Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Window Shopping

Liz hasn’t been window shopping in a while. So I figured I’d fill in today. Because there’s nothing I like more than shopping. Well, that’s not strictly true, but shopping is definitely high on the list of things I enjoy.  Disclaimer: I am affiliated with NONE of these companies. I’m just sharing what I like.

This lovely Cour D’Artur dress, is available at Pyramid Collection .

My Steam Lady Ensemble

And what’s life without a kicky steampunk outfit from Clockwork Couture?  Because I love me some steampunk.


For the Doctor Who enthusiast, here’s a lidded TARDIS mug (I confess I own one of these), your very own Dalek, and an adorable Adipose stress toy. You can get the mug and the stress toy from Think Geek. Don’t know where you’d find the Dalek, but if you Google it, you should be in like Flynn.

Alice Cooper Onesie

For the baby who has everything, you can’t go wrong with this Alice Cooper onesie from Fly Clothing.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost - Sterling Silver and Leather Unisex Cuff, 8.5-inch length

For the Tolkien fan, this lovely bracelet reminds us that “not all who wander are lost.”

A product thumbnail of Quidditch Golden Snitch Necklace by Noble Collection

Here’s a kicky flying snitch necklace, to attract the attention of Quidditch lovers everywhere.

Betsey Johnson - Caseyy

How can you pass up these cute Betsey Johnson pumps? Purple! Shoes!

And I want a Kitchenaid Mixer so desperately–I’m going to get one when we move back home.


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Miscellaneous Thoughts:

Toddlers & Tiaras exists only to give people a feeling of moral superiority. At least, that’s my opinion. Because when I watched that the other day, I felt rather smug to know that I would NEVER do such things to a child.

Dogs in a hotel room: the farther away from the training pad, the messier the poop. I’m just sayin’.

Summer in Texas: why do people hope this summer breaks the records set in 1980? Because seriously, I’d be thrilled if it suddenly turned 84 degrees for a high.

Shopping: When you have no clothes, you must go shopping for clothes. You may think you’d enjoy that, but if you’re me, you’d be wrong. You enjoy spending time with your sister. But the actual trying on of clothes isn’t so fun. It makes you sweat. And when there are bajillions of people in the mall, you get a little testy.

Mall Food: If there are too many people in line to feel like going anywhere, at least at Grapevine Mills, just walk along the perimeter (I think I spelled that wrong but don’t feel like checking) and take a free sample from every place that’s offering one. That should be enough to hold you for a while.  And the blended coconut almond joy frappe is disgustingly sweet, so don’t even bother.

Rose quartzes: They are lovely, as are the sisters who give them to their sisters.

Forever 21: They have plus size clothes! Woohoo! They’re junior plus sizes, which means if you’re a women’s plus size, you have to go up a size to have it fit you, but they’re very cute. And yes, they have a lot of things that are too young for me, but they also have plenty of things that are not. And they’re cheap.

Weight Loss: Somehow I managed to drop 4 pounds since the housefire. I’m not going to complain about that, trust me.

Oatmeal: Some chocolate chips and walnuts make it almost edible. As in I had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, with chocolate chips and walnuts. And some brown sugar. And milk. Because I’m thinking of going veg again.

That is all. You may now return to your regularly scheduled life.

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It does appear as though the direction we’re taking is rebuilding the house. Joe was there yesterday evening with the adjusters and mooring company, and they’re going to be gutting the house either tomorrow or Monday. And instead of it taking 2-3 months, as they originally estimated, it’s now looking more like 4-5 months. In other words, we’ll be lucky to be home by Christmas.

Joe got my wedding ring out for me, as it had been left in my jewelry armoire that will have to be replaced. And he got SGB’s manuscript off my brand new dresser that will have to be replaced. Are you sensing a theme here? Yes, the furniture is going to have to go. Even the brand new stuff that we got last Saturday. Less than a week ago, it was, and yet it seems a lifetime.

On the positive side: the hotel is just 10 minutes from my office. I can only hope the apartment they put us into next will be as close. Another perk of being in the hotel: free breakfast. Someone else doing the linens and making the beds. Clean towels every day. That’s good, right? And we get to have the dogs with us. (Poor babies–they’re so discombobulated they don’t know what to make of things. And how do you explain it to them? I’ve tried, but you know, they’re dogs, probably not understanding anything I say.)

