Five Things Friday Vol. 86

Five Things Friday: just five things I’m thinking about or things that made my week, or things that I otherwise feel like sharing.

Oh man, it was Valentine’s Day on Wednesday and I posted about our 2023 finances. How very romantic. I guess that tells you how much attention I pay to holidays like Valentine’s Day. (Hint: none.) I personally don’t have anything against Valentine’s Day (and celebrating love!) but I am also not a fan of hyped-up, overpriced rituals surrounding such a holiday. I told Jon years ago, please don’t ever buy me 1000% marked-up flowers on Valentine’s Day. I promise I won’t think you love me any less if you save the money. 

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I am constantly hemming and hawing about how much money we spent on housing and food (just look at my recent spending report), but I really loved Coco’s comment on my spending report post, where she said that she loved seeing people spend money on hobbies and keeping up with a healthy lifestyle, such as good food and fitness. If you reframe it like that, you really can’t complain about what we spend our money on.

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I bought an Air Tag for my luggage for my upcoming trip back home. I very much wish I could be like Nicole, or Elisabeth, or Melissa and just travel with carry-on when I travel overseas, but I don’t think I can do it. It’s not even that I don’t think I couldn’t consolidate what I bring along and fit it into a carry-on bag. My conundrum is that I either want to bring things (as gifts) to Germany or bring stuff back from Germany that I cannot put in carry-on. Do you guys never bring anything back from your trips that can’t go into carry-on? How do you deal with that?

So, in the hopes of at least not losing my luggage along the way (or, let me rephrase, be able to keep track of where it is if it does get left behind somewhere), I bought an Air Tag. I hope to evoke Murphy’s Law (you know, if you do have an Air Tag in your bag, you won’t need it. Or something like that.).

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Running friends, I need your input: I’ll be in the market for new running shoes soon. I got fitted previously and I know I am a neutral runner. I’ve been an exclusive Brooks shoes runner, with one running cycle where I deviated to Asics. I’ve run Ghosts, Ravennas (not neutral, I know), Launches, Levitates, and most recently Ricochets. I’d say my favorites were the Levitates and Ricochets (although the latter have sadly been discontinued). I bought two pairs at the time, but they’re both nearing the end of their life cycle. The Brooks website recommends pivoting back to the Ghosts, which I am tempted to do. I am reluctant to try new shoes when I know that these have worked for me in the past, but I do know that changes are made over time to every iteration of a shoe model, and I am open to input. If you’re a neutral runner, what’s your favorite running shoe?

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I am working a few hours from SoCal today. I love the flexibility of my job that allowed me to travel down here yesterday (to help out my mother-in-law over the long weekend – Monday is President’s Day here in the US) and make up the hours today, so I don’t have to take any PTO. I’d rather save my PTO for the big trips (overseas).

Happy Friday, friends. I hope you enjoy your weekend.

  1. I NEED Airtags for 1. my phone; 2. my Kindle, 3. my Mac laptop, and 4 my carry-on luggage. I’m gonna get them before we leave for Paris. Thank you for this idea!

    1. You’re welcome. I can’t believe I just implemented it myself ;)

  2. Neutral runner and LOVE the Asics Novablast 3 – they have a 4, but I loved the 3 so much I just re-bought those since they were cheaper. Possibly my favorite ‘trainer’ shoe ever. IN the past I had worn Brooks Glycerin and Asics Gel Nimbus but Novablast to me blows them all away.

    1. Aww, thank you SHU. I am intrigued and trust your assessment as a runner! I’ll check them out.

  3. I LOVE my AirTags and have them on my keys and with my Airpods (I have a case that holds an AirTag). My husband has a wallet with a special pouch for an Airtag and then he has one on his keys. (We bought a 4-pack). I’m a BIG fan.

    We never buy things that won’t fit in our carry-ons! But it definitely limits us. When we go to Barcelona this year we’re going to take 3 bookbags and 3 carryon rollers for FOUR people. Wish us luck (John’s idea, not mine, but it will be easier if the kids only have to juggle one thing each; L will take a bookbag and A will have a roller).

    1. Again, I am so impressed with your luggage situation when you travel. And I am glad to hear you’ve also been using Air Tags :)

    2. I’ve had Asics Gel Cumulus for years and I love them. I run 30 miles + a week and never have injured myself.

  4. We bought AirTags for our trip to London two summers ago, the summer there were all these stories about how much luggage was getting lost at Heathrow. We planned to carry on our luggage but I was worried they’d get gate checked so I got four of them. Murphys Law assured that we didn’t have to gate check. I bought little keychains that you can put them in and now I have one on my keys and one on my daughters. So they can have a use after the luggage situation.

    I hope you’re enjoying SoCal. NorCal’s weather has been no so great lately. (Please understand I say that knowing full well how narrow a range people from the Bay Area have for “nice weather” 🤣)

    1. Oh right, the Air Tag will definitely be useful after the travel situation… but I am glad to hear that Murphy’s Law worked in your case :)

      SoCal is supposed to get some more rain this weekend too (just like NorCal), but I hope it won’t cause any issues at least (here or there).

  5. I loved Coco’s comment too. What a mind shift can do, right?
    The husband received some AirTags from me last year and we used them for our travel to Mallorca. Not sure if he put one in the car and his wallet. Need to ask him.

    Things I never knew existed: a neutral runner is a thing. Still no clue what it means though.

