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Black Friday disillusionment

I went Black Friday shopping at a large retailer tonight.  With all the complaining going on, I think I was the only person to be HAPPY about Black Friday shopping starting at midnight instead of 5 or 6 am.  I’d much rather stay up late than drag myself out of bed stupid, stupid early.

 I arrived and got in line around 11:15 pm.  The line was pretty long, but there were other big box stores nearby with much longer lines.  I had picked 4 “Angel Tree” type tags to buy gifts for kids in need, and my main goal was to buy their presents.  I also had my eye on a waffle iron for us, but otherwise didn’t have anything in particular in mind.

The store was very busy but not complete insanity.  I picked out the toys, and then browsed around for a few more items.  Almost everything I picked was 50% off.  When I went through checkout, I was surprised at how much the total was.  When I got back to my car, I gave my receipt a close reading.  I don’t know if the store inflated the base prices for Black Friday, or always has ridiculous base prices and displays the products as always being on sale, but some of the base prices for the items I picked were ridiculous.  For example, one of the kids I bought for was an 11 year old girl.  I picked out fluffy slippers, and these holiday themed sets of nail polish, lip gloss, and lotion.  The fluffy slippers were $6.99 on the mark-down price, which for these quality of slippers, is about or a little better than what I’d expect to pay for them at a discount big box retailer. The base price, however, was $24.99. I don’t think anyone, ever, would pay $24.99 for these slippers, or if they did, they deserve to pay that much for being that stupid.  Also, each of the little holiday cosmetic sets were $3.99 on the mark-down price, with an original price of $8–eight dollars for 4 lip glosses in a ziplok? I can’t imagine anyone actually paying that base price, because it is absolutely ridiculous.  It’s got to be a marketing gimmick to catch your eye with the 50% off sign, but the resultant price is about what you’d expect for full price at most discount stores.

So all this is to say that I did get a really good deal on the waffle iron, but with almost everything else i picked out, I ended up paying probably the same as I would on any regular day at Wal-Mart. I didn’t overpay for anything, but the “deals” weren’t anything to write home about, either.

This is only the 2nd year I have done Black Friday shopping, and I think from here on out I’m not going to bother.  In years past I have done almost all of my holiday shopping online.  It’s a lot easier to compare prices online, and I also don’t have to deal with holiday crowds, or worse yet– holiday music.

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My Hanukkah Wish List

Mr. Beez and I have the exciting ritual of telling one another EXACTLY what to buy for Hanukkah. (Note: 8 days of Hanukkah, so we get 8 presents).  We are both practical people, and want to buy one another presents that we love and use.  The easiest way to accomplish this is with a list that is specific as possible.  No, it doesn’t take the magic out of unwrapping presents if you already know what’s in the package….because even if I didn’t tell Mr. Beez exactly what to buy, I’d secretly unwrap and peek at the presents ahead of time anyway. I have no patience.

Mr. Beez has been pestering me to get him the  darn list already, so here it is!

1.  A 2012 Bruegger’s bottomless coffee card! Mr. Beez got one of these for me for this year, and it has been great great great!  I use it nearly every day.  The weeks where they had Pumpkin Spice coffee were especially great, and I’m hoping they bring back the Golden French Toast coffee soon!

2. A Global Chef’s knife.  I have a chef’s knife but it’s less than stellar. The chef’s knife is the only knife I really use while cooking, so it would be a waste to get a whole knife set that I won’t use.  A good chef’s knife, however, will go a long way in my kitchen.

3. Blinc mascara. Simply the best mascara ever. EVER.  It is the original “tube” mascara. It feels ultra-light going on, and it doesn’t crumble or smear as the day wears on.

4. A So White LUSH bath bomb.  The apple scent is delicious.  Bonus– unlike other brightly colored, glitter-filled LUSH bath bombs, this one won’t stain the tub.

5.  Hope in a Jar Moisturizer, SPF 25.  Every time I see my doctor, she says “You wear sunblock every day, right?” and then I LIE to her, and say “of course!” (I LIE to my doctor about sunscreen. What is wrong with me?…is it a mitigating factor that I’m virtually never outside?)  Now that I am getting old and raisin-faced, it is time for me to use that sunscreen for real.  Hope in a Jar is the best moisturizer in the world, by far.  It smells fresh and feels weightless, never greasy.

6.  Sally Hansen nail polishes.  Sally Hansen has come out with a ton of really fun colors lately.  I know OPI is the big thing in nail polish, but I think Sally Hansen does just as well for way cheaper.  I love the Complete Salon Manicure and Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear.  I’m very tough on my hands, and these nail polishes hold up for a good long while.