Other positives: I get to go buy new clothes. And shoes. And at least one more handbag. My house on the inside will be all new. I get to buy new furniture. Yes, I’ve already started looking. (Hey! Stop laughing! Yeah, it may be 4 or 5 months until I get to go buy that new furniture, but if I start looking now, I’ll have a good idea what I want and where to find it when the time comes.) And new makeup. Sephora, here I come! And a new piano.

It’s just that when you try to sit down and think of everything that you’ve lost, it can be very overwhelming. I was making lists yesterday, and they only covered the bare minimum of what was in any given room. All my junk jewelry–cheaper to replace than to try to clean. The 3 or 4 fascinators I never got to wear–will the smoke smell ever come out of them? A basketful of scarves. My books. Notes from my Shakespeare & Chaucer classes (just in case I ever decide to teach English). Journals. Blank books. Note cards, stationery, books where I’ve scribbled down favourite recipes. Cookbooks. Beautiful leather-bound very expensive books about the Crusades and various medieval writers. All my numerous copies of The Canterbury Tales. Notes from my Dante class. My grandmother’s journals (which I devoutly hope are in our storage unit but I’m afraid they might not be). Photographs. Holiday decorations. Mostly things that others would attach no value to, but to me are priceless. The clothes that I was planning to pass along to the incomparable Izzybella or Sarah-bear. The clothes I’ve been saving as I’m on my journey to smaller sizes.  All my beautiful shoes–the cream brocade grannie boots, the black lace guess do-me heels, my bitch boots, all the wedges and heels I’ve been purchasing over the last 6 months or so. And my handbags–most of them comparatively inexpensive, but still hard to replace.

Heck, even my bathroom scale! I don’t know how I’m doing weight-wise, because I haven’t been able to weigh myself since last Sunday morning! I know I’ve been doing some stress eating, but compared to what it would have been pre-banding, it’s absolutely nothing. But I like seeing the numbers on the scale every day. It keeps me focused.

The ugliest bridesmaid dress ever, that I was going to take to the cleaners and then sell on e-bay. Now I guess I’ll just stomp on it and let it be thrown away. The most beautiful formal that Izzybella got some years ago, and that I swore I would someday wear. The baby christening gown and blanket made by my grandmother years ago, that I was planning to pass down to my niece when she’s old enough to have children, that my stepsister’s daughter was blessed in, that Izzybella was blessed in. That I won’t throw away, of course. I will make every effort to have it restored because that, too, is priceless.

And the most treasured things of all are the memories. Memories of Molly, when we first brought her home, with her adorable afro, lying on the floor doing the Molly Flop. Stan gnawing my shoe that was bigger than he was. Molly burying full bags of Joe’s Christmas candy in the back yard. Chase putting on Joe’s heavy gloves and heading for the fireplace, startled when he was stopped, and explained, “I Joe!” Chase seeing me pour out the dregs of a milk carton for his brother, and started bellowing, “Milk! Milk!” and not calming down until he saw me take a full milk carton out of the refrigerator. Alannah and Kyle climbing the tree in our back yard. Chase wandering around nakey after his baby pool-soaked diaper fell off. Christmas Eves with Ben & Janine and their kids. Clover coming to give me a shot in the butt when I was doing IVF trying to have kids. Danny and I, staying up all night after watching Blair Witch Project because we were too spooked to turn the lights off. Crying my heart out in the long days after the IVF failed. Molly peeing on an area rug right after we told Joe’s friends from Australia that she was a good dog and never tinkled in the house. Christmas after Christmas after Christmas. Joe making huge pots of mashed potatoes for Christmas dinner. Joe making huge pots of mashed potatoes for the two of us, and danged if we didn’t manage to eat every bite. Molly being incensed at Mom’s being allowed in the then-yellow room, when she wasn’t, and defiantly going in there to tinkle the day Mom left. The bathroom door constantly coming out of its hinges. That Christmas morning when I sent Molly in to wake up Izzybella, and she enthusiastically complied, jumping onto Izzy’s stomach and kissing her face. The day I drop-kicked a multi-pack of Wolf chili because I was in a snit, and dang near broke my toe. Joe playing guitar so loudly that I could hear it from the inside of my car as I pulled into the driveway. MoMeNTuM meetings. Jehara bringing me my beautiful awesome wonderful zen box that’s now smoked out. Dancing in the living room with Joe. Dancing in the living room with Molly. Having Molly join me when I was practicing yoga in the living room. Spending three months sleeping on the recliner in the living room after having had knee replacement surgery. Laughter, tears, arguments, hugs, kisses, joy, sorrow–the soon-to-be-torn-down walls of our home are replete with the emotions and events from the past 13 years. Those things can’t be replaced. But the new walls will be erected, and in 13 years, we’ll have 13 years worth of memories to look back on.

