Saturday, March 31, 2007

Latest Anthropologie Obsessions

All Jake-approved, and all on their way to me:

Definitely a guilty indulgence.

What's the Deal with Sheer?

Okay, I really like The Limited, but with one MAJOR exception: their addiction to sheer shirts. It drives me crazy! I will see a shirt on the rack, pull it out, and lo and behold, it's sheer. Here is why this trend should not continue season after season after season.....

1. Retailers charge as much for a sheer shirt as one that is not. By the time you get the cami that goes underneath, often conveniently located on the rack next to the sheer shirt, you have spent money for two shirts. They like that, my pocketbook does not.

2. Those camis never cover the majority of bra straps out there, straps everyone will see, because hello, the overshirt is sheer. I hate to see bra straps showing on an otherwise very well put-together look. That is for teenyboppers, not young women and up.

3. Wearing the cami underneath the sheer shirt creates uniboob on those of us with a chest larger than a B cup. Uniboob is evil. Why display it underneath a sheer shirt? It just adds another layer of fabric to the uniboob.

4. I live in Tucson. It gets hot here. Why would I want to wear two shirts, one a tight-fitting uniboob cami, the other a no-breathe sheer fabric? Hello, sweat stains that show! Hello, overheating!

5. No matter how well put-together the final look is, the shirts never stay in place, so you are constantly rearranging the sheer shirt over the cami which rols up, no matter how much you know you are wearing the right size, every time you get up, sit, walk, or even breathe. Retailers: women move, mannequins do not. There is a reason this look is nice on static beings and not on those who move.

6. The sheer shirts are so pretty---nice prints, colors, but they are sheer. If they were not I would buy the shirt. So retailers are losing money.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sickness Update, and the UPS Man Pays a Visit

Okay, quick sickness update: I went to the doctor yesterday, she took one look in my ears and said she had never seen someone so congested. So, I have a sinus infection, which was brought on by strep. Lovely! I also had a chest X-ray done to see if I have pneumonia, but it was more of a precautionary thing. So I got my wonder drugs from the always-excellent Target pharmacy---seriously, every one I have ever been to, the pharmacist is so nice, really explains the medicines to you, I love their packaging and handy little inserts, and they even call you to see how you are tolerating the meds, all truly great service in my mind, which is why I go further to Target then right around the corner to Walgreens---and now I feel better. I am on the mend again, just in time for another business trip to Clearwater in a week and a half.
Okay, so the UPS man came today and left my Banana Republic order. Yay on the straight skirt, nay on the A-line skirt----it is way too darn denim colored for me. Yay on the shoes---they are really nice. Everything was on sale, I had a coupon, a reward certificate, and earned points on my Gap card and money back via

Also delivered was a J.Crew order. Nay on the shirts---I guess they don't like women who have over a C-cup in bras and don't want them wearing their tees I also got this sweater, which I love:

It's hard to tell from the picture, but it has ruffle edging along the placket and collar, and pointelle detail across the chest. So cute and girly!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sick Yet Again

I am so tired of being sick! I truly do not think it is just allergies. I headback to the doctor tomorrow and hopefully they can get me something for all this congestion, so I can breathe and eat yet again.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Price Adjustments Are Good

Last night my mom called to tell me that she was perusing the Kohl's ad in the paper and that they were having a big sale the next morning, and that it appeared that the items I bought that day would now be on sale cheaper. I don't know why, but we don't get the Kohl's ad in our paper----maybe our zip code is too down-market for them. Anyway, I went by Kohl's with my receipt on my way to my hair appointment this morning to check out the price adjustment possibilities, and am happy to say I walked out with $14.97 back on my MasterCard.

Price adjustments---a shopper's good friend!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Because One Can Always User Another Pair of Ballet Flats

Today I did a lot of running around with my mom and the incredible-juice-drinking-toddler Siena. We went to Costco, Starbucks (oh yes, it was tasty), the mall, and two different Kohl's stores.

At the first Kohl's store I found a shirt I really liked but they did not have my size, so we went to the other store to get it. I would post a picture but it is not available online. Anyway, it was a cream waffle-knit v-neck with red rose print and lace trim at the v-neck and along the bottom. So cute!

