Monday, November 27, 2006

Oh How We Shopped

It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and unlike some others, we had avoided any sort of shopping on Black Friday. I like to sleep, for one thing, and also, I don't really need anything electronic, and most of the deals seemed to be in that general neighborhood. Plus I like to sleep. But I still had this shopping bug, so Gina and I decided to try it out on Saturday, when there would still (hopefully) be some sales, and maybe fewer people. Our game plan was to try Ross out for some cheap work clothes, run by Kohl's to look at a potential present for her mom, and then hit the big mall. We barely made it out of Ross.

So lucky were we at the first stop that we easily spent our quota in that store. Probably more than the day's allotted shopping funds, if we're being honest. This is where I'll confess a little something: I really, really like a good deal. It is ridiculous to have such a sense of accomplishment from getting a good deal on something, whether it's shoes or DVDs or coats or whatever, but I still love it. But Gina, she loves shopping more than even me. So asking her to take me to stores is akin to asking the alcoholic to take you to the bar - you know exactly how it will end.

We really did get amazing deals: great winter coat, gorgeous shoes, presents for others, smokin' little black dress (that one's Gina's...she also got shoes and lots more), but still...walking out with our trashbag-like sacks of stuff was a little out of control. To reinforce our sense of accomplishment we went home and got out the calculator to add up how much we would have spent had we bought the items for a retail price (which I of course would NEVER do...I can count on one hand the things I have paid full price for) and lordy, we each saved like $300. Good times.

We also did well at Kohl's, and had to stop there, because the mall would have been just too much and I also have to eat and such. Can't spent ALL the grocery money on earrings.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's Okay, TJ's, I Still Love You

Did you know that the time between 5-6 pm is cranky old lady hour at Trader Joe's? I, myself, did not know this fact until today. But I now I certainly do.

Normally I go early on Saturday or late on a weekday, but got out of work a wee bit earlier than usual, and I'm out of coffee (aka sweetnectar of morning caffeine) so I thought I'd drop by. How could I tell it was said Cranky Hour? Well:

-Apparently the lines were WAY too long. Unacceptably long. And anyone wearing a badge, including the checkers that were working very quickly to get everyone moving, got to hear all about it.
-The clementine oranges (which I bought, by the way) were marked from California, when EVERYONE knows that the best ones are from Morocco [dramatically put out sigh].
-Anyone caught dallying in a place that might slightly inconvenience someone (read: everywhere) got to hear about it with fake politeness: "Um, exCUSE me, THANK you."

The bitching was truly endless. Maybe these people didn't get the laid back memo about Trader Joe's - I mean everyone in the place is freakin' wearing an Hawaiian shirt. The whole reason I go to places like that is to ESCAPE from you uptight, repressed DC dames. Curse you all for invading my clearly designated, laid back, granola-type space.

In other words, lesson learned, and am vowing to keep to my original schedule without variance. And to thoroughly enjoy my Californian clementines :).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Alright, ladies

I was chatting with my mom over the weekend (yes, she came in from Texas for what amounted to the most gorgeous fall weekend ever in DC) about my new discovery in skin care. I am, as I have perhaps previously mentioned, extremely cheap about things. I mean, I can spend money when necessary, but there is nothing I love more than a good deal, whether it be a sweater on sale or gas that is 3 cents cheaper than the station across the road.

So I have recently discovered that oldie but goodie product: Pond's Cold Cream. I have unbearably dry skin, which is just awful in the wintertime, and this stuff is great for it. Plus, it costs a whopping $5 at Target, which is just too cool. It got me thinking: which things do I consider my "secret" deals, and which things do I consider worth the splurge? Here's my list:

Things that are cheap but great nonetheless:
Pond's Cold Cream
L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara (seriously, this stuff costs like $6 as well, and it is AWESOME. I have puny eyelashes and people consistently ask me if I have fake ones on when I sport this)
Lubriderm lotion (okay, this isn't as cheap as some of the others, but I have yet to find an all-purpose lotion that works as good as this stuff does)

Things that I like to spend a little extra on:
Face masks (and really anything) from Lush (the masks are great - homemade, and work wonders - although it could be a placebo effect because I love everything they make* but whatever works, right? - and you smell so very wonderful from even being in the vicinity of the store)
Shampoo, conditioner, and Be Curly from Aveda (keeping the curls in line is totally worth the extra dough, plus it also smells so lovely)

Of course I am listing these things in the hope that all of you will chime in with your fabulous deals and such, because I would LOVE to add to my list. So, dish!

*Because I discovered the store while studying in London - over a weekend in Scotland, to be exact - and Lush has always had a special place in my heart since, although it is so very less coveted now that there are actually stores in the U.S. Things are less of a premium when you don't have to fly across an ocean for them...

A New(ish) Hobby

It's all Joi's fault, really. She (and her many crafty friends) are always making cute things and posting photos on their websites, and it makes me want to make stuff. There's also this side of me that really wants to make things that are tangible and do not deal with Microsoft Office in any way, shape or form. So when I went to visit Joi this summer, she taught me some basics of crochet. And then I went and bought a book, and now, in November, there is yarn all over my freakin' apartment (with apologies to Gina, who is a very nice and understanding roommate).

All of this is to say that, if I can get my act in gear, I might from time to time, show you guys stuff I'm making. So now you are forewarned. Also, this has led to conversations with other people who also do things with yarn (i.e. knit and/or crochet...there's a difference! I'm learning something new all the time!), so notice a new link to the right, so you can go and ogle the pretty things Ava makes as well.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

My favorite passage from Everything is Illuminated*

The 120 Marriages of Joseph and Sarah L

The young couple first married on August 5, 1744, when Joseph was eight, and Sarah six, and first ended their marriage six days later, when Joseph refused to believe, to Sarah's frustration, that the stars were silver nails in the sky, pinning up the black nightscape...They remarried four days later...They were sixty and fifty-eight at their last marriage, only three weeks before Sarah died of heart failure and Joseph drowned himself in the bath. Their marriage contract still hangs over the door of the house they on-and-off shared...

"It is with everlasting devotion that we, Joseph and Sarah L, reunite in the indestructible union of matrimony, promising love until death, with the understanding that the stars are silver nails in the sky, regardless of the existence of the bottom of the Brod...agreeing to forget that Joseph played sticks and balls with his friends when he promised he would help Sarah thread the needle for the quilt she was sewing, and that Sarah was supposed to give the quilt to Joseph, not his buddy...ignoring the simple fact that Joseph snores like a pig, and that Sarah is no great treat to sleep with either, letting slide certain tendencies of both parties to look too long at members of the opposite sex, not making a fuss over why Joseph is such a slob, leaving his clothes wherever he feels like taking them off...trying to erase the memory of a long since expired rose bush that a certain someone was supposed to remember to water when his wife was visiting family...
accepting the compromise of the way we have been, the way we are, and the way we will likely be..."

*Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, 2002.