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Don’t underestimate the benefits of a good session of retail therapy, especially when it’s in the company of your sister.

The incomparable Izzybella and I went out on Saturday evening for ice cream and a long gabfest (note to self: Get your ice cream in a cup, not a cone, because when you don’t eat it all the cup won’t drip all over the floor as you’re carrying it to the bin!).

Then she forcibly dragged me to the threading place (thank goodness they opened one in the strip mall so I don’t have to venture to the mall) where they mercilessly ripped the hair from my eyebrows and my upper lip while I joked about being a hairy beast (note to self: don’t go three months before getting threaded again. It just makes the pain worse, in addition to making me look like a hairy beast).

Then to Lonestar Comics, where I bought an adorable Wonder Woman doll to sit on my desk at work (note to self: bring Wonder Woman to work so she can sit on my desk and inspire me).

Then we went to Avenue where we tried on various articles of clothing. I ended up buying a display outfit (note to self: just assemble the items from the display outfit myself and leave the display outfit where it is, so you don’t annoy the sales clerk).

Then Ulta where I got a hairband so I could use the $3.50 coupon. (Note to self: verify the price so you don’t have to send Izzy off to find another item to make the $10 minimum so you can use the $3.50 coupon.) It worked out okay–I got a hairband and Izzy got some really cute eyeshadow.

Then Lane Bryant where we tried on yet more clothes. Here’s where I have a beef with the sizing: I tried on a pair of size 20 shorts, and they fit beautifully.  Then I tried on a pair of size 20 denim shorts–I wasn’t chuffed about the cut, and they were just a little snug around the waist. Our awesome sales associate had routed out a variety of sizes of those denim shirts out of the back room. I tried on the size 22, thinking they would be a little more comfortable; however, the size 22 shorts were a little bit snugger than the size 20’s. Can you explain that to me?  And my new tank tops are size 14-16, which would be great except that I am most assuredly not a size 14-16. Is it any wonder that I have no idea what size I truly wear? (Note to self: it doesn’t matter what the size is on the label. What matters is how it fits and how you look in it.)  I ended up with one pair of shorts and a handful of tank tops, and thanks to the $25 off coupon, it wasn’t too painful.

Then dinner, where I ate a taco and we had more gabfest time. Then I got a freezoni from QT–I was craving Dr Pepper, but they were out.  And when I got my Coke flavour, I somehow managed to make a HUGE mess. It was embarrassing. (Note to self: put the lid on BEFORE you start dispensing the Freezoni. Less mess will occur that way. And make sure the lid is on very securely. Less mess will occur that way.)

So even though life is still extremely difficult right now, I have to count my blessings. Way high up there is my sister, my best friends, and a couple of cute outfits for the summer.

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Leaving work early: 4 hours of PTO.

Finishing up the Christmas shopping: about $200

Dinner: about $25

Movie: about $20

Spending the day and evening with my sisters: Priceless.

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I have a serious thing for Urban Decay. It’s my favourite brand of cosmetics at present. The colours have names like smog, and midnight cowboy, lust, etc. They’re rich and decadent.  Their Big Fatty mascara makes my eyelashes look think and long. Just love the stuff.

Anyway, when I was in Sephora last with Joe, the really nice salesclerk gave me a variety of perfume samples. Yesterday I tried one called Hard Candy, and really liked it. I put some more on today. Yep. I still like it. Who makes it? Urban Decay.