I also got two more pairs of ballet shoes, because really, a girl cannot have too many pairs. I think I am up to 10+ pairs---I am too afraid to count. Anyway, I love them, and I cannot resist the lure of more. So when I spotted the below I had to get them:

I used a gift card, which covered part of the purchase price and took some of the sting away.

At the mall I picked up a white eyelet tie-back blouse from NY&Co. Now, I used to work at that store back when it was Lerner and owned by Limited Brands. I have to tell you, it has really gone downhill, not necessarily clothing-wise, but appearance wise. Though the division was neglected by Limited Brands we still had pride in the store. We kept things clean. This store, at Tucson Mall, is in need of some serious cleaning. The fitting rooms are a mess, with hooks and fixtures missing, and holes in the wall. They never edge the floors by the walls and corners. And, they took all the benches out of the rooms! It drives me crazy because there is nowhere to put my bag or sit to put on my shoes. These are all signs of poor customer service, if the management can't even keep the fitting rooms vacuumed. Anyway, I don't go in there much anymore as I usually don't care for the clothes but on a whim I went in and found the shirt. It is very cute with jeans.

Finally, the other day I returned the shoes I had ordered online at Banana Republic back to the store, as they just did not work for me (see March 11 entry). Then yesterday I received an e-mail alerting me to their sale. And, I had a 15% off coupon, a $10 reward certificate, I never pay shipping, used my Gap card to earn more reward points, and shopped through to get the following:

The two skirts are denim. A girl can never have enough denim skirts. Or ballet flats, obviously. Anyway, if I don't like anything, back to the store they go.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cut off from Starbucks

I way overdid my Starbucks trips over the last two weeks so Jake has said I can only go once or twice a week. I a in withdrawal, I tell you. I just discovered the location that has the Valencia syrup and I carve it in y drink. I guess what does me in money-wise is I usually get a snack in addition to my frappuccino. That really makes the trip add up.

Oh well. I am thisclose to earning another gift card from, and that I can use when I want because it is all mine.

It is a good frugal lesson, though, to realize what an expensive habit Starbucks can be, and to try and rein it in. I would really much rather have a new piece of jewelry, or newer truck, or a new house than a bunch of pastries and frappuccinos glued to my hips.

We'll see how long this lasts!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Weekend of Shopping

Siena is such a daddy's girl. It's very sweet but she literally latches on to his leg when she sees him, and wants to be near him at all times. This makes it hard for Jake to get anything done.

This weekend Jake had some projects around the house to accomplish, which meant Siena had to be out of sight. So yesterday she and I went to La Ecantada, where I got a few things at Ann Taylor, a candle from Yankee Candle (with $5 off coupon), and some bras at Victoria's Secret. Then I came home and saw a coupon for Ann Taylor, on-line only, of 15% off and free shipping. So I ordered what I had just purchased that day at the store, and saved over $30 in the process. So today Siena and I went to the gym and Tucson Mall, where I got a skirt at Banana Republic (10% off coupon) and then went with Jake back to La Encantada for lunch at AJ's, where afterward I returned my Ann Taylor purchase in lieu of the one I ordered last night. Jake got some jeans and a shirt at Lucky jenas (30% off coupon) and then we went into Tiffany. I had never been in there. I have always wanted a really slender channel set diamond band ring with diamonds all the way around. Of course I had to try one on and of course I covet it. I would like to just wear that instead of my solitaire and band. However, it seems foolish to buy a diamond ring, no matter how small, when we need other things more. Maybe someday we will hit the lottery or something.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

This Weekend's Freebies

I say, I am having such good luck with free stuff for the past two days. Friday I got a free full-service car wash, a free Gillette fusion razor in the mail, a free giant sized bottle of Listerine, and a free bottle of bubble bath from Bath and Body Works. Saturday I got two free pairs of undies from Victoria's Secret (plus $10 off a bra). Today I got another bottle of bubble bath from B&BW and a Clinique goft woth purchase set.

