Monday, March 28, 2011

Window Shopping & Weekend Adventures

I'm not much of a shopper-- probably because I hate wasting money. As a whole, my husband and I value experiences over things, so shopping isn't something we spend the majority of our money on; unless you count food purchases as shopping, in which case the majority of our credit card bill is shopping for that. But just because I don't shop that often doesn't mean I don't like nice things and appreciate fashion. I usually just window shop for them or wait for a crazy-good deal at the Gap. With that said, yesterday morning I decided to do a little shopping online. I wanted some new casual tennis shoes to replace my usual Jack Purcell shoes. I needed something new for spring/fall when Uggs are too warm and flip flops are too cool. Here's what I came up with:
...and for $50 total, I am now awaiting their arrival at my doorstep. It's all that time spent in Europe that has me wanting Euro-inspired tennis shoes. I'm kicking myself for not buying them there since the variety is so much better. I use ShopAtHome for just about every purchase online. I will be getting 12% back from that purchase (around $6) just for buying through their link. They're like Ebates, but I think they have higher cash-back percentages.

Something I've also wanted since moving to colder climates (plural = Germany/Illinois) are boots. Like a nice pair of boots and not Uggs-- though I have two pair and love them dearly. I wanted something a little more fashionable that could be worn with just about anything. I never feel quite right wearing Uggs out to a nice restaurant. While I don't own a pair yet since I feel a boot purchase is similar to jeans shopping (oh, the dread!), I think something like these might suit my fancy...

...and my first {out of the ordinary} shopping post wouldn't be fitting unless I posted a thing or two from my very favorite clothing store on the planet, Anthropologie. I think this dress is simple and just my style. I love the two-tone yellow/gray pairing.
...completely absurd and out of my price range, but lovely all the same is this amazing hobo purse. Now someone just tell me what normal human being would purchase this $600 purse and not feel like wrapping it in a protective coating before taking it out in public. Set it down on the floor, gasp!
So there you have it. I'm also in the market for a new purse-- one that is black, crushed leather (not shiny), reasonably priced (under $100) and maybe a tad smaller than that Anthro purse above. Anyone have a purse they love that's worth sharing? It needs to last me a long time. I hate spending money on purses for some reason... so sturdy and trusty preferred.

As for the weekend... we Ray accomplished quite a bit in the family room, and we spent some quality time with friends. On Saturday morning I went to my zumba class. I love the instructor on Saturdays, but hate the studio the class is held in. There are far too many people in such a small space and I wish there was more room to branch out. Normally it's held in the gym, but not on weekends.

Ray began scraping the popcorn from the ceiling in our family room and was doing very well... until... he reached the 3rd (of 4) sections. The previous owners attempted to scrape the popcorn but gave up. It wouldn't matter, except they decided to paint over the area they attempted to scrape. It would have been better off had they just left it be. Scraping popcorn + extra paint = impossible! We have a goal to complete the final bits of scraping/sanding the ceiling before starting the wallpaper. Though, we peeled a bit very quickly and it came off like a breeze! The paper is a grainy texture just like our office was-- and that was the least difficult of 4 rooms we've already stripped. I'm probably speaking too soon, but we're thrilled that our last wallpaper room could be relatively easy on that end! Now to finish the dang ceiling...

Last night we had dinner with 3 other couples at a local Indian restaurant. With the help of, we paid $20/couple for all-you-can-eat dinner buffet! The Allens, Fergusons, and Nelsons joined us for a good time of spicy food and conversation. {Why do all of our last names end in n? Weird, right?} The Nelsons are new to the crew and we wanted to welcome them in. My friend Alli should be credited for setting up the fun shindig and we all really enjoyed ourselves. Nevermind the text message I got from her this morning about only having one bathroom at their house after a night full of Indian cuisine. Hahaha. For the record, it doesn't affect me that way, thank goodness.

At one point in the dinner, the Nelsons asked what I did for a job. I didn't really know what to say, honestly. We were out at dinner with two couples that we're quite close with and this new couple, but I didn't feel it was the time nor place to drop the bomb of sadness on two unsuspecting individuals. They are new to the group, I didn't want them feeling sad/awkward, and I didn't think that a couple of less than 6 months into their marriage needed to hear the harsh reality of life/death quite yet. I guess I also wanted them to keep experiencing new marital bliss like we had for 2.5 years prior to Andrew's death.

So I answered with a simple "nothing" and then went on to explain that I was a teacher but am now a sub for the time being. She asked if I am seeking full-time employment and I told her I was not. How can I avoid sounding entitled/boring/lame/lazy without fully divulging all the heartbreak and reasoning? I could have said that we're hoping to become pregnant soon, but then I'd probably have to deal with the whole, how exciting, first time parent comments... when I know becoming pregnant again will provide hope but will be anything but exciting. It will be downright terrifying if I'm being honest.

Regardless, we carried on with the dinner without letting the whole sad cat out of the bag. If they choose to hang with our crew much longer, they'll be sure to learn the sadness. But part of me wanted them to get to know Brandy and Ray without sadness-- for them to see the carefree, fun-loving couple we used to be and still cling to.


LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

I have similar Pumas. Mine are white with the swirly thing being pink as well as the puma. LOVE then, so comfy (and they fit my feet still when they were all swollen and fat).

I hate that the previous owners painted over their attempts to sand- sooo much more work now, awful.

*Laura Angel said... [Reply to comment]

Ok I LOOOVE pumas...I know you said 50$...where!!

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

I have been clicking on that same dress at Anthropology! And thinking that I could sew something similar if I had the heart to sew again... Maybe one of these days. I'm a huge fan of Ebates but haven't done ShopAtHome so I'll have to check it out!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Hey Brandy - not a day goes by that I don't check your blog. You're a fantastic writer and I enjoy hearing your insights about life and happenings. I would love to catch up soon :)

Now, on to a subject I know lots about - shopping!!! I'm not hesitant to tell you I have a lot of experience in this subject and therefore know of some pretty sweet deals for purses. Charlotte Russe randomly have nice-looking and inexpensive bags and so does Banan Republic! Also, are you a member of gilt groupe online? If not, I'd check that out as well. They always have steals on all kinds of merchandise... ;)

Ok you. Tell the family I say hi and when you come to LA next, let me know if you're free to get together.


Jen (Sleeper) Korkis

Olaina.PhotosAndArt said... [Reply to comment]

*Sigh* It's so hard to answer the simplest of questions sometimes. Something that I've held onto is the idea that it's none of my business what other people think of me. It doesn't always work, but it sometimes helps me not feel "entitled/boring/lame/lazy" when people ask me what I do for a living. Besides, subbing is the hardest part of teaching--all discipline, no fun (at least at the HS level). Be proud!

And, BTW, as far as I can see you're definitely a carefree, fun-loving couple. You're out to Indian food, after all. And you bought cute new shoes. And those boots are beautiful! Plus, you're living in a whole new place--that's enough reason in itself not to get a "real job" right away.

Sorry so long... thanks for blogging. :)