I’m just sayin’.

L-squared and I are taking the afternoon off work this Friday to go Christmas shopping. The only thing that would make it better would be if the incomparable Izzybella were able to join us. But we’ll have fun nonetheless.  We’re going to Grapevine Mills, a huge outlet mall. So I’m making the list of what I need to finish up, and I’ll walk my legs off (it’s a mile to walk around the mall), and we’ll have a good time. And then we’ll go see a movie, probably I Am Legend, although it’s entirely possible something else will pique our interest.

I bought Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix yesterday during my lunch break, so last night I watched it, then watched the extras, and then watched it again. One of the deleted scenes shows what Sybil Trelawney was doing during Dolores Umbridge’s speech at the banquet–it’s absolutely hysterical. Emma Thompson is a wonderful actor, and watching her play Trelawney is a delight.

I lucked out yesterday as well; Izzybella decided to buy the Angel boxed collection, so she’s letting me buy her Angel series for $30. So I’m happy about that. Now I’ve just got to buy seasons 5-7 of Buffy, and I’ll be in Joss Whedon paradise.

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The victory is one I’m quite proud of. I won against the Evil Empire!!!!  Last weekend I went to the Evil Empire and purchased an anniversary edition DVD of the animated Grinch show. When I got home and wanted to watch it, I realized that the shrink wrap had been partially removed. The security sticker across the top of the case was still there, and I peeled it off, popped open the case, and–lo! There was no DVD inside! Someone carefully and stealthily managed to slip it out without breaking the security sticker on the case. Grr.

I was in no mood to go back out at the time, considering how sick I was. Also, the one I had taken was the last one in stock at that store. So I figured this week I’d take it back to the Evil Empire near my office, hoping they’d have a copy of the show. They didn’t. They also refused to discuss it any further with me since I didn’t buy the DVD at that store. I was really annoyed, but dutifully took the empty DVD case back to my car.

On the way home from work the same day, I stopped at the Evil Empire by my house, where I’d bought the DVD. Before going to customer service, I went back to the movie section to see if they had any more. They did not. Armed with that knowledge, I went to customer service and explained the situation. As soon as I was told to “scoot back” to electronics and get another copy, I told her I’d already checked, and there were none there. The woman then told me there was nothing she could do.

At that point my blood pressure was rising. I told her that I had bought the movie in good faith, and got home to find there was no DVD inside. I said that I wanted my money back. She started shaking her head, and I asked her to get me a manager. She and the other woman in customer service were shaking their heads at each other like I was some kind of irrational deranged lunatic. I was angry at the Evil Empire’s ridiculous customer disservice policies, but stated clearly that I wasn’t angry at her.  Well, the manager showed up, I was polite but firm as I explained the stiuation to her. She said, “Okay,” and walked off.

At that point the woman helping me suddenly decided to become Miss Friendly Customer Service person and started chit-chatting about how she just loves this show and how it’s such a pity that they didn’t have anymore, yadda yadda.

So I got my money back from the Evil Empire. And that is the last time I will voluntarily step foot inside any of their stores. The sign on the wall behind the customer service stations states that customer services is their #1 priority. What a fib!

The defeat is one I haven’t mentioned here, partly from embarrassment and partly because I hadn’t yet decided what to do. But the vegetarian diet is no more.

For the last three months or so, I’d been having constant tongue pain. It felt as though I’d burned it on some too-hot beverage. And the last week it had begun cracking as well. I’d posted on Vegweb, asking for any ideas, and researched the suggestions. Based on the duration and the symptoms, I strongly suspected it was a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

I know that Vitamin B12 is found in animal products, so I had been taking B12 supplements. But I’m guessing that my body wasn’t processing the supplements the way it needed to, and the B12 was just going down the toilet (literally).

So last week when I was sick, and the tongue pain had just gotten to be unbearable, I made the difficult decision to add meat back into my diet to see if that made any difference. And after a week, it did. My tongue is almost back to normal now.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to turn into an Atkins-diet carnivore, inhaling steaks and bacon and pork rinds. Most of my meals will continue to be meatless, and I’ll continue cooking the fantastic vegetarian recipes and foods I’ve found. But I will probably have meat 2 or 3 times a week, just to make sure my B12 levels stay where they should be and I don’t get that tongue pain again.

