Retail Rehab

Retail Rehab 14

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Scott and I recently made the decision to put a ban on all online shopping for the next three weeks. This is primarily for two reasons:

  • We just went on an awesome Hawaiian vacation and are flat broke as a result.
  • Taxes are just around the corner. Fun fact about that — I’m employed by an organization in Washington, the land of no state income tax. Because I reside in ‘Sota, I have to pay in all of my Minnesota taxes at the end of the year. I also owe the IRS for the income I collected while doing side web design projects for friends, and let’s not forget the taxes I’ll need to pay for the trip I won to Australia.

(I know, I know…that last one is a total first world complaint. But still.)

Long story short, it’s time to make a brief cutback on our spending in order to beef up our bank account. For those of you who don’t think taking a break from online shopping would make that much of an impact on the piggy bank, you clearly haven’t met me. I’m the Queen of Amazon, Zappos, Overstock and HauteLook–several packages are delivered to our house each week. Don’t believe me? Just ask our friends who dog sat while we were on vacation, and were forced to step over a mountain of snow-covered FedEx boxes to make it to our front door.

I’m five days in to my internet shopping cleanse, and have somehow managed to stick to my promise. It hasn’t been easy, nor enjoyable, but I’ve stayed strong. Need proof? Behold, a list of all the magical items I’ve somehow found the strength to resist.

 

1. Tartan outfit from GoJane – $52.60 saved

tartan

Would this not be the perfect thing to wear to the Justin Timberlake concert next month? It’s totally channeling Gwen Stefani, and the long sleeves make it semi-appropriate for February in the Midwest.

But if I’m being honest with myself, I’d probably never wear it again. And let’s face it…I have about two more months of diet and exercise before my midriff is ready to be paraded in public. (Especially in front of Mr. JT.)

 

2. Suja Juice 3-Day Cleanse – $159.09 saved

suja

 

 

I thought completing a 72-hour organic juice cleanse would be an effective way to get back on track after a week of vacation indulgences. But one hundred and sixty bucks to feel “hangry” for three days? That just seems like overpriced masochism.

 

3. Viviscal Hair Nutrition Program – $47.59 saved

viviscal

This seemed like a legitimate way to help my weave grow a little faster. Ultimately, I found the will to say “no”. (If only because the reviews claimed this stuff was causing liver failure.)

 

4. Asics Gel NoosaFAST Running Shoes – $69.00 saved

asics

 

Aren’t they great? I feel like the obnoxiously bright, semi-distasteful color scheme totally matches my personality.

But alas, I’ve already purchased two pairs (yes…two pairs) of workout shoes this month. As much as I’d like to believe good things come in threes, I had to say no to these beauties. (Plus, my size was sold out.)

 

5.  IKEA Bekkestua Headboard – $250 saved

headboard2

I’ve been swooning over this queen-sized headboard for ages. In fact, I’m not sure how much longer our guest room can hold out without it. If in the history of tufted linen  headboards there was ever a tufted linen headboard emergency, this would be it.

*****

I’m counting down the final sixteen days of our internet retail hiatus with all the excitement of a 12-year-old boy at Christmas. The day I’m reunited with my precious Amazon Prime account can’t come soon enough.

Speaking of that…if acquired my glorious headboard at an actual IKEA store instead of purchasing it online, I’d still be well within the rules of the e-commerce fast, right? Right?

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Missed part one? You know…the part where I was super mature and rational? (Heh.) You can catch up here.

*******

My bronzer caked on, false eyelashes in place and maxi dress pinched around my quickly expanding vacation waistline, I was ready to crash Scott’s conference welcome dinner. I say “crash” as he hadn’t paid the additional $250 fee required to bring one’s spouse to meals, but who actually checks that list anyway? I grabbed my clutch, reapplied my lip gloss, and picked up the car keys.

“Alright, Scott…time to go!” I called.

“Not so fast,” he sneered, “Were’s the Tiffany’s bag?”

I was hoping he had forgotten about that.

“I hid it,” I confessed quietly, “but because I love you, I’m willing to compromise on this one.” I fetched the tiny blue bag from its secret location and piled into the car. We had just pulled out of our resort’s parking lot when Scott asked the follow-up question I had been dreading.

