation through 
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November 15, 2013

Do you need your cell phone to shop?

Here's the thing, I think cell phones are both one of the best things created and one of the worst, at least when it comes to the topic of safety.

Always having a phone on you is excellent, because you can always call for help. You aren't left stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire, or in the mall parking lot when the battery in your car dies. Excellent. However....

Do you realize how many risks you take while you are out and about and your attention is given to the phone in your hands? Whether you are walking, driving, or standing in a store we almost always give our full attention to the phone or the conversation we are having rather than the activity we are doing. So, please keep these things in mind:

(1) Stay off the phone while driving. Your brain can't really multi-task. It's a lie. So, get where you are going and then return the phone call which feels so urgent in the moment.

(2) Stay off the phone going to and from your car in the parking lot. This is the opportunity many thieves take to steal your phone, your purse, or your packages. You want to stay aware to what is going on and who is around you.

(3) If you must make a phone call while you are out and about do it in your locked car or before you leave the store. There are ways we can do what we want and minimize the risk.

November

I would love for you to join the conversation through 
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November 13, 2013

Lock your doors while shopping.

Let me ask you a question: what is the first thing you do when you get in your car?

locks

No, "turn the car on" is not the right answer. You need to start getting in the habit of locking your doors as soon as you are in the car. It took me a bit of time to practice, but now I have it down so that I am locking the doors as I am closing mine. And I only unlock my door if I am by myself. Why should we worry about this? Because this is the time when a car-jacker will take advantage of us if they are looking for someone to take advantage of.

Sitting in the car, turning it on, setting the radio, talking to someone with you, not really paying attention to anything outside your bubble, you may be surprised when your door opens and someone not so politely asks you to exit your car.

You think this doesn't happen? Or you think it wont happen to you? It does, and it could, so minimize the risk and lock that door before you do anything else. Now you can enjoy that bubble better.

November

I would love for you to join the conversation through 
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November 11, 2013

Go shopping with someone.

I know sometimes we simply have to get out to get something and there is no one to go with, but it's so much more fun if you go with someone. Whether you stroll the stores together, or meet up to check out, find someone to go with you. Not only does it help you be aware because four eyes are better than two, but it helps you stay accountable for what you are shopping for, and it gives you a check in through out the day rather than simply waiting for the end of the day to come. Take someone with you, and laugh and shop together.

November

I would love for you to join the conversation through 
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November 8, 2013

What purse do you take shopping?

I must admit it. I have a plethora of purses, and yes I do know what that word means. I have big ones, small ones, home made ones, crocheted ones, and ones I love. Usually when I go out I match my purse to my outfit... no not really. I actually go through phases with different purses. Call it love affairs which eventually fade, but I never really get rid of any of them, thus I am left with a whole bunch to choose from whenever I want. Here are my suggestions when you head out to go shopping:

purse

(1) Choose a smaller purse. Not something that goes over your shoulder, but more like a wallet purse that is a wristlet or fits into your coat pocket. When it's smaller it's not as easily seen by someone who wants to take it. When it's on your wrist it's not as easy a target as when it's on your shoulder.

(2) Sometimes we don't have a choice, and all we have is big. Don't set it down, flip it on your back, or walk away from it. I understand it can get heavy, but doing those things makes it an easier target for someone who wants to take it or go through it.

(3) Speaking of, do you have an exterior pocket on your purse? Mine does and it is perfect for wallets, phones, or something I need to get to quickly. I have noticed however that it's easy for others to get to as well when I'm not paying attention. Flip that purse around so the exterior pocket is close to your body. It wont slow you down that much, but it will slow someone else down who wants to go through it.

November

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November 6, 2013

Shopping organization.

I sat on the edge of the store, near the dressing rooms as she tried on the outfits. There was much laughing and giggling, and that outfit looked as bad on her as it did on the hanger. The question remains, "What body type would that even look good on??" I took a moment as I was sitting there and organized my wallet.

What?? Yes, I did. I'm not always smart, and I don't always think about what I am doing. I didn't even consider the risk factor, I just did what needed to be done. And to be honest, that's what most of us do when we place ourselves at risk.

You have cash, cards, gift cards, and circulars in your purse? Take five minutes before you leave and organize it better. Leave it home if you aren't going to use it. Since you already know where you are going, put the circulars in order, and paperclip the gift card to each one if you want, but definitely organize your cash and cards in your wallet so you can get what you need without showing the world what you have.

It sounds a little like dressing doesn't it?

November

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November 4, 2013

A shopping plan of attack.

I have to admit, I have gone shopping many a time with just an idea to pick "this and this" up with no real idea of where I was going. In fact, just a few weeks ago I did that and ended up all over town... twice. No, really. Thankfully I didn't have a time crunch, and there were no problems. But I started thinking about this, especially with this time so fresh in my mind and other times started popping up in my memory as well.

It doesn't take that long before you leave to sit and plan the route you will take while shopping. Truly, write it down, because I'll forget the one perfect spot I wanted to hit while I'm out in the traffic navigating the crazy drivers. And look up the new store online, because I'm sure everyone has at least one "GPS got me lost" story, and who needs another one of those?

"Let's hit Penny's, then Kohl's, and while we are at it let's go to Rue's. But let's go there second because it's right next to Penny's rather than on the other side of the highway." There are two benefits of doing this.

(1) You know where you are going and wont look like a lost puppy trying to find your way. It keeps you from being vulnerable because you look confident and determined rather than lost and unfocused.

(2) You can let someone not going with you know where you are going. If you don't make it back in time and aren't answering your phone they know where to start looking for you.


November
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November 1, 2013

A month of shopping safely. (well, almost a month)

November

It's that time of year. If you haven't started your shopping by now, you will before this month is over. Here's the thing, I know you all are very smart. I understand we all vary our level of risk and safety with each day and each thing we do. I simply want to share a few ideas which will keep us a little safer when we head out with the crowds to the stores this shopping season. Some we all know and simply need to be reminded of. Some I have heard and think are outstanding. Because really, you and I both hear all the stories on the news of the thievery and harm that is done when it's supposed to be the "happiest time of the year." If there is anything we can do to keep us from being the main character in those stories, then let's talk about it and do it.




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