I'm almost up to enough points on to get another free Starbucks gift card. I should hit the amount this week. Whee!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Today's Most Excellent Freebie

I occasionally check the Lucky Magazine boards at I responded to a question about what kind of giveaway would entice me to try on a pair of jeans---a tank, free music, or magazine subscription. Because I was one of the first 20 to respond today in the mail I received a coupon for a free pair of pajama bottoms from Old Navy. Talk about getting something for very little effort! Go me!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Great Free Samples at

Hey, there are some great free samples available right now at Click on "In Stores Now", then "Free Samples". There are some good ones from Sunsilk, Almay, Garnier, Tide, Dove, Curel, Biore, etc. You don't have to provide an e-mail address to get them, and they always come very promptly. It's a nice little surprise in the mailbox.

Check it out!

Sick Baby but Happy Outcome; and, Why Health Insurance is a Must

We were up at 2 this morning with a very sick Siena, who had a temp pushing 105, after a weekend of being in the 103 to 104 range. So we made the choice to go to the ER, where we waited for hours for a bed, all so a doctor could spend less than 5 minutes with her. $75, four hours, and two prescriptions later, we left with a diagnosis of "could be an ear infection". So we shouldered on, got the meds, and my mom came and took over so Jake and I could still attempt to get some hours in at work.

Now for my lesson of the day/lesson learned. Thank goodness I have such good health insurance through work. I tell myself I don't go to work for the pay, I go to work for the health insurance and other benefits, like the 401k. After all the doctor/urgent care/ER visits this past month (9 in all), and after all the associated prescriptions (7 in all), am so grateful to have good coverage. if neither Jake not I could get coverage through work we would buy a policy---I truly believe it is one of the best financial decisions once can make, to be insured. Before I had a job with insurance I sucked it up and paid an astronomical amount of money each month for good coverage, and it was worth every dime for the reassurance of knowing if I ended up in the hospital I would not go bankrupt trying to pay the fees. Now if we could just get some sort of universal health care for all citizens, that would even be better (just my political rant for the day).

I am happy to say that our little girl is slowly coming back to life. After three days of no food, she is starting to eat again. She is still cranky but is being playful tonight, even playing peek-a-boo with blankie and doing her downward facing dog stretch. I think she is getting better. Her temp has been lower and she seems less restless. She goes back to the regular doctor tomorrow and hopefully the diagnosis from the ER is correct and my baby is on the way to good health, after a month of sickness for both of us (seriously, we have both been sick for four weeks).

I will be so relieved when we are both healthy again. One, because we will be all easier to get along with. Two, because I love my daughter and hate to see her so miserable. Three, because we will be able to get a return on our day care fee---we still have to pay even is she is out sick, so in the last four weeks we have paid for five days of no school out of twenty days attended. I hate to throw money away like that. Luckily, they let us off this week after I called and said she was in the ER and would not be in this week and could they please cut us a break, since she has been nothing but sick since she started preschool/day care. Anyway, fourth, when we are all healthy we can get back to family time, instead of fighting one fire/crisis/sickness after another.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cute Shoes at Banana Republic

My brother got married last year May and I had trouble finding two things for the wedding: cute shoes for Siena, who was then four months old, and nice strappy black sandals for me It seems this year what I was looking for last year is everywhere. My mom and I keep saying, "I wish they had these shoes last year for Siena!" Now I have found a pair of shoes for me with the same credo. Here they are:

Well, we are going to a Sunday morning wedding in a couple of weeks and these shoes are perfect for the occasion: an outdoor wedding with nice spring clothes. Oh, and they will be great as work shoes, too. So I ordered them. I clicked through the site so I could get 5% back, and used a 15% off and free shipping coupon from BR, and used my Gap card to pay for it so I earn points towards the rewards check. Hopefully I will like them.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Breaking News! Valencia Syrup is Back at Starbucks!

