Best Christmas Decorations EVER. Haters, Line Up! Yoo Hoo, #Pinterest, I’m Calling YOU!

 I hope you enjoy a repeat of one of my most clicked on posts of 2012 while I get ready for my son and DIL who are visiting for a couple of days and my tugboat man who’ll be home on December 23. 
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Don’t HATE…EMULATE!

It was last year that I was inspired by other topnotch decorators who so kindly blogged about their DIY Christmas tree masterpieces.

In fact, I was so inspired and so thrilled to be stuck here all alone for the millionth time during the holidays that I created a masterpiece of my own, just for you, my loving internet family.

As I looked around my house, the elliptical seemed like it had the best “bones” to adorn.

Plus, it had a ready-made beverage holder!

I didn’t have any Maxi-pads or other feminine hygiene products–‘cos THAT ship has sailed–if you know what I mean. (Hey cool, a nautical reference jauntily tossed in. Damn, I’m good!)

I added a toilet paper garland, a couple of Sophie Kinsella novels, two glittery seashell ornaments, a bottle of wine in the beverage holder, a white plastic poinsettia, a few EMPTY gift bags, and a festive plush Hello Kitty toy.

You can’t really see it very good, but there’s a chocolate bar too, which I don’t have to share with anyone! I’m such a lucky girl! This is the best use I’ve found for the elliptical. Hanging freshly ironed shirts hanging on it is a close second.

Now you can carry on with your day; just take a moment to let it all sink in.

The moral of the story is that it might not be a good idea to leave Princes Rosebud alone for long periods of time.

Don’t HATE…Emulate.

Decorated for Christmas elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

decorated elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

Shopping Tips From Princess Rosebud. More Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.

Shopaholic Tip #1 Save your receipts.

Shopaholic Tip #2 Make sure you are well versed in the return policies of each and every store in which you shop.

Here’s why: The other side of being a shopaholic is buyer’s remorse.  Sometimes it happens as soon as you arrive home and unpack all of your treasures — there’s a little seed of doubt growing roots in the other side of your brain no longer high with shopping endorphins — maybe you’re just not as enthralled about the colors or the cut or the style  — maybe the way the color looked under harsh florescent lighting is different that you imagined it would be; say for example, the cornflower blue sweater isn’t exactly the shade of cornflower blue you thought would be such an amazing pop of color with a specific blouse or maybe the shoes that you tried on for a moment in the store aren’t comfortable and would NEVER be worn.

Or if you’re like me and really hate the confines of a dressing room, you chose a bunch a couple outfits that you thought would fit ‘cos it’s your size and all that, but when you actually tried them on in the relaxed and serene (and clean) confines of your bedroom, you discover that the cut of the jeans is unflattering or has an unnaturally low rise. Come on people, when will fashion designers STOP manufacturing women’s jeans based on the body of a  prepubescent boy and remember that most women possess waistlines as well as child-bearing hips and we’d like our trousers to fall somewhere close and not be so obscenely low as to reveal our Caesarean scars? Hmm? It’s not that I don’t have some great Joe’s jeans and skinny jeans from Anthropolgie that fit perfectly right, but I’m talking generalities here.

Anyhoo, this is a running topic of contentious conversation with me and my tugboat man.

As soon as I tell him I went shopping, he asks me how soon it will be until I take half or all of my purchases  back. And then he laughs. Ha ha. NOT. It’s his little (tired) joke to bet me which items will not make the cut, so to speak.

Poor tugboat man. He thought that same psychology would work with any of my Chanel purchases, but sadly for him, this Princess is way more clever.

Have you EVER heard of anyone returning an iconic 2.55 Chanel quilted handbag with the chain strap because it didn’t fit? HAH! He’s not as smart as he thinks he is. I threw him a shady eye for even suggesting that it might go back. That’s crazy talk, Captain. He really doesn’t know who he’s dealing with. Really.

