Saturday, February 23, 2013

Things I Actually Bought

I had things to talk about regarding the last week: I got a surprise job interview in Austin at a prestigious boutique firm. JP is at this very moment interviewing for a position as Aquatics Director for a local country club which might allow him to simultaneously launch his swim school here in Fort Worth. Yesterday I found myself arguing passionately for him starting said swim school instead of pursuing a corporate path (one of the bigger wtf moments of our entire relationship). I sat on the floor of the guest room on Wednesday and read my freshman year college scrapbook and reminisced over pictures of baby faced JP and me falling in love and looking awkward. We finished the Netflix House of Cards series and holy crap did it get good at the end (loved the beginning, had some doubts in the middle, blew me away in the last few). I took testimony a second time and I didn't make myself ill in the days leading up to it. My boss wrote an email to our higher-up bosses praising my performances in words so complimentary I told him I was going to redact all non-public info in the email, laminate it, and glue it on my fridge. On the way home from work that day I stopped to buy a margarita with the kids (JP had dropped them off at my office on the way to a meeting at another pool). I was driving, with every intention of going home and cooking some pasta like a good girl, but my head was killing me, I was running on adrenaline, and all- ALL- I could think about was stopping at Gloria's for a happy hour margarita. And so I did. The kids colored and ate queso and tortillas, I drank my margarita and replayed segments of testimony over and over in my head with a big smile on my face. An elderly woman walked by and put her hand on my shoulders and said, "You have lovely children." I laughed- not because I don't have lovely children, I do, and I enjoy the hell out of them, but because at that exact moment I was tilting my head back to get the last bit of frozen tequila goodness from the bottom of my glass while they ate melted cheese for dinner. A shining moment in my motherhood, to be sure.

But I waited too long to write about any of that, so we're going to move on to what's on my mind today- shopping! Shopping and the pretty things I just bought that I must share with you because I shared them with JP- twice- and I still don't think he's exhibited the proper amount of enthusiasm. It started when I opened a birthday card on Thursday night from a family friend- Landon's godmother- and she included a Mastercard gift card with a note to "spend it on YOU- maybe something from your blog post?". And then I opened my grandparents' card with their birthday check and I decided to follow orders.

On Friday I took a lunch break away from my desk and found myself in Ann Taylor with 45 minutes and a 40% off clearance sale before me. I found, and fell deeply in love with, the following items:

First up, this dress. This dress is gorgeous. It was originally $168, on clearance for $50 because some crazy person returned one weeks after it was sold out in the store. Then it was 40% off and I had a $15 birthday coupon and a $20 separate coupon and at the end of the day, it was noted as $21 on my recipt. $21!!


There was a slight problem when I realized I couldn't raise my arms up over shoulder-level and, had I discovered this beautiful sartorial confection weeks earlier when more than one existed in the store, I would have liked to try a size up. But I interviewed all the sales associates and they all assured me it did not look too small, nor did I look too ridiculous when I simulated hugging someone while keeping my arms near my waist. (I've earmarked this dress for my 5-year law school reunion in May; there will be hugging.) It not only flatters my figure like you wouldn't believe (particularly with a peplum involved; I hate the entire concept of a peplum and its trendiness right now and yet on this dress it's magic), but it will perfectly showcase this necklace that JP bought me 4 years ago to belatedly commemorate my graduations from UT and UChicago (topaz for Texas, garnets for Chicago; it's a cheesy school color thing but it works and I love it).


It is however too fancy to wear very often, so my new burgundy wide necked dress and my fancy '08 class dinner will be the perfect opportunity to bring it out from its case. And even though I won't be able to raise my arms very high, I practiced and found I was perfectly capable of lifting them to a level at which I can sip from a champagne glass.

Next up, this faux wrap dress. Real wrap dresses look terrible on me, on account of my waist being wider than my hips, but this cheater one is beautiful. Also, $13.


I fell in like with this top when it first popped up in a "Say hello to Spring" promotional email many weeks ago. It's a yellow that doesn't completely wash me out and you know I love a good stripe. It will look excellent with my white denim capris and tan wedges and it was $7.


And finally, this top, which is a combo of silk and cotton, made my eyes all sparkly and is going to look excellent with my black blazer and many other things. It was $12 and I love it at least 4x that much.


All in all, these 4 items cost me $57 after tax. I was practically glowing as I burst back in my office that afternoon and forced multiple co-workers to listen to my raptures about the peplum dress. Then, this morning, Claire and I headed out to do our usual round of grocery shopping and instead made our first trip to DSW since moving to Fort Worth 11.5 months ago. I had $93 left of my birthday money and mommy was buying herself some new shoes.

We went to the clearance section first, of course, where I came face to face with The Boots- the boots from my "Things I Haven't Bought" post! They were marked down to $50 and 40% off, so $30! $30 cognac boots that will look excellent with dresses and even better over skinny jeans. It was a sign of favor from the shoe gods that they've missed me.


Bear, carrying her purse and baby and wearing her sunglasses indoors, as a diva does on weekend errands, found this lovely pair of stripper heels to try on:


Sadly, they did not make the final cut. We tried on many more, largely in my quest to find a pair of black patent pumps I like as much as the too-expensive Ann Taylor version, but also because I got distracted by all the Spring wedges.


Forty minutes later I was settled on this Tahari pair for a full DSW price of $59.95 and I love them very much.


I have spent the last year learning how much I don't need to buy stuff to make me happy, but that in no way diminishes the happiness I still get when I'm able to buy stuff. I fell asleep last night planning my next week of outfits to incorporate my new items. It's been a fun few days.



    And Yay boots!!!

  2. Yay, shopping. Also, surprise interview sounds intriguing.

  3. Wow, you are a talented shopper. And it does sound like the birthday shopping gods were smiling on you! Clearly, you were a good girl this year.

  4. Please tell us more about the surprise interview!

  5. Lots of great bargains there--well done!

  6. I'm happy for you two and your job opportunities! I, too, love finding great deals as you've described here. Woo hoo!

  7. Congrats all around. I have the second dress in both green and black and paid more than $17 for sure. But, it is a great dress (and I still got a deal, just not THAT great!). You'll love it.

  8. I just noticed this job post and thought of JP...random, I know. It may be nothing he's interested in but I just thought I'd pass it on.

  9. I love it when the Shopping Gods make it obvious that I'm supposed to have something. I think we need pics of the boots and heels on. I can never truly appreciate shoes until I see them on a real foot.

  10. AHhhh I love a good shopping spree!! You found some serious treasure! Also, I think JP starting a swim school sounds FABULOUS!