    1. Mind shift for sure! Something to keep in mind.

      Haha, neutral runner (in shoe terms) just means that I have an even, neutral foot strike (no pronation or supination, that can cause the shoe to wear down unevenly. There are extra “support” shoes for those types of runners.) Sorry for using running lingo ;)

  6. I think AirTags are so smart! And it makes total sense you would want to take/bring a bunch of stuff with you overseas and back!
    Love Coco’s perspective shifting comment. Very great way to look at it.

    1. Thank you, Suzanne. I really needed Coco’s comment!

  7. I guess I never bring things back from my destination, is how I live the carryon life. Hmm. Or if I do, it’s something small. Or something from the duty-free, like liquor or vanilla, which is what I brought back from Mexico. I don’t have Air Tags but they are a brilliant idea!

    1. Do you usually travel to warmer destinations when you just go carry-on? I am going home (and skiing) and I feel like just the skiing gear is more than I can fit in a carry-on LOL

  8. It always amazes me how people can get away with only carry-on. I am determined to try it on our next trip wherever this may be. I have a box of books/fotos sitting at my PILs that I want to take back next time I visit so only carry-on would make total sense.

    1. I am tempted to try – maybe on a shorter trip sometime.

  9. I love the perspective shift when it comes to spending money. Very wise.

    I also bought air tags when I went to France in 2022, because so much luggage was getting lost. My luggage did not get lost, so yeah, win win. I think about putting them in the cars now, but if a thief had a iphone, I think it would tell them there is an AirTag nearby. Would that deter them, or would they just throw it out the window? I’m not sure.

    1. So cool you’re also using AirTags and that Murphy’s Law worked for you ;)

      It’s an interesting thought about putting the AirTag in your car… I would hide it so well that a potential thief couldn’t find it even if he knew it was there ;)

  10. Oh, I am always so sad when people don’t bring the magic of Valentine’s Day into their lives. *sigh* I’ll have to add your name to my list of people who need some Valentine’s cheer. I just feel like there’s a drought of holidays between NYE and Easter, so I’m happy to celebrate whatever happens to fit in that slot and that means I am all aboard the Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s celebrations.

    1. I love your enthusiasm for ALL holidays, Engie <3

  11. I just got an AirTag and used it for the first time this weekend and it was the reason I knew my luggage was still in the airport and not lost when it didn’t show up on the conveyor! I was thinking Murphy’s Law would work for me too LOL. And no idea how to do it – I plan to bring gifts to EU and items back home as gifts .

    1. Ha! So cool you also tried out the airtag. I understand you can’t do much to get to your luggage when it gets lost but I feel like “knowing where it is” would make me feel calmer.

  12. If I was visiting home like you are, I could not pack a carryon since there are probably always going to be things you bring back with you. On one of my France trips I checked a bag because I wanted to bring mustard back! The mustard in France is so much better but I can’t find it in the US! I have tried buying the same brand but it is not as potent as what you get in France. They must use a different, more mild recipe for the US.

    We aren’t big on Valentine’s Day either. Phil’s office building had a ‘build a bouquet’ event so he put together a little bouquet for me which was a fun surprise. And it cost nothing for us which makes it even better!

    1. I am glad you understand the carry-on dilemma. And yes, things like the mustard from France are the reason why I would have a hard time just flying with carry-on – there is always something I want to bring back.

  13. I need to get some Air Tags! I think it would just make me feel so much more at ease about my luggage. I always prefer to check a bag because I don’t like lugging a suitcase around the airport/mashing it into the overhead bin. I really don’t find waiting for luggage at baggage claim to be THAT big of a deal. However, I’ve yet to lose luggage so maybe my tune would change if so.

    1. I don’t mind waiting for my luggage either. I’d rather be “free” of extra stuff when I travel through airports, but yeah, it would make me feel calmer knowing where my bag is.

  14. I’m excited you are getting to go home for a visit. I don’t think I could travel overseas with just a carryon either. Wait, maybe I did do that when Coach and I went to Ireland last year. Hmm. I didn’t buy anything though.
    I’m not sure what a neutral runner is. Does that mean someone who can take or leave running? I’m guessing that’s not it. Ha. I wear Asics. I run 4.5 miles every other day in the spring, summer, fall, and I don’t run in the winter. It’s great to have flexibility in your job.

    1. Ha, no worries that you don’t know what a neutral runner is… although, if you run, you must have bought running shoes at some point and you should have figured out if you need a “neutral” shoe or a “support” shoe. Being a neutral runner just means that my foot seems to hit the ground pretty flat/stable and I don’t tend to run on the inside (pronation) or outside (supination) of my foot and need a shoe that supports that. Makes sense?

  15. I want to see what you choose! I currently have Ghosts – have run/walked in them for years – but the changes aren’t great for me. I’m debating whether to go with another brand. Have you ever thought of just going to a running store to try on the different options? Might be a reasonable idea… Try before you buy and all that. :)

    1. Oh, I’ve been to the running store many times. That’s how I got my first Asics, and then the Brooks Ghosts. I could go back for another fitting I guess… I just don’t want to be talked into buying whatever shoe they have me try on LOL

  16. I’m a believer in the AirTag and checked luggage on overseas trips. I will only carry-on with work trips that are 1-3 days. Checking bags takes the pressure off all the way around. No fighting for overhead bin space, no worrying about bringing things back, no worrying about trying to find a dry cleaner or pressing service on arrival. Very few of my clothes would be wearable if I didn’t give them enough room to breathe in a checked bag.

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