Tongue pain. It sounds so banal, so insignificant, doesn’t it? But it was honestly to the point that it hurt constantly, and was particularly painful whenever I did try to eat anything.

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It’s Saturday

and I’m still feeling dang puny.  I spent most of Thanksgiving day in bed trying in vain to sleep. I made it to the restaurant to have dinner with the parental units and the incomparable Izzybella, and then went back home to try once more, in vain, to sleep.  But every time I would almost be asleep, the stuff gurgling in my nasal cavities would gurgle loudly and I’d stop breathing and wake up. So sleep was far too elusive for my druthers.

I woke up at 5 a.m. on Black Friday, so I figured I might as well do something productive. Sorry, Chicory, I didn’t see your post until after I’d already shopped. I didn’t spend gobs of money or anything, but I did do some shopping, mainly for Joe. Some things I wanted to get for him were marked down to ridiculously low prices, so that was nice. And then the incomparable Izzybella and I went to Barnes & Noble, the movies, Pizzeria Uno, Target, and then home.

I slept last night, oddly enough, thanks in part to some medicine that the Monster recommended and in part to the cushion I bought that lets me sleep sitting up.  So while I don’t necessarily feel any better, which is bad, I also don’t feel any worse, which is great! And as long as I don’t have to use my voice today (because talking hurts very badly), I am hopeful that I’ll get up tomorrow feeling even better.

That would be a very good thing, indeed!

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I still feel crappy. Not bad enough to stay home from work, but bad enough to wish I had. I’ve got plenty of Odwalla C Monsters, soups, juice, etc. No, Mom, I haven’t had too much sugar.  I have, however, been incredibly stressed & depressed. So that could have my immune system perhaps working a little less than optimal.


When I got home yesterday, Joe hadn’t yet gone to the grocery store and gotten my C Monsters or soup. So we went together. Wow. When I go by myself, I might spend $30-$40. I won’t say just how much we spent, but it was a LOT more. I got a couple of C Monsters, 4 cans of soup. He went nuts with the Amy’s and another brand of soup, and got me all kinds of lovely vegan and vegetarian soups. They were more expensive than my Progresso soups, know what I mean? I’m not complaining–I’ll definitely enjoy them. Well, most of them anyway. But more on that in a moment.

When we got to the frozen section, because I wanted some frozen fruit bars for sore throat relief, he suddenly frantically said that we needed to get some meat substitutes because he had to cook or he was going to go crazy! So I showed him where the vegetarian frozen stuff was, and he threw a Quorn turkey roast into the cart (I’ve never had this before–if any of you had, I’d appreciate hearing your opinions), along with some veggie meatballs and some Morningstar veggie crumbles. On our way out of the store, I showed him where the tofu and the uncooked hamburger substitute are. He picked up a package of some veggie lunchmeat substitute, and started going on about how too much soy isn’t good for people (?!?). Ok-ay then. Bless his heart, he’s really trying. I’ve told him that I don’t care if he eats meat around me, and I don’t even care if he cooks it at home, but I’m not going to eat it and I’m not going to cook it for him. And I do make use of some of those meat substitutes, but not as much as he seems to think. Mostly I just eat a lot of veggies, grains, and beans. I love me some good beans.

He was going on about how he wanted a roast, and while I was sickened at the thought of having to smell roast cooking in the house, I didn’t say anything to discourage him. But he changed his mind and just got a precooked chicken breast from the deli.

Okay–on to the story about the one can of Amy’s soup that I shan’t enjoy, before I get on to the Other.  When we got home I went to lie down while he put the groceries away and heated up some soup for me. I went into the kitchen because it had been a while, and I was truly hungry, and there were two pots of soup bubbling on the stove. One had what looked like the Amy’s potato and leek soup, and the other was minestrone. Joe looked a little chagrined. It seemed like he’d gotten the brilliant idea to spice up the potato leek soup with–wait for it–steak sauce. Yeah. He handed me a spoon to taste it, and I nearly gagged. It tasted about as good as you might imagine. Needless to say, I had minestrone for dinner.