So, of those four pairs of shoes I purchased last week, I’ve kept two of them. The Asics went back. Why? Because upon detailed inspection at home, I discovered that they were NOT the same style as the ones I had originally purchased for $120.00 and they were not as comfortable. And I take my work out/walking shoes VERY seriously because I live in them. A heel or a wedge doesn’t need the same criteria because they’re worn for shorter periods of time and let’s face it, you don’t even think about hiking in a pair of Louboutin heels, right?

That’s why it’s UBER important to save your receipt and all the tags and make sure you know there’s a decent return policy — not as I’ve found with some shops in tiny print “exhange or store credit only”.  No SIR. I want my $$$$ back.  I do NOT want my money held hostage and  forced  to choose something else. That store goes on my list of places to NEVER again  frequent. It’s not that I don’t understand the nuance of a small business — I’ve owned a couple of them myself — but it’s a negative no matter what the reason, that’s all I’m saying.

I’m still shaking my head…return a friggin’ Chanel??? Does my tugboat man have ANY idea who he’s married to? I mean seriously, where has he been for the past twenty years? I suppose it was wishful thinking on his part, but COME ON.

I can’t even form the thought, “I’d like to return my beautiful Chanel handbag that I’ve lusted for and dreamed about my entire life.”

That’s a whole lotta crazy talk.

Hee hee. :) Have a lovely Sunday and remember to save your receipts!

In Which Princess Rosebud Gets Her Groove Back.

As in shopaholic heaven.

As in a daylong shopping frenzy.

On a roll, guys. On a friggin’ roll.

The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the birdies are singing.

Picture me sitting cross-legged on the floor, surrounded by bags and boxes and fresh crackly tissue paper. It’s Christmas in May!

I hope you are as snappy happy as I am that I haven’t lost my touch.

It’s been so long since I spent a solid day doing nothing but shopping — and I’m proud to say that I was firing on all cylinders, whatever THAT means.

I whipped out the plastique so fast there were tendrils of smoke swirling from its little slot in my (Chanel) wallet.

Must haves, every single one.

The only dark spot in an otherwise stellar day was a grave situation with the rack of undergarments at Kohl’s.

Simply put…a 32A bra should not be situated anywhere near a 42G bra on any rack at any store. And stop laughing at me. It was traumatic.

This is merely an observation from someone less — uh — ahem– less endowed.

Here’s the story: I was searching through the racks of sale bras at Kohl’s  –  and this is just a random thought…but could someone PLEASE organize them so that the 32A bras are not ALL lovingly nestled inside the 42G brassieres? There’s a whole world of sizes in between those two ends of the pectoral scale. Geez, it’s embarrassing enough to seek out the teeny tiny size I wear, but to be overshadowed by a brassiere that will eventually embrace two proudly gigantic mammary glands is almost more than I can bear…Those ginormous over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders were taunting me, I swear it. Taunting me!!! [sobbing now]

Ahh, but even THAT couldn’t dampen my spirits!

Today was a great day, my friends, a great day!

It all started with the seashells. Aren’t these enchanted?

newbottles

Michael’s had a sale. These guys were 50% off! Yippee!
Seashells are the best, right?shellbottleThat’s when I strolled over to Kohl’s in search of a new spoon rest; I didn’t find that, but look what was on sale! (Oh, and I did finally locate a couple of miniature brassieres, thank you very much.)

My super favorite brand of work out shoes —  Asics — and half the price that I paid a few months ago at Footlocker, so of course I needed twice the shoes — four shoes for the price of two!  Such a deal!

asics

Since I was totes feeling it, I stopped at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets and Cole Haan. These lightweight beauties were hiding in the secret back room clearance area. Did you know that most Cole Haan shoes boast concealed Nike Air technology? These do too, and are soooo comfy. Originally in the $200.00 range, my final price was $69.00 Cha-ching!

