I was a die-hard Girl Scout. Yes, I enjoyed the campouts, badge earning, and other activities — but my favorite time of year was selling Girl Scout cookies. I am extremely competitive, and each year I would challenge myself to do better than the prior year. No one put me up to it. My parents did not pressure me or push me to sell a specific number of boxes. They also did not reward me for my achievement. It was my own crazy self that worked my ass off to do more than I ever had.
One year, one of the prizes from the local community of Girl Scout troops was a 10-speed bike. I did not have a 10-speed and wanted one badly. I knew it would take a lot of babysitting and tips from my paper route to be able to purchase that bike, not to mention selling my parents on my spending my hard-earned money. The next best way to ensure I had that bike was to sell the number of boxes required to win the bike — and I did.
A different year there was a trip to an amusement park in Ohio. I had been a few times on school trips, and absolutely loved amusement parks, so of course it was on my list to win a trip. I had my goals in mind and I made sure I met them, however crazy I was to find ways to sell boxes. Since I lived on the edge of a University campus, I would go to fraternity houses, their student center, apartment complexes, and dorms, not to mention door-to-door in my entire neighborhood to sell as many boxes as possible. I learned a lot — specifically on how to cater my communication and language to the person on the other side of the door, or the one with cash in their hands. I learned how to warm up my audience, be cute when needed, or spout off the benefits of the different types of cookies – whatever I could do to make sure they walked away with boxes of cookies in their hands.
So when I found out that Girl Scout cookies have gone online, I had mixed feelings. Girl Scouts will now be able to take credit cards and transact business via an app online. They can have family and friends in other parts of the country place an order through their specific online webpage. Here is why I have mixed feelings — yes they learn business techniques for 2015, online sales, webpages, social media, and credit cards, but I feel a lot is lost. It feels much like what happens when parents sell for their kids at work, but their kids never have to do a thing. How is that good for the kid? My parents did not sell a box for me. I sold every single one.
With selling cookies now online, I fear that kids will no longer know how to make change, do math in their heads as buyers put them on the spot with questions, and my largest concern is that they have now taken the human side out of selling cookies. Maybe I am old school, but I feel that the learning experience has dwindled for these girls.
Do you ever have those days when you realize you have no more toilet paper? You have just used the last piece and you look in the hall closet and find out you dropped the ball? The next option is to use facial tissue, but you pull one out and find out it is the last one too. You do not have time to go to the store until late that night, and that is the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day.
Imagine having a button near where you stock up on toilet paper, facial tissue, trash bags, diapers (the list goes on). You see that you are almost out, and with a click of the button Amazon will send you refills right away. You do not have to get online and place a new order. The click of the button does all the work for you.
There are currently 18 buttons for different brands. The cost of each button is $5, and are only available for Amazon Prime members. An excerpt for how it works from Amazon.com:
“Amazon Dash Button is simple to set up. Use the Amazon app on your smartphone to easily connect to your home Wi-Fi and select the product you want to reorder with Dash Button. Once connected, a single press automatically places your order. Amazon sends an order alert to your phone, so it’s easy to cancel if you change your mind. Unless you elect otherwise, Dash Button responds only to your first press until your order is delivered.”
Seems easy, and the future of how consumers might purchase everyday items such as shampoo, detergent, toilet paper — really anything that you get the same of every time. Only thing that randomly comes to me — kids that find the button and have a little fun. You might just have a truck load of toilet paper.
This video is so me. My father-in-law shared this funny commercial with me. While it is not the epitome of my marriage there are many striking similarities with Emma and myself. I have an iPad, an iPhone, and laptop, and yet I prefer paper in so many ways. Yes, I am hard-core about my iPhone. It comes with my everywhere, and I do know why I held on to my flip phone so many years ago. I was against a contraption that did all these things. I did not want to jump ship and get onboard. And then I did, and never looked back. With the exception of a few things.
I am a post-it whore. I should probably buy stock in 3M. I use them constantly at work and at home. A note app is great when you want to track a list of things, and when it pings you, but sometimes having that little sticky post-it on your phone that you touch and feel and have as a reminder is way more in your face then that note app you have to open and remember to check. I still have yet to find the perfect app that does exactly what I need, and so I resort to post-its. I am sure 3M is grateful.
