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Tag Archives: shopping

Gearing up

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Thank you for all your kind words after my big “reveal”– I am not often thrilled by others’ ultrasound images, so thanks for humoring me. 🙂 The nice part of waiting until nearly halftime to share pregnancy news is carrying around this little secret for so long, but now that we’re officially “out” (and how!), I’m beginning to see just how long the list of Important Plans to Be Made is. Of course, I’ve been surreptitiously adding my preliminary favorites to a hidden Amazon shopping list, which helped prepare us slightly for the gauntlet of Buy Buy Baby (whose name I find unbearably crass)– but only slightly. The danger of an enormous store filled to the brim with every conceivable piece of baby equipment is that you will inevitably walk out somewhat cross-eyed. We were able to leave having been able to lay eyes and hands on the stroller/carseat combo that I thought we’d like, and with a fuller understanding of just how widely tastes in furnishings can vary (surely someone is buying that cow-print carseat, but it certainly won’t be me).

I’m sure we’ll be back in another such store soon, but for now I’m cowering near the computer, which contains plenty of helpful information and reviews, plus an occasional gem such as this one (click to embiggen; I promise it’s worth it):



Birthday freebies!

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…and this is why I bother subscribing to all those damn store-card and email programs! Free “Pure-fume” (with rose and jasmine notes) and Hand Relief from Aveda– and I caved and spent $8 on a travel-sized mask. On to Sephora, where I claimed my birthday eyeshadow, liner, and mascara…and put together a primer, lotion, ($1!) nail polish, and a product that I hope will make my hair Kate Middleton-shiny (so covetous!) so that I could use a $15 coupon that came in the emails. All this for less than $30?! Too bad my birthday only comes once a year. Oh, and by the way: has anyone used any of these products? They’re all new to me. I’m excited, and will certainly be reporting back on the hair shininess and whether anything makes my skin fall off.

(Note to GP: yes, you still win. Best birthday gift ever.)

My grownup Christmas list

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I grew up in a sharply divided household when it came to gift-giving. On the one side, I had a brother that began compiling his list of demands wish list around July; on the other, I had a mother that took great glee in tracking down and neatly wrapping the perfect thing that the recipient didn’t even know she wanted. Personally, I was always uncomfortable making a list of items that I wanted for Christmas– I had survived my entire life without That Single Magical Item, so who was I to be demanding things? (Seriously, I don’t know how I had this much guilt about asking for presents as a child.) I was content to be vague (“I don’t know…books?”) and generally be pretty psyched on Christmas morning when I tore into a new set of belongings that had been selected with my tastes and preferences in mind. Gift-giving, to me, was more than fulfilling a wish: it was tapping into unstated wants and showing that the giver really knew the recipient.

Now that I’ve typed that out, I can see that it is at least partially crazy. How am I supposed to know what every single person on my list deeply desires? What if there really is One Big Thing that they really want? (I know that, if I had been a more normal child, I would probably understand this better. Alas.) I’m happy to report that a) I’ve found ways to work with those in my life who are list-makers and expect me to be, too, and b) I’m getting better at making lists myself.

When my parents divorced, I was in the position of having “two” Christmases; what this really amounted to was a semi-elaborate scheme in which my brother and I would spend Christmas eve and the early part of Christmas morning at one parent’s house, and the rest of Christmas day at the other parent’s house (now that I’m married, it’s a whole new…adventure, but that’s another post). Here is a completely unsurprising fact about my parents: they are completely different. In contrast to my mom’s aforementioned knack for picking the Exact Right Thing, my dad had spent most of his adult life working from a list (my mom is a “better happy than surprised” person), and he expected to be able to do the same now that he was shopping on his own. In an attempt to end up surprised when we opened gifts, I would suggest and try on so many things that I couldn’t possibly remember all the possibilities, and did manage to achieve a decent level of surprise when I pried open the Fed Ex boxes that he enjoyed covering with gift wrap. (He gets the packaging materials free from work, and gets a sick amount of joy from watching us struggle with the tricky openings. We earn our Christmas gifts.)

GP comes from a Christmas-list-making family– they even buy things for each other months in ahead of time, call it a Christmas gift, and are done with it. Now, for a “must be surprised!!!” person like me, this has taken some getting used to. MaGP is a great gift giver because she is well attuned to the things I like; she’s gotten me some lovely purses, great books, and one of my favorite kitchen tools. GP, however, requires a bit more guidance, so I’ve moved into the dad-method of gift-suggesting, creating a list so exhaustive that I can’t possibly know ahead of time what’s under the tree. And, so far? It’s working really well. He knows I’ll be happy with what he buys, doesn’t have to give in to what he sees as a crazy “this gift is an indication of how well I know you and how I feel about you” belief system, and I am thrilled and surprised when I get to unbox my new treasures.