My mom watched Siena today while I went to the doctor and ran a few errands. To treat her for all her help I stopped by Starbucks en route to picking up the child and got her a frappucino and a scone. I also ordered a drink for me. I had ordered a peppermint shot in my frap, and told the barista I wished they still had valencia. Well, guess what?!? The store I stpped at had it in stock, and the other barista told me Starbucks was bringing it back. i truly hope this is the case. If not, I know of at least one store that has a good supply (I asked). I was so happy to get my java chip frappucino lite with valencia, I cannot even tell you. Now if they would just bring back the banana flavor things would be great. And, since I found another store that still sells the pumpkin chocolate chip cookie, it's all good. Of course, that means I have to choose wisely when I am out and about, because of course the cookie and the valencia are not at the same store, at least not yet. Hopefully soon!

Jeans Quest Continues and Forth and Towne Purchase

So, I have been looking for the perfect pair of jeans. The Lucky jeans I ordered last week arrived and they are by far too long. So I returned them to the store and got another pair in regular length with some lycra in the fabric. Jake says they look just right and I am rather partial to them myself, I just wish they were maybe 1/2" longer, but they will suffice. I do feel that the jean quest is something that never stops. But for now, mine is abated.

I also ordered a dress and shoes from Forth and Towne, a division of the Gap that is going out of business. I had ordered a black eyelet trench coat (summer weight) as well but it is out of stock---they will ship it to me when it becomes available. Anyway, I had a 20% off coupon so I perused their website and they really do have a lot of nice stuff. It is too bad they are closing. It's right up there with the closure of my beloved Janeville...all these stores that are supposed to cater to my demographic and they are not being marketed or run well, so they close. It's such a shame, because there really is a retail market for nice, affordable clothes that fit right for women after age 25 or so, but not quite 40.

So, send me a coupon and I will purchase....anyway, the dress and shoes came today. The dress was just eh, so I went off to the post office to send it back. The shoes are way cool. They are cork soled black leather sandals, with a 3" heel. Hopefully when the coat finds its way to me I will love it as well.

Forth and Towne will be getting their summer line in in April so I will have to check their website again to see if there is anything else I like before they close for good.

Sickness Yet Again

So, the household has been visited by sickness yet again. Siena just keeps bringing this stuff home from day care. This time I had to go to Urgent Care Monday night because my ears were hurting so badly I could not swallow or chew. Turns out I have blocked ears. So fine, a few days go by, and I am not getting better, so today I go to my doctor and find out the problem is still there, so I get more prescriptions. I will be able to open my own pharmacy soon. Siena has a cold or allergies or something and is not up to her usual cute self. I have no idea what to do for her except let her ride it out. Last time we went to her doctor they said there is nothing they can do for this. Poor baby!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Cultural and Shopping Trip to the Big City

Yesterday we went to Phoenix to go to the art museum, where they had an exhibit on evening gowns from the last 100 years. I can't believe how tiny one would have to be to wear these gowns! They also had an exhibit on Nepalese painters from the 17th century. My favorite was "Judith and Holofernes" by Artemisia Gentileschi. It was so beautiful.

Then we went to In n Out and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf for one of their black forest blended drinks. After that we cruised over to Chandler Mall and Nordstrom, where we purchased nothing, but Siena had a blast toddling around. Then we went to Ikea where we got a kids' table and chairs set for Siena, and the on to Arizona Mills to the Gap and Bath and Body Works outlets. I got a couple candles and some shirts.

So, not much in the way of buying, but the museum was great. They had the most beautiful jewelry in the gift shop. I had them pull one piece out of the case but the price was astronomical: $400. It was so beautiful but clearly way out of my league.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Free Stuff and an "Eh"

I received my jeans from Banana Republic today and I have to say, they are just "eh". I am disappointed. Looks like my jean quest will not be fulfilled by BR. Oh well. Hopefully the Lucky jeans I ordered will be better. They should be here next week.

I also got a free piece of cheesecake today. Since my birthday was last month Borders sent me a coupon for a free dessert from their in-store cafe. So Jake ran me by there and I got my cheesecake and left. It looks yummy; it's a "mudslide" flavor. Let me remind you, it is free to sign up for the Borders Rewards program, and there are all sorts of great perks. If you buy books or magazines on a regular basis and want to get something back for it (like coupons and money towards more free books), check it out.


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