  • Heritage weave detailing on vamp straps. (LOVE the word “vamp”)
  • Jute-wrapped detail at midsole.
  • Stacked platform and wedge heel.

colehaaan

Another shopaholic in Cole Haan was wearing the most adorable sandals so of course I asked her where she purchased them after I complimented her excellent taste in footwear and to my surprise and delight, she pointed right around the corner at Nine West. As soon as I completed my purchase at CH, I scurried over to NW. Could you just DIE? These are the mostest totes adorbs; could be my favorite sandal EVER. Can you make out the sparkles? Sigh.

sandalsAt another store, can’t even remember the name of it ‘cos I was on a M-I-S-S-I-O-N,  y’all, I stocked up on discounted Kiehl’s. It was at that point I wished I had someone with me to carry all my bags, or at least another arm or two.

The new Kate Spade store was open and really crowded. I tried on a couple of cute dresses, but nothing spoke to me in a demanding tone of voice, so I left with nothing, but that’s OK, too.

I’m resting up for tomorrows adventure, my favorite Nordstrom Outlet!

I’m Happy, Happy, Happy!

 

Gallimaufry. What’s That? Today’s Confused Hodgepodge.

Gal·li·mau·fry  [gal-uh-maw-free]
…a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley.

That’s today’s title and a great descriptor…a little bit of everything ‘cos, well, just because.
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Update on my son...

Staples removed (20+ of them!!) thanks to my good friend’s doctor hub whom we’ve known since our boys were in first grade and we used to go to aerobics classes together…he’s a topnotch internist at North County Internal Medicine.

A while back they added something special to his practice, NCIM Aesthetics — specializing in state-of-the-art laser skin laser technology PLUS my personal favorites: Botox, Juvederm, and Radiesse. Give ‘em a call @ 760-726-2302 or email NCIMaesthetics@gmail.com

So far, the only hitch in Angel Boy’s recovery was a by-product of taking Augmentin for an infection he got in the hospital…another really awful stomach bacteria called c. difficile, but with a switch to Flagyl and some high quality probiotics, his fever and the infection disappeared. He’s finishing up his recovery in SF with DIL. Alll he needs to do now is build up his strength and gain back the nearly twenty pounds he lost over the last month.

Me (‘cos it’s always about me, right? I mean, even when it doesn’t seem to be all about me, it’s really ALL ABOUT ME.)

Suffering from writer’s block again, so I’m watching back to back episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, Real Housewives of Orange County (or New York), and Sherlock —  all very successfully helping me NOT create a post — or writing — of any value. There’s no real writing inspiration, just escapism.

Honestly, I don’t know who I’m crushing on more: Randy Fenoli from SYTTD (I’d kill for his eyebrows) or Benedict Cumberbatch as the ultimate Sherlock. I love them both! But not nearly as much as I’m lady boning for Richard Roxburgh as criminal lawyer Cleaver Greene in Rake, (the original Aussie one), not the US version, on Netflix.

Watching SYTTD and Housewives is something I can ONLY do when my tugboat man is out to sea; it’s one of those pesky non-negotiables when he’s home.

He literally REFUSES — says, “Im outta here” as he leaves the room, so I save them as my guilty pleasures when he’s thousands of miles away.

A successful marriage is all about compromises, right? Do I want to have a fight about a stupid TV show? Nope, not this Princess.

With my very empty nest, it was time to put on my comfortable shoes and flex my weakened shopping muscles. It’s been a long time since I’ve spent the day as a little retail butterfly, flitting from one store to the next, checking out the offerings and laying down the “plastique”; I’m a bit rusty and needed a warm-up before attempting one of the big malls or my own personal mecca, South Coast Plaza.

After a great hour-long boot camp class at 24 Hour Fitness, I checked my watch, 10:00 a.m. and I was off! First to Target for essentials, then Trader Joe’s and a vacuum store for a new powerhead belt, on to Marshalls to test my shoe-spotting and ability to browse both-sides-of-the-aisle-at-the-same-time skills.

After the one hour mark, I was a bit tired and thirsty so I stopped to eat an apple and grab a bottle of water — it’s imperative to stay well-hydrated and nourished whilst shopping.