“Can I see the bag?”

“Uh…sure,” I hesitated. “It’s right here!” I dangled the box in front of him to prove I had followed through on my promise.

“Let me see it.”

“But…but…you’re driving!” I argued.

He snatched the bag from my clutches, peering inside to discover it was in fact, empty.

“You just brought the empty bag!” he exclaimed.

“Uh…I did?” I cooed unconvincingly. “Whoops.

And just like that, Scott turned the car around and drove back to the condo. I refused to recover the box (which I had hidden in a separate location from the bag) which meant my poor husband was forced to tear our rental apart until he found it himself. Naturally, I waited in the car, rocking back and forth while eating massive amounts of macadamia nuts. It was a coping mechanism.

Ten minutes later, he emerged with my precious blue box in hand. Unwilling to admit my dreams of a rose gold arrow necklace were crashing down  around me, I began throwing a tantrum. I won’t detail the fifteen minute drive to the shopping center other than to say that Scott remained perfectly calm while I went Real Housewives of New Jersey on him. If there had been a table in that Honda Fit, I would have flipped it at least three times. It certainly wasn’t my proudest moment.

Upon our arrival at the Shops of Wailea, I refused to return the necklace myself. I believe I may have said something along the lines of “I want you to have to go in there and look like the jerk who’s making his wife take her jewelry back.” Again…not my finest behavior.

Scott shrugged casually, indicating he was okay with public humiliation so long as we got our $350 back.  I scowled with all my might. Foiled again.

And then, something strange happened. As he stepped out the vehicle, I noticed he was lugging every single one of my shopping bags out of the car…not just the Tiffany’s one.

“I need to take the tank tops you got me back for a different size, and I wasn’t sure what bag they were in,” he explained. “Wait here and don’t eat any more of the macadamia nuts, okay?”

As soon as he was out of sight, I reached for those sweet nuts of consolation and went to town. After thirty minutes had passed, I began to grow optimistic. Perhaps there was some sort of issue and he couldn’t take the necklace back? Setting the macadamia nuts aside, I focused all of my inner-chi on that small glimmer of hope.

Moments later, he returned to the vehicle.

“Did they take it back?” I managed between big, fat crocodile tears.

“Yes.”

At this point, I let out a sound that can only be described as a wolf howl combined with a poor impression of Mariah Carey’s high notes.

“Did they give you dirty looks?” I continued after somewhat regaining my composure.

Oh yeah.” he answered while rolling his eyes.

“Hey…wait a second…what happened to all of the other bags?” I asked slowly.

“I took back everything you bought today.”

Insert a second wolf howl/Mariah Carey shriek, followed by yours truly yelling so fast, it almost sounded like I was performing a profanity-laden gangster rap. (Almost.)

At this point, Scott (who was still cool as a cucumber) explained he was going to take me home and go to the dinner by himself. Somehow, in between violent nose blowing and over dramatic hyperventilation, I convinced him I would be on my best behavior. Ten minutes later, we were walking through the resort’s gardens, entering a beautifully catered ocean-side meal. Thankfully, we breezed right through without questioning.

“See?” I coaxed, “I told you they wouldn’t check if my name was on the list.” We strutted over to the bar, where I ordered a glass of wine. After the night I’d had, some vino was clearly in order. My plastic cup of Cabernet in hand, we nabbed seats at an open table. The instant we turned back towards the buffet, a stern woman in a navy skirt suit appeared.

“Excuse me, do you have your badges?” she inquired politely.

“Badges?” I asked innocently.

“Yeah,” Scott replied, “Mine’s right here.” He pulled his conference name tag out of his pocket, proving we were legitimate.

“And how about you, ma’am?” she asked me.

“I’m sorry…I wasn’t sent a badge, but I’m his wife. We’ve already paid for the conference, which I thought included meals….?”

“Did you pay the $250 spouse fee?” she asked.

“No,” Scott answered, “Is there a way to pay it now?”

“Absolutely,” she chirped in an overly energetic tone. “The cost for tonight’s dinner is one-hundred dollars. If you give me your room number I can have it charged directly to your account.”

Scott and I exchanged hesitant glances. While the spread of food looked beautiful, hotel banquet food is still…well…hotel banquet food. Plus, I was kind of full from all those mac nuts.

