I must admit that with the holidays fast approaching, I'm experiencing that creeping pressure to get all of my gift shopping done that many of you are also probably feeling right about now. There's a couple of strategies that are good for getting all your holiday shopping done and many people take advantage of Black Friday. I gotta say, I've never been a huge fan of the whole "staying up late, crowded lines, fighting over deals" thing. For one, I'm usually in bed by 11 o'clock, and two, I'd rather shop at a leisurely pace. What is the point of me telling you all of this you may ask? I've happily decided to take the pledge alongside Fundera, a company that helps small businesses get the funding they need to be successful, to support my favorite local spots on Small Business Saturday this November 26th!
Now I knew that supporting local, small businesses was important, but I had never seen the cold, hard facts laid out in front of me. Did you know that small businesses make up 99.7% of U.S. employer firms? Or that they make up 54% of all sales in the U.S. as well as 33% of the U.S.'s export value? Safe to say that small businesses are incredibly important to our economy. In thinking more about this upcoming national shopping holiday, I took a moment to think about my favorite local small business that I would be happy to support. Being college students, my roommates and I tend to favor small coffee shops and eateries.
First up? A place I've definitely mentioned a number of times. Caje is a little coffee shop with some of the best lattes and bagels around. I routinely spend 10-15 hours a week here working on anything from homework to blogging, or just catching up with friends. The environment is so laid back and all the baristas are college students as well, so it's a very welcoming atmosphere.
#2? Savoy is a family-run restaurant downtown that serves up delicious (seriously delicious) breakfast and lunch. I'm not exaggerating when I say they have everything. You can choose between homemade soups and deli favorites, or opt for their insanely fresh salad bar. If you're feeling like taking a sweeter route, they have pancakes (gluten-free and regular), oatmeals, and daily baked goods. Guy Fieri even visited once and gave the place a thumbs up! When my roommates and I were first years, we would catch the bus from campus and treat ourselves to brunch every once in a while. Since then it has become a favorite that we've taken family and friends to.
And last but not least: one of my all-time favorites, the Isla Vista Co-op. Usually, since we're living on a college student budget, we tend to shop at Trader Joe's. However, when we're in need of a few quick groceries near home, or a really yummy sandwich, my roommates and I hit up the co-op. It is a wonderful little place that is really invested in stocking local products, hosting social health and balance events, and giving back to the community. Everyone who works there is so friendly and welcoming. My favorite is the monthly brunch+yoga that they put on. Good for your body and tastebuds.
Curious about the background of Small Business Saturday? According to Fundera ---->
Safe to say, I will be making a point to keep to small businesses in order to support my community, especially over the next few weeks. If you're up for taking the pledge and doing the same, let other people know about the importance of November 26th! Hope to see you all hoping on the bandwagon of Small Business Saturday!
Surprise surprise! Back with a sunrise themed post! I know, no one is actually surprised. If you ever visit or move to Santa Barbara, you'll definitely understand why people congregate all the time to watch the sun set or rise over the ocean. It's simply a way of life here.
A little while ago my roommate mentioned that she was planning on heading to the water tower in the hills above the city to catch the sunrise. I immediately hopped on board. Waking up at 5:30 definitely didn't sound ideal, but I shoved that notion toward the back of my brain.
Kasia is probably the best trip leader and made pumpkin muffins for everyone.
I definitely recommend taking those small steps out of your everyday routine to switch things up and do something different. This is my last year at UC Santa Barbara and I know that you blink and time passes by in an instant, so I'm taking every chance to create some memories with my friends. As we've all started making plans for after college, I think it's important to cherish the moments we do have together (and all that cheesy stuff). Hope everyone's holiday season is going well!
I wanted to follow up my previous post with some photos from the sunset the other night. I know I've posted similar photos before, but for some reason I never get tired of that time of day.
Personally, I'm a huge fan of taking some time out of each day to relax and process life, whether its with friends or just solo. Taking time to be grateful for everything I have in life as well as all the people I love makes me happy and feel like i'm doing things right. Anyone else have ways of winding down their days?
Last fall I took off for a year abroad. Now I'm back in the states, trying to figure out this crazy thing we call life!