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Renting is sexy

Renting is sexy 5

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Last week, my very first order from Rent the Runway arrived. I was skeptical about the online service that specializes in lending out occasion wear, but knew there wasn’t room in my closet for yet another cocktail dress. (Admittedly, I have a problem with things covered in sequins.)

I added Clover Canyon’s Gatsby Print Flounce Dress to my cart, entered my credit card information, and hoped for the best. Would it accentuate my muffin tops? Make my legs look too short? Zip up all the way in the back?

dress

 

The dress arrived right on time, the afternoon before my event. I hastily opened the package, sprinting upstairs to try the two different sizes I had ordered on. Much to my relief, the first one fit like a glove. And it was actually cute…? Could it be my venture into the world of online dress renting had actually been a success?

dress

I proudly donned my Gatsby Flounce dress at the Justin Timberlake concert, feeling fabulous the entire time–I even received several compliments! The best part? I had avoided dropping an exorbitant amount of money on yet another frock I would wear once, before banishing it to the back of my closet until I had emotionally detached myself enough to donate it.

On the fence about trying RTR? Here’s why I think you should give it a go.

  • There’s an incredible selection to choose from. I had a difficult time narrowing my dozens of favorites down to just one dress.
  • There’s a dress for your budget. My rental was only thirty dollars!
  • They send you two sizes, doubling the likelihood that your dress will actually fit.
  • If neither of the sizes you rented fit, you can send them back for a full refund.
  • They overnight the dresses to you the day before your event. Delivery is guaranteed.
  • Shipping the dresses back is ridiculously easy. Just toss them in the pre-labeled (and paid) baggie, and drop them off at the UPS store.
  • Spills are covered! They have an in-house dry cleaner, so getting red wine all over the front of your outfit (like I did) is nothing to fret about.
  • They have amazing customer reviews, complete with photos. Reviewers make note of their height, weight and body-type, which make finding a dress that will work with your shape nearly fool-proof.
  • They send complimentary fashion tape with your rental. No nip slips, here!

Have I convinced you yet? Seriously…Rent the Runway is the way to do designer. It’s more affordable, less of a commitment, and the experience itself is such a treat. I can hardly wait until I have an occasion worthy of a second rental.

Speaking of which…a beaded Versace mini is totally acceptable for Tuesday night of Bingo at the VFW, right?

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The Fab Five: February 2014

The Fab Five: February 2014 2

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Oh, February. You’re bitterly cold, and not very exciting..but at least you have Valentine’s Day, Sochi, and Season 2 of House of Cards to offer. Maybe you’re not so terrible, after all.

Still, it never hurts to have five fabulous items to get you through the shortest month of the year. Here’s what I’m loving for the next three weeks.

1. Rent the Runway

dress

 

I “borrowed” the above dress to wear to tonight’s Justin Timberlake concert, and couldn’t be happier with it. The entire RTR process has been so positive–I’ll definitely be using their services again. I love the fact that I can have a night out in a fabulous three-hundred dollar dress for only thirty bucks. Scott loves that I’m not adding to my already too-large collection of cocktail wear. I’ll be writing a full review on my experience next week…but if you’re on the fence about giving them a try, I highly recommend them!

 

2. The Olympics

sochi

 

The Olympic games certainly are magical, aren’t they? Not only in the sense that they unite athletes from around the world for competition, celebration and tradition…but also for the fact that they transform yours truly into a deeply crazed sports fan. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

While initially concerned our recent decision to cancel cable might hinder our viewing experience, NBC has pulled through with live WiFi streaming of nearly every event. In other words, I won’t be seeing my husband (or our iPad) for the next three weeks.

oly

I literally awoke at 6 am to the sound of Scott fumbling for his phone before yelling, “Siri, what time is it in Sochi, Russia?!”

(Another reason the Olympics are magical — He’s only naturally woken up that early three times in the last 11 years.)

 

3. Stella & Dot

Remember the Tiffany’s necklace that quite literally turned me into an active (and very angry) Hawaiian volcano?

Thanks to Stella & Dot, I found a much more affordable (and just as fabulous) option.

arrow

 

Scott even congratulated me with a condescending “Good job, Katrina.” when I showed him my find. That’s definitely a first.

I’ve since become obsessed with the young, fun line, and am slowly starting to build a collection of fun new pieces…most of which are bracelets. “Arm party” might just be my new favorite phrase.

arm

My current “mini” arm party.

I think I need to invite some more bracelets, don’t you? Namely, this one I’ve asked begged for as a Valentine’s Day gift.

 

4. Fig Butter

fig

Tradey’s, you’ve done it again. This fig butter is sweet, delicious, and goes great with just about anything. Scott’s new favorite combo is a slice of celery filled with generous dollops of both fig and almond butter. He adores this new snack so much, he roused me from my slumber at half past midnight one evening, begging me to come downstairs so I might sample “The best thing I’ve ever made in my entire life!” (His words, not mine.)