“Honestly, I don’t think I’m going to eat a hundred dollars worth of food,” I remarked. “Can I just sit here while he eats?”

“No ma’am, I’m sorry. You’re not allowed to be at these tables if you haven’t paid.”

“But I’m not going to eat anything.” I argued.

“I’m sorry,” she snipped, “You can’t be here.”

“You eat. I’ll go sit in the grass and wait.” I instructed Scott before shooting the woman my angriest sneer and stomping away. I grabbed my wine on the way out, purely out of spite.

I’d been sitting in the grass, sobbing quietly into my Cabernet for no more than two minutes when Scott approached.

“Let’s get out of here. I don’t want to eat crappy banquet food anyway.”

He took my hand and pulled me up. As soon we were out of sight, I began bawling uncontrollably.

“What’s wrong?” he asked with legitimate concern.

“I just got all dressed up and even put fake eyelashes on to go TAKE ALL OF MY STUFF BACK AND THEN GET KICKED OUT OF A DINNER!” I screamed. In a colorful expression of my inner-angst, I forcefully thrust the contents of my wine glass into the bushes, while unleashing one final Mariah wolf howl.

And just like that, I felt better.

By the time we returned to our condo, I had realized the error in my ways. I had acted like a toddler. Carelessly spent money without any regard for Scott’s wishes. Turned into a blonde version of Teresa Giudice and eaten 4,000 calories of nuts. Thrown perfectly good wine into perfectly good shrubbery. But perhaps most shameful was the way in which I had placed more value on a silly (albeit totally fabulous) material possession than I had on my marriage. Shame on you, Mariah Carey She-wolf.

“I’m sorry for the way I acted,” I confessed while crawling into bed. “You were right in wanting to take the necklace back–I shouldn’t have been so crazy.”

“It’s okay,” Scott yawned, “I’ve come to expect it from time to time.”

“Well,” I continued, “That doesn’t make it okay. I feel like I just ruined the vacation.”

Please. That type of stuff doesn’t even phase me,” he remarked casually. “And I’m sorry I took all your stuff back. I was just frustrated, I guess. You can go back and buy it again if you want….but no Tiffany’s this time, okay?”

“Okay,” I smiled. “Thank you. Oh…and sorry for eating the entire bag of macadamia nuts.”

“It’s alright,” he snickered, “I’ve come to expect that from time to time, too.”

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It’s been a long time since I’ve thrown a good ol’ fashioned tantrum. Naturally, my inner-two-year-old decided to rear her stubborn head while in Maui last week.

Some of you may recall the following photo from my Instagram feed.

shoppingIt’s caption?

“While the husband’s away at the conference, the wife will shop!”

My Shops at Wailea spree began innocently enough. I picked up a beach hat for myself, a few tank tops Scott had requested, and some mac nut swag for the Meme the Taylors giveaway. Yet with all my retail errands complete, I still had twenty minutes to spare before it was time to go pick up Scott. This is where I got into trouble.

shopping2

 

A brief Tiffany’s walk-through not only killed time–it kind of killed my bank account. Within ten minutes, I was exiting the premises with this little bauble in tow.

necklaceMy shopping high adding a spring to my step, I pranced towards our rental vehicle, tossed my treasures in the backseat, and set out to pick up Scott from his conference. When we returned to our rental condo twenty minutes later, Scott spotted “the bag”.

“Katrina?!?! Tiffany’s? Really?

“Ooh, let me show it to you!” I squealed with glee, “You’re going to love it.”

“How much.” He demanded sternly.

“Ooh, look! There’s a mongoose outside!” I chirped, hoping to change the subject.

It didn’t work. Scott swiped the baggie from my hand, fumbling through its contents until he located the creamy cardstock envelope containing the receipt.

Three hundred and fifty dollars?!?!

“I know, I know…but I’m going to wear it every single day. It will practically pay for itself! It’s going to replace my rhino.”

“You love your rhino,” Scott contested, “Why would you even consider replacing him?”

“He’s only vintage Avon,” I explained, “It was time for an upgrade.”

“I can’t believe you just strutted into Tiffany’s and bought yourself a $350 necklace.” Scott muttered while shaking his head slowly in disbelief.