I read The Dark is Rising last night before falling asleep. I had to get the taste of that dreadful movie out of my mouth as quickly as possible. It had been torturing me. What a relief! The book is so brilliant that I cannot understand why they felt the need to take every good thing out of the script. I understand that a book cannot literally be taken word for word to place on the screen. However, there is no need for a book to be mutilated the way this one was, to the point where it’s unrecognizable save for the names of the characters and perhaps one memorable line from the book (that was given to a different character and placed at a different time within). They could have cut 2/3’s of the material and still kept to the heart and soul of the story.

Grumble mumble rumble. Stoopid moovie.

I’m rereading the whole series, while I’m at it. I’m now at The Grey King, and only have Silver on the Tree to go after that. If you haven’t read them, and you enjoy fantasy, you truly should. They’re stellar books.

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I’ve got a bit of the blues today.  I just got off the phone with Joe, who’s out of state working on a project. He gets to come home for two days every two weeks, so I don’t get to see him again until next weekend. I love having a bit of solitude, but I really miss him so much. He misses me, too, and tells me so every time he calls.  I’ve been okay talking to him until today, but when we hung up the phone a few minutes ago I had to put my head down on my desk and cry for a bit.

And I’m apparently still fighting some crud. I’ve been feeling better, but haven’t gotten completely over whatever’s been assaulting my immune system. This morning I woke up and found that I am, once again, losing my voice. There’s a few seconds delay from when I open my mouth and start speaking until the point when sound actually comes out.  And have I mentioned that the play opens in two weeks? I really need my voice.

Okay, enough of the blue stuff. Here’s some good things that are happening.

Our ensemble is having our end-of-season banquet on the 29th, and we were told to wear prom-like clothes. I have NOTHING even remotely prommy, so I hit Ross today and found a lovely dress on clearance for $19. It’s sheer black fabric over a tan lining, with a band of black lace at the waist. The size tag is deceptive–it’s loose on me, but not so loose that it would be a regular size whatever-the-tag-says-its-size-is. So I think it was cut small. Again, it’s loose enough on me that it drapes beautifully and doesn’t cling to anything I don’t want it to cling to, but not so loose that it’s unattractive.  I actually found the dress yesterday, but didn’t have the scratch to get it with. Today when I went back to the store I searched and searched and searched, but couldn’t find it. I was about to give up in despair when I saw it and triumphantly snatched it up.

I was looking at Hot Topic’s website to see what Harry Potter tees they have available, as I’m planning to head there tonight or tomorrow. And I found a fantastic Harry Potter messenger bag I think I want even more than the tee shirt. So if they have it at the store, I think I’ll get it instead. Otherwise, I’ll still get myself a fun tee to wear to the book release party next Friday.

Did you hear that? Next Friday!  A week from today!  It will be coming at the end of a grueling week, rehearsal-wise. We’re doing a full stumble-through of the show on Monday, and then working on “problem spots” during Tuesday-Thursday rehearsals, and another full run-through on Friday. And since no one is off book yet, the stumble-through on Monday will truly be a stumble-through.  I was given extensive notes last night, and have quite a lot of homework to do this weekend in addition to getting my lines memorized.

And I think that I have decided I’m going to try to make the switch to vegan. It’s going to be harder than it was for me to give up meat, but I’m finding that I’m relying too much on cheese, which is keeping me from losing any of the weight that I’ve really got to get off my body.  I found some good websites with lots of resources, and have printed off some recipes to try it. It’ll make eating out for fast food even harder, which frankly is a bonus for me. I’ve not had the self-discipline to stop eating fast food; I’ve just been eating meatless fast food. Better, perhaps, but still not what I need. I’m not going to make the switch until after the show and my mom’s visit are over, because there’s just too much going on until then, and I can’t commit to myself that I’ll be able to make the time to prepare my food at home. But once Mom’s headed back to Utah, the season is over and no more show stuff until late October, I will switch to vegan. If anyone has any helpful tips, please let me know. I’m a little nervous about it, if only because I totally love cheese and know it’ll be hard to give it up.   If you’re interested in checking out my favorite veg websites, here they are:

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