 

5. Strip Eyelashes 

lashes

I started wearing these falsies in high school as part of my stage makeup routine for musicals, and now turn to them whenever I need a little extra “oomph” around my eyes. If I wasn’t so lazy, I’d probably wear the more natural looking ones every day. Take it form me–fake lashes make a bigger impact than any other cosmetic “trick” out there.

In Smalltown, eyelash extensions are all the rage. I have three major problems with this:

  1. They’re really, really expensive.
  2. They look freakishly long and a little bit weird.
  3. The application process takes a million years, and you have to get them “filled” every couple of weeks.

I happen to prefer the look of strip lashes, not to mention their much lower price tag. Wal-Mart, Target and Walgreens have a wide selection to choose from, and you can usually take home an entire kit for under seven bucks. Because I’m cheap (and possibly slightly unhygienic) I reuse my strip eyelashes until they’re no longer wearable.

As far as application goes, I prefer to pass on the tools, and simply apply a small dot of adhesive to my index finger, which I then run along the edge of the strip. Let the glue dry enough to get tacky before pressing along your lash line. (TIP: It helps if you already have you eye makeup–including eyeliner and a coat of mascara–on before you do this.) The first time might be a little tricky, but after a few practice sessions, you’ll be slapping those bad boys on like a pro. Your bank account will thank you, as will your dinner date who won’t have to pretend he doesn’t notice when one of your abnormally long extensions falls off and gracefully flutters into his caesar salad.

(And yes…I’ve heard of that actually happening.)

*******

Seven days down, twenty-one to go. What products are you using to get you through the frigid temps of February?

Psst! Want more Fab Five posts? They’re all right here!

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Karma’s an ankle roll

Karma’s an ankle roll 5

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Remember that online shopping ban Scott made me commit to?

We’re barely past the first week and may have, kind of, possibly, sort of broken it already.

On a pair of shoes.

But what if I told you these weren’t just any shoes….they were Sam Edelman shoes?

And that they weren’t an impulse buy as I’ve been swooning over them for no less than three months?

Still not convinced? Would your opinion be swayed if I happened to mention they were ordered at the last-minute to be worn at tomorrow night’s Justin Timberlake concert?

I can't decide who's prettier...Justin, or the shoes.

I can’t decide who’s prettier…Justin, or the shoes.

My beloved size 7 cage toe booties have been sold out for ages. You can see how when I received this email earlier in the week, I took it as a sign that they needed to be ordered immediately. For Justin’s sake.

email

Let’s just say it’s a personal philosophy of mine that when Nordstrom sends you an email telling you to hurry the eff up and buy a pair of shoes, you listen.

And that, blog friends, is how I wound up charging these bad boys to our Amex card, complete with an extra fee for expedited shipping. (Once again….it was for Justin’s sake.)

shoes

 

I felt quite pleased with myself for nabbing the heels just in time for the concert. They’d perfectly compliment the dress I’d ordered from Rent the Runway,  but would also serve as a closet staple I could wear over and over. I congratulated myself on having the insight (and cahones) to bend the rules when necessary.

And then I sprained my ankle.

Last night while teaching Turbo Kick  I  landed very very poorly on my right foot while coming down from a plyometric knee strike. It rolled, I tripped, and then just hopped around on leg while yelling cues to the rest of the class, miming the choreography with only my upper body. I then instructed everyone to grab a mat. We spent fifteen minutes doing countless leg and hip pulses that looked awkwardly inappropriate, but were literally the only thing I could do without disturbing my injury. Sometimes, improvisation means forcing a group of adults to perform 134 hip thrusts while loudly yelling, “I promise…this is good for your glutes!”

While I’m happy to report I at least had the sense to sprain my right ankle instead of reinjuring the left one, I realized this morning that this sprain is much worse. Despite copious amounts of ibuprofen and ice, I’ve found myself crawling around the house on all fours as it’s significantly faster and less painful than walking, which has been extremely confusing to both Penny and Jolie. Truth be told, I probably need crutches, but refuse to use them, if only out of pride. Also? I’d rather spend the money on more shoes.

Speaking of that….did I mention the JT concert is tomorrow night? I can’t help but think this is the universe’s sick, twisted way of punishing me for breaking the online-shopping fast.

Point taken, universe.

If, by some miracle of orthopedics I’m even able to wear my  new shoes to the concert, I’ll most likely be limping around like a pirate on a peg leg. A fabulous, Sam Edelman peg leg….but a peg leg nonetheless.

Universe: If you want to make it up to me, perhaps you could align things so that Justin sees me hobbling about, assumes the worst, and invites me on-stage to perform an I-feel-sorry-for-you-serenade?

Just a suggestion.

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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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