Are you a Christmas list maker? How do you pick gifts for your friends, family, significant other…?

In which I let the internet dress me (again)

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So, here’s the deal, y’all: I’ve been in search of a new fall-to-winter coat for this year, with our upcoming trip to London (less than six weeks to go…) in mind. I had originally had a classic trench coat in mind, but I can’t find anything that looks like I don’t want to be called “gumshoe” (hey, remember Carmen San Diego?). It’s not going to be freezing when we’re there, but I trust that it will be chilly enough for me to want to enfold myself in something cozy, and it never gets that cold out here, so I don’t need anything too heavy-duty. Enter Forever 21, home of cheapie coats! The problem was, there were two equally adorable choices…and I came home with both of them, torn over which would be the one to make the transatlantic and fall-to-winter journey with me. As it turns out that I am sometimes incapable of making wardrobe choices for myself, I am turning to the kind strangers (and friends!) on the internets, who are more than willing to tell me what to do!

What’ll it be, folks?

Charcoal with snaps and a zipper closure, hits mid-thigh


Red double-breasted peacoat, hits at the hip

Look what came in the mail today!

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With plenty of time before we head down to Disneyland this weekend, my early-birthday gift showed up on our porch. Because I am a nerd, I decided to do a full OOBE, complete with photographs (and dude, isn’t photographing the unpacking of a camerapurse pretty meta?). You’re welcome!

Shop it to Me Tuesday: Mad Men

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In anticipation of the triumphant return of Mad Men (only five more days to go! I’m watching dvr-ed episodes and remembering how awesome this show is), I’ve decided to theme today’s SitM Tuesday to styles that might fit into the early-60s aesthetic of the show. (Oh, and for a more legitimate fashion review of the looks on the show, check out Project Rungay’s rundown of Mad style.)

First, let’s remember a lesson from Joan: “Men love scarves.” Who am I to argue?

Next in accessories, a fun, graphic black-and-white bangle. Maybe a little chunky for any of the MM ladies, though Jane Sterling might be able to pull it off, or maybe Trudy Campbell, who I like a lot more. (Hello, did you see that Charleston?)

Moving on to potential office-wear, what do we think of this cardigan?

To me, this seems like the quintessential Betty Draper dress, when she’s in her more princessy mode.

Finally, some swimwear— maybe something for Trudy when she’s hanging out with her parents in Rehoboth Beach? (This is probably the item in today’s post that I’m most fond of, mostly because of the halter and interesting embellishment.)

All right, friends– who else is looking forward to the return of Mad Men? Whose Mad Men style do you most want to borrow?

Shop It to Me Tuesday: All the Pretty Dresses

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In a previous life, I had a job that required business casual attire. In that life, I often deferred to the power of The Dress, as it is a nearly instantly put-together look– and one that often causes people to ask you why you’re so dressed up. (Double win!) Now that I’m mostly jeans-and-t-shirt intern (though still put-together, I swear) with a pitiful bank account, I do most of my dress-ing up in my online window-shopping daydreams. Witness…

A gray pinstriped sheath from DKNY, on sale at ShopBop. It looks kind of blah on its own, but I think either brightly-colored or heavyish metallic accessories would make it pretty interesting.

I’ve never been able to find a shirt dress that I love (maybe something to do with body shape? Ample-hipped ladies, help me out here!), but I do like the idea of this sweet Tory Burch. I’m not convinced that I would go with a blue shoe, though (and I know that’s not the point, but still– style your looks, TB!).

You know what would look awesome on me, though? This zipper-detailed raspberry number from ABS. I love the color, appreciate the sleeves, and think that I could just about get away with not wearing a necklace with this one.

If this were a more wedding-heavy summer, and I wasn’t in the middle of The Great Arm Anxiety Period of 2010, this Calvin Klein would already be on its way to my doorstep. Despite not-so-great reviews on the Nordstrom site, I’d be willing to chance it based on the fun orange color alone.

Then again, maybe I’d go with this Laundry by Shelli Segal silk strapless. I love the print, and the fact that the little hints of lilac bring it juuuuust outside simple black-and-white territory.

Ladies of the internets– how do you feel about dresses? Are they the one-piece outfits that are the solution to the “Ohmygah, I have nothing to wear!” issue? Needlessly fussy? Anyone? Bueller?