“Maybe it’s because you never buy  me stuff like this.” I hinted icily.

“Katrina,” Scott spoke slowly, “I want you to think about something. Maybe the reason I never buy you stuff like that is because you run off and get it for yourself before I even have the chance.”

Hmm. He kind of had a point.

“Plus,” he added, “This trip has already cost us a fortune.”

“Exactly! You wouldn’t want to spend all that cash on a trip and then have me leave without something to remember it by, would you?” I asked softly while subtly batting my eyelashes.

“Katrina….do you have something stuck in your eye?”

“Er…uh…yeah. Stupid sand.” I lied. Apparently my charming eyelash flutters need some work.

“You’re being ridiculous,” Scott spoke calmly, “This type of spending is exactly why we can’t afford a sauna in the backyard or those solar panels for our roof.”

“Okay,” I challenged, “Now you’re being ridiculous. I don’t even want a solar-powered house! I want a Tiffany’s necklace as a memento of this amazing vacation!”

“Our photos and memories will be plenty.” Scott urged. “There’s a conference welcome dinner tonight down the street from the shops. We’ll get there a little early so we have time to go to Tiffany’s and get our money back.”

I let out a defeated sigh, and nodded slowly.

And then, being the mature, rational wife that I am, I hid the necklace.

*****

To be continued…

UPDATE: You can read part two here. (Just please, please don’t judge me.)

 

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I know, I know…the Grammy’s were this past weekend and I’m just now writing up my review of the SAG Awards red carpet. These are the type of scheduling snafus that occur when you put your life on hold for a week to go lay in the sun and possibly get melanoma.

In the interest of playing catch-up, I’ll keep my review short and sweet…and green.

 

Three starlets who made me green with envy

Lupita Nyong’o in Gucci 

lupitaCould she be any more gorgeous? Once again, Lupita is my hands-down favorite of the night. The color is lovely, and her skin is glowing. I even love her flat top hair and obnoxiously bright eyeshadow–there’s not a lot of girls who can pull that off.

And can we talk about that neckline?!? Stunning. Like…belongs in an art museum stunning. Nicely done, Gucci.

Sophia Vergara in Donna Karan Atelier and Amy Adams in Antonio Berardi

sophia-amy

In the spirit of sticking with three in each category, I’m combining these MILFs into one. Vergadams? Sophiamy? Whatever their celebrity hybrid name may be, I’m beyond jealous of these two sexy mamas.

Anna Gunn, designer unknown

anna

Stunning, statuesque, and the perfect shade of spray tan. Eat your heart out, Walter White.

Three starlets who made me green with nausea

Cate Blanchett in Givenchy

cate

Don’t you just hate when celebs fall for the old “it’s a bib  — with sequins!” gimmick?

Kerry Washington in Prada

kerry-washington

Yes, baring your midriff while with child certainly takes balls..but so does swimming in a bathing suit made of meat while surrounded by piranhas. Point? Just because it’s gutsy doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. While Kerry is glowing and the color combo is adorable, this is not cute. (Although it’s at least better than a meat bathing suit.)

Emma Thompson, designer unknown

emma

Huh?????

(At least she kept with the theme of the night be selecting a gown with a half-drawn theater curtain hemline.)

Three starlets who made me green with confusion.

(If one can even be green with confusion? Whatever…I’m rolling with it.)

 

Camila Alves in Donna Karan Atelier

camilla

Does this dress remind anyone else of melting earwax? Is it weird that I still kind of like it? But also don’t?

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture

j-law 

Homegirl’s body is rockin’…but I can help but mention that gown looks strikingly similar to the tiny RGB lights in an old-school television screen.

Natalie Dormer in half her hair

natalie

 Margaery Tyrell shaved her head?!? What will Joffrey think? Is she going to wear a wig during filming?!? How will the seven kingdoms continue when ruled by a side-skullet queen?!

Processing the implications of this makes my brain hurt.

*******

Who donned your fave red carpet looks at the SAGs? Am I the only one who thinks the prenatal midriff trend is totally cray? And can someone please explain to me why Brad Pitt and Natalie Dormer now have the same haircut? I’m utterly perplexed.

 

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