Next, I am old school because I still read books from an actual paper version. I have tried to read from books on my iPhone or iPad and it just is not the same. Sure when you are traveling or on the go it is way more convenient, but there is something real about holding that book in your hand, being able to tell how far you have to go, or how much you have left (especially when it is a really good book). There is just something so sterile about reading a book on an iPad. Which is why I loved this line from “Sex and the City: The Movie” with Carrie and Mr. Big:
Mr Big says: “Are you the last person in New York still taking out library books?” Carrie says: “I love the smell. Mm.”
Ah, I am not one for the smell, or the treasures (usually a bit gross) you find in a book, but I love to know the adventure it has been on. How many times someone dropped it in the bathtub (curled pages), when someone loves the book (dog eared pages), a note or receipt someone left behind, and so many other oddities that tell the path that book has been on.
So when I watched this quick ad for toilet paper, I thought touche when I saw the ending!
I sometimes get teased at work for my excessive use of Post-Its. I have even been told that based on my actual job I should be more savvy using apps and other electronic means of managing my day. I cannot. I am a failure. I am deep down an old school soul. Post-its remind me of the quick, need-to-do-right now tasks. The notebook I take with me to all my meetings serves as a tracking of history. I can go back in time and remember items from meetings, I can track to-dos from those meetings. Usually ones that are not urgent go in my notebook, and Post-Its track URGENT tasks.
We all have our own ways to keep our life in order. I am a mixture of old and new. Chris and I track our grocery list, restaurant interests, and movies via an app on our iPhones, yet I still have paper notes for long-term, ongoing to-dos and future planning. Which way works? If there was an app out there that did exactly what I wanted, without crashing, and had no syncing issues I would probably divert all efforts digitally. However, that never happens for me.
Just this past Sunday I was on my way to the grocery, and just before I leave we realize my phone will not sync with our Any.do app, so I was not be able to view all the groceries on the list. Instead, Chris sent me an email with our list. If I cannot trust an app 100% I might as well resort to old school methods — pen and paper. Post-Its are my colorful, insistent reminders that something has to be done. If that Post-It is kept in an app on my iPhone I can easily ignore it. I have to remember to open that app to be reminded.
What is the method to your madness? Do you have a process that keeps your organized? Are you all electronic? All paper? Or a little of both?
I have a newfound interest in the products that I put on my body. Are they worth touching my skin? What are their ingredients? Would I eat what I put on my hair or skin? With my recent venture into “no poo” I have continued to explore other natural options for skin care and even found something the other day for brushing your teeth with coconut oil. (I have not tried it, but will let you know how it works out).
Have you ever thought about the fact that your skin is the largest organ on your body, and yet we feed it with harmful chemicals every day? Between your hair shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, and styling products, to your body wash, lotion, your toothpaste, and, if you are a woman, the makeup you put on your face, you are potentially adding chemicals to your body and you might not even know it.
Bring on “Think Dirty.” An app I found last weekend that allows you to scan a product in your bathroom, at the store, your friend’s house, what have you and find out from their “Dirty Meter” how toxic the product is for you. I love this idea. I am always trying to remember which sulfates are bad (most are horrible) and which are okay. Sulfates. Parabens. The list goes on for all the ingredients you should watch for when purchasing a product. What I find more complex is that so often the ingredient list can only be understood if you can decipher the periodic table of elements. They are in another language, with names so long it is hard to really know what is good and what is bad for you.
Think Dirty is free and even has a modern and sleek interface. Just scan the barcode on the product with the scanner within the app. You can then save products to a “Dirty List” or a “Clean List” so you can remember where specific products fall when you go back to the store. There is even some wit within the app. To get you to sign up, they say, “Is your bathroom Kardashian-filthy?” Clever. I spent a bit of time scanning my products, and even my Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s “organic” products resulted in 8-10 (7-10 is considered Dirty) on their Dirty Meter. Yikes.
Be safe, clean yourself responsibly, and take the pulse of what you put on your body.