Stock Up Chicago!

boozeWell, in case you missed it, Chicago (actually all of Illinois)  is implementing yet another tax and this one affects your drinking, sweet tooth, and, for some of you, sanitary habits.  Yep, starting Tuesday, Illinois is raising taxes on booze, candy, and dandruff shampoo.  However, not all taxes or items are created equal in Illinois!

The dandruff shampoo is the clearest – unless a doctor prescribes the shampoo, you’ll see a tax increase to 6.25%.  On the other hand, what constitutes candy is up for grabs.  Chocolate bar = candy (6.25% now).  Chocolate covered peanuts = food (so no tax increase and stays at 1%).  Makes sense, right?  Only in Illinois!

The highest tax increase, though, affects booze and is based on the product’s alcohol content and is calculated by the gallon.  Technically, the distributor is the only one facing a tax increase; however, I think we all know that the tax increase will quickly make its way to all of us.  So, just how much is this tax increase? A six pack of beer goes from 10.4 cents to 13 cents, a bottle of wine increases from 13 cents to 28 cents, and a fifth of most spirits jumps from 90 cents to $1.71 – ouch all around!

For those who wonder where this money is going, the state plans to use it for public works projects like roads and schools.  I’m sure they’re starting with the giant pothole right outside my house.

So, if you live in Illinois, spend today (Monday) stocking up on dandruff shampoo, candy (if you can figure out what is candy and what is food), and booze before the latest in a series of tax increases takes place.  Or, have a flaky scalp, cavity-free teeth, and a happy liver and use your money savings for other vices!

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!


I Cheated & I Feel Guilty But I’ll Do It Again

Yep, I did it. I cheated. I cheated on my hairdresser. I love Alice, who has been cutting my hair for years here in Chicago. In fact, I visited Alice on my second day back in Chicago because I was so excited to have my hair cut by her again.

However, being on the job hunt means that a $65 haircut no longer fits in the budget. Sure, if there weren’t other haircut options, then I’d eat Kraft mac & cheese for a week to make up for the spend (which Jeff would love). But there are other options here, so yesterday I ventured to the Aveda Institute here in Chicago for a haircut – and it looks fantastic, if I do say so myself!

This was not my first visit to the Aveda Institute. When I lived in Minneapolis, I usually got my haircut (and a massage occasionally) at the Aveda Institute. The upside is, of course, the cost. My haircut, with tip, came to $18! And, at Aveda, they give you an amazing scalp and shoulder massage as part of the service. Plus, at any beauty school, while students do the majority of the cutting, instructors check in along the way and can make any last minute fixes, if needed.

The downside is how long it takes and that you have to book appointments, especially on the weekends, far in advance. My cut yesterday took almost two hours. I do have the time right now so that was okay but once I am working full-time again, I’ll have to consider that commitment. Once you have a good experience, as I did, you can request your student. Charles cut my hair and he’ll be there until November – ask for him! Since he has worked on my hair, and he must be new to working with people rather than wigs (he started last November), I think the next cut will be quicker.

As I said, this was not my first beauty school adventure. In addition to Minneapolis, I had a great experience with Pivot Point Academy in Arizona. I also tried the Paul Mitchell School in Costa Mesa, CA but I didn’t love that cut so I sucked it up and went to an actual salon after that in California. I have heard good things about other Paul Mitchell schools, though.

Tonight I’m taking my sassy new haircut – and my birthday boy husband – out to dinner with the money I saved – and I don’t feel guilty about that!

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