7.  A digital alarm clock that is not ugly.  I use my cell phone as an alarm clock…but I realized the perils of that practice when I lost my cell phone for nearly 24 hours this weekend (while it was on silent, of course).

What I really  want is a Clocky, but Mr. Beez forbids me from bringing one in the house.

He said I’m welcome to have one, but I’ll have to sleep in the garage.

8. Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey.  My usual lip shade is chapstick.  I’d like to experiment with more bold lip colors, but I’m terrified I’ll look like some kind of clown.  This lip shade has gotten great press, and is said to be “universally flattering,” so I’d like to give it a try.

What is on your wish list for this holiday season?

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Fashion faux pas? or fun?

I really like this w118 by walter baker dress on sale with ideeli today.

I like its long sleeves and the fun pattern, but I worry that the length leaves it inappropriate for work.  My general rule is, if I have to wonder whether it’s work appropriate, then no, it’s not work appropriate.  It could be nicely taken up to a below-the-knee length, but that would take away from it’s unique look.  This is all a non-issue, since the size “large” is equivalent to a 10, so it’s a no go for me.

Everyone’s been bonkers of over Missoni since they introduced that discount line at Target.  ideeli also offered M Missoni pieces today.  Missoni’s zig zags aren’t my thing, and I don’t see the popularity of the line.

Especially when they make garbage like this.

This Missoni dress is fun. Except it’s $400. On sale. So no.  If you can find me the $40 H&M version, I’m game.

Mr. Beez is watching V for Vendetta. Natalie Portman’s terrible fake English accent is making my ears bleed.

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I need a stylist…and a hair/makeup team…and a manicurist….

I feel like I’ve looked extra sloppy lately.  Not that sloppy is my baseline, but just that my sloppyness feels extra vile.  My size and weight has fluctuated dramatically over the last few years thanks to strapping-on-the-feedbag while studying for the bar exam, hustling off the pounds using weight watchers, and then chowing down on Dunkin Donuts during pregnancy.  Now that I’m well post-baby, I still have no time to cook, so the 9 months of maternity weight gain will probably be shed gradually over say 9 years.

I got a new set of suits when I returned to week post-partum.  They’re not high quality suits, because in imaginaryland those pounds shedded right off. Since I’ve lost a whopping 7 lbs since then, they’re now loose enough to make me look sloppy.  I’m still in imaginaryland thinking I’ll keep losing weight, so I’m not motivated to buy a whole bunch of new suits.  At my old job I had to wear suits every day. Now at my not-really-new-anymore job, I can wear business casual. Admittedly, I suck at business casual.  I wear my sloppy-feeling suits a lot because suits are reliably not underdressed (unless yours make you look like a hobo…like mine do…OK I WILL TAKE THEM TO THE TAILOR. On the to do list this weekend).

So now I want to get some dresses.  As much as I do love fashion, I don’t have that “spark” for it, so I have been known to occasionally pair things in such a way that onlookers assume me to be blind or brain damaged.  I often fall back into the unaccessorized black dress routine. Lucky magazine decided to send me a subscription I never requested or paid for, but it’s all about shopping, so maybe I should actually flip through those pages.

The other complicating factor is that I don’t have a personal style.  A publicly acceptable personal style at least. We’ll call it “Can’t let go of shabby clothes from college.”  Mostly jeans, tattered t-shirts, and beat Puma’s.  The styles I like and covet tend to be high-maintenance and out of my skill range…although if I can develop a few fundamental fashion skills I can probably get by.  The other complicating factor is that summertime drapey-stretchy-dresses are in right now, and drapey-stretchy-dresses look dreadful on me.  Awesome.

Here are my impossible to meet criteria:

1. Sleeves. I occasionally wear sleeveless dresses to work, but really prefer not to.

2. Not all black or gray, because I wear those all the time and am bored with them.

3. Unique, but still classic enough that I can wear it through multiple seasons.

4.  Knee length

5. Structured. Not all drapey or stretchy, and not cut to give me pregnant-belly.

6. Machine Washable (but willing to give up on this one because all the non drapey-stretchy dresses seem to be dry clean only)

7. Not a million dollars

Against my better judgment, I looked at Nanette Lepore’s website…and she has a million dresses that meet all but criteria 6 and 7.  The complicating factor is that I’d need to lose some weight to fit them well, since designer sizes tend to be slimmer than say Target’s generous sizing. Here’s my inspiration to hold off on the Twinkies for a bit: