Category Archives: Shopping

Give Yourself a Raise

Last week I was contacted by, who wanted to know if I’d participate in their “Give Yourself a Raise” campaign. I hadn’t heard of Raise before that, so I did some investigating and turns out, it’s pretty cool.

Basically, Raise does two things: lets you sell unused gift cards for cash, and lets you purchase discounted gift cards to hundreds of stores, from Walmart and Target to Neiman Marcus and Barneys. You can click here to see exactly how it works, and then you can test it out by purchasing me a discounted Lowe’s card so I can install a damn backsplash in my kitchen. Just kidding. I will also accept cards to Liquor Barn.

So, back to the campaign: “Give Yourself a Raise” is all about the importance of rewarding yourself for all the hard work you put in every day. And you guys, I am all about rewarding myself.

Maybe this makes me sound shallow, but I don’t usually wait for a good excuse to reward myself. Here is how my reward system currently works: Made it through the week without punching anyone in the throat? I deserve some new shoes. Did 10 minutes of housework? Time for a five-hour Breaking Bad marathon. Got up early on Saturday for a long run? I’m eating a meal involving at least four cheeses when I get home.


How I greet Dave after a run.

Now I want to hear how you “give yourself a raise.” Do you reward yourself for the small things in life, or do you wait for a momentous occasion?

My New Art Obsession: Ashley Woodson Bailey

We moved into the new house in August, and we have yet to purchase much in the way of wall art. I painted a big mirror and hung it above the couch in the living room, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I just can’t seem to find much that I really love. Plus, my art knowledge is pretty much limited to one class in college, and all I remember from that is the word “chiaroscuro” and trying to make friends with the girl who sat next to me because her brother was in a band that I liked.

Note: That didn’t pan out. Probably because I wore the band T-shirt to every class and creepily arranged my notebook so the band sticker was showing at all times.


It was not unlike this.

ANYWAY, ART. Yesterday I stumbled across a post on Design*Sponge highlighting floral photographer Ashley Woodson Bailey, and I was like YES THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. Here are a couple of my favorites, but it was really hard to narrow it down because I basically want every single one of them. (You can see them all on her new site):

Aren’t these so cool? I love the scale and the colors and the fact even though they’re flowers, they’re not necessarily girly. Which will be my main argument tonight when I try to convince Dave that we should take out a loan and buy them all right this second.

Do you have any favorite artists? I’d love some more ideas as we continue to figure out what to put on our walls.

Really Lazy Sunday

After feeling super lazy and sluggish last week (I blame the rain, and also the very essence of my being), I woke up on Sunday full of energy and ready to Get! Shit! Done!


It was like this, except without the Flowbie haircut.

After going grocery shopping and getting some work done, I made the mistake of turning on Breaking Bad and then proceeded to watch 13 EPISODES. So let’s see … that’s one, two, three, four, NINE hours of TV in one day. I could almost feel my muscles atrophy as I sat there, yet I COULD NOT STOP WATCHING.

Note: If you have not seen Breaking Bad and plan to watch it, you should skip the next paragraph.

Prior to yesterday, I had only seen the first season. I was bragging to Dave about how I  successfully avoided spoilers last year when everyone was talking about the finale, and then he was all, “But you know that he dies, right?”

On a happier note, I ordered this sweater from LOFT during their Presidents’ Day sale, and it is awesome (and also currently 40% off!):


That is the cat’s stuffed dog on the floor behind me, not a dead rat.

I also ordered this dress, but thanks to my dumb short waist it will need some alterations before I post a picture.

How was your weekend?

What to Wear on Valentine’s Day

So, confession: I kind of love Valentine’s Day. Not in the, “I’ll pout if my boyfriend doesn’t buy me a 10-lb. box of See’s and a diamond necklace” sort of way, but more of an, “I want to send valentines to all my friends and bake heart-shaped cookies and package them up in treat boxes” kind of way.

When it comes to getting dressed on Valentine’s Day, I’m totally drawn to over-the-top, super-cutesy stuff like these and these … which is acceptable when you’re 12, but harder to pull off in your late twenties. Also, Dave would mock me until the end of time if I bought those shoes.

I’ve spent the last couple of evenings looking for Valentines-wear that is festive enough to satisfy my inner 12-year-old, but subtle enough that it can be worn the other 364 days of the year as well. Here are a few of the things I found:


One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine

Our Valentine’s day plans are super low-key (dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant followed by a hockey game), so I decided to go the casual route and ordered the J. Crew Factory t-shirt (# 3). I’ll probably wind up wearing it with skinny jeans, heels, and my trusty red H&M cardigan, but I also think it would be cute tucked into a pencil skirt for more casual days at work.

Do you get into Valentine’s Day, or are you one of the many people who are annoyed by dorks like me who love it?

Things I’ve Bought Recently

I’m experiencing some serious writer’s block this week. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve been spending my evenings numbing my mind with Netflix marathons of “The Following” instead of forcing myself to sit down and write. Which reminds me: You should be watching “The Following” if you’re not already. It’s really creepy, and I would not recommend watching it right before bed if you’re the type of person who assumes every faint creak is the sound of someone coming down the hall to murder you.

Anyway, if there is one thing I can always talk about, it’s shopping, so instead of subjecting you to my crappy writing I’m going to tell you about a few things I’ve bought recently.

Pink Boyfriend PantVictoria’s Secret PINK Boyfriend Pant

I love me some good lounge wear, and I’ve been looking for new around-the-house pants ever since I split the ass of my beloved Old Navy flannel pants wide open a few weeks ago. You’d think that would have inspired me to avoid the cheese dip on Super Bowl Sunday, but you’d be wrong. Anyway, these pants are super comfy and LONG, which is excellent because nothing is dorkier than too-short pajama pants. They’re super slouchy and loose-fitting, which I suppose is due to the “boyfriend” aspect of the pants, although I think it’s pretty presumptive of Victoria to assume that women are all delicate waifs compared to their boyfriends. Tip: Wait for them to go on sale, since they’re $44 full-price.

Banana hanger with fruit bowl

Banana hanger with fruit bowl

Every Sunday we buy a ton of produce for the week, and then it spends the week rolling around all over the counter on account of our kitchen is small and we don’t have space for a fruit bowl. Or, we didn’t think we did until we discovered this genius contraption. Target is sold out of the exact model we got, but this one is close. (Dave technically bought this, but I was there so I’m counting it.)

Combat Boots

Tanner Lace-Up Boot

I’ve been wanting a pair of combat boots forever, but I typically don’t like to drop a ton of money on trendy stuff. Enter: these boots from Payless. I picked them up during a recent buy-one-get-one-half-off sale, but I’m not sure I’m going to keep them. I liked how they looked in the mirror at the store, but when I put them on at home they made my legs look mega-stumpy. Maybe they will let me exchange them for one of their magic leg-elongating mirrors?

L'Oreal Youth Code

L’Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector

My skin is the worst. It gets super dry in the winter, but it breaks out whenever I use any kind of moisturizer. Plus, I turn 30 this year and think it’s time I get into the habit of taking better care of my skin. I heard good things about L’Oreal’s Youth Code line, and picked up the Texture Perfector cream a while back. It’s super thick, and I use a very tiny amount every morning and night. So far, it hasn’t caused me to break out, and my skin is noticeably softer. Bonus: The smell is fantastic, and the packaging is pretty.

I Slept Last Night!

A couple of you suggested that a good cardio workout might cure my recent sleeping issues, so I went for a run last night and it totally worked – I slept like a baby. Only not really, because I didn’t shit myself or wake up and cry every two hours. That saying is really dumb.

The bad news is that I barely made it three miles, and I was huffing and puffing after about five minutes. Meanwhile, the guy on the treadmill next to me had the incline cranked up as high as it would go and was wearing a weighted vest. A WEIGHTED VEST. WHO DOES THAT? (At first I was kind of afraid it was a bomb, and after two miles I was PRAYING it was a bomb and that he would hurry up and detonate it.) Oh, and he was still running faster than me. I think I need to take up a new sport.

In other news, DSW is offering 500 bonus points with any purchase of athletic shoes through the end of the day. I wouldn’t recommend buying running shoes without trying them on first, but if you know what you want (and you’re a DSW member, which all shoe lovers should be), I’d recommend hopping on over there and taking advantage. I’m partial to ASICS, and since I’ve put close to 400 miles on my current pair I’m thinking it may be time to replace them in order to prevent foot pain. And then use my bonus points to put toward these, which will most likely cause foot pain. Shoe logic = the best kind of logic.

Weekend Highlights

– Old Navy is having a huge sale right now (up to 75% off in store!), and I scored this sequined dress for $11 on Saturday. I’m planning to wear it on New Year’s Eve, only we haven’t made plans yet so my evening will most likely consist of wearing a shiny dress while watching movies on the couch with Dave and the cat.

– Dave’s family came over Saturday night and gave us a bunch of really great Christmas presents, including a brand new barbecue and a New Belgium sign for our (soon-to-be-installed) bar. Whiskers was most excited about the wrapping paper:

Cat in Wrapping Paper– A few weeks ago the Fug Girls linked to this post detailing the top wine moments of Alias, which was clearly a sign from the universe that I need to re-watch the entire series. I viewed an embarrassing number of episodes over the weekend while Dave sat nearby and piped up with a science lesson whenever something happened that defies the laws of physics which is, oh, EVERY 10 SECONDS. And I listened patiently to every single one of his interjections. Just kidding, I was all:

So that sums up my weekend … getting out of bed was especially hard this morning after a week off from both work and exercise. Luckily, looking at Jennifer Garner’s abs for 10 hours straight was a great motivator to put down the toffee and get back to the gym this week. I predict that this evening’s run will not be pleasant.