Revived, I meandered downtown to get my glasses adjusted and stopped at my favorite consignment shop where I’ve previously discovered Valentino and Missoni treasures –not so lucky on this day, but I didn’t leave empty handed; there was a sweet and comfy chartreuse bathing suit coverup  that called out to me.

This practice shopping excursion ended with a visit to Lowe’s for vegetable seeds, a pomegranate tree, and mesh to cover an apple tree that’s being eaten by nasty ground squirrels, presumably cousins of the elusive Spirit Squirrel™.
Click here to read all about it.

Still all about me, but on a serious note…

I was just diagnosed with vitreous detachment in my left eye which is sad because I thought the sparkles I was seeing was once-and-for-all proof positive of my Princess-ness.

However, I was wrong. Here’s the info from NIH (National Institutes of Health) in case you ever see sparkles and it’s not the optical or silent migraine type of lights.

It’s definitely NOT something to ignore…

What is vitreous detachment?
Most of the eye’s interior is filled with vitreous, a gel-like substance that helps the eye maintain a round shape. There are millions of fine fibers intertwined within the vitreous that are attached to the surface of the retina, the eye’s light-sensitive tissue. As we age, the vitreous slowly shrinks, and these fine fibers pull on the retinal surface. Usually the fibers break, allowing the vitreous to separate and shrink from the retina.

In most cases, a vitreous detachment, also known as a posterior vitreous detachment, is not sight-threatening and requires no treatment.

Who is at risk for vitreous detachment?
A vitreous detachment is a common condition that usually affects people over age 50, and is very common after age 80. People who are nearsighted are also at increased risk. Those who have a vitreous detachment in one eye are likely to have one in the other, although it may not happen until years later.

Symptoms and Detection
As the vitreous shrinks, it becomes somewhat stringy, and the strands can cast tiny shadows on the retina that you may notice as floaters, which appear as little “cobwebs” or specks that seem to float about in your field of vision. If you try to look at these shadows they appear to quickly dart out of the way.

One symptom of a vitreous detachment is a small but sudden increase in the number of new floaters. This increase in floaters may be accompanied by flashes of light (lightning streaks) in your peripheral, or side, vision. In most cases, either you will not notice a vitreous detachment, or you will find it merely annoying because of the increase in floaters.

Treatment
How does vitreous detachment affect vision?

Although a vitreous detachment does not threaten sight, once in a while some of the vitreous fibers pull so hard on the retina that they create a macular hole or lead to a retinal detachment.

Both of these conditions are sight-threatening and should be treated immediately.

If left untreated, a macular hole or detached retina can lead to permanent vision loss in the affected eye. Those who experience a sudden increase in floaters or an increase in flashes of light in peripheral vision should have an eye care professional examine their eyes as soon as possible.

But enough of THAT stuff, right?

On that happy note, I’ll wrap up this Wednesday gallimaufry and try to focus on a submission for Erma Bombeck Workshop all because I opened my big mouth on Twitter and kinda sorta got dared to do it. SCARED! Wish me luck, y’all!

ermabombeck

 

 

Hot, Dry. Swirling Winds of Hell Must Mean It’s My Birthday!

I was SO happy to arrive in Carlsbad that I almost dropped to my knees to kiss the ground but then I remembered all the germs and disgusting things that people spit out, and my better judgment prevailed.

We got Angel Boy all settled in; now I’m working on creating meals and recipes that are appropriate for post-surgery, and that includes a lot of things we NEVER have in the house: white bread, white potatoes, white rice.

Because of that major abdominal surgery, he’s on a low fiber, low residue diet for a couple more weeks, and then we can gradually add cooked veggies and fruits, with the goal to be back on his regular diet in about six weeks.

I’ll set aside a whole post of recipes that I’ve adapted to meet his specific needs. It’s tough for me ‘cos I’m all about whole grains and tons of greens and wheat grass and smoothies, and I think all Angel Boy wants is one of my famous two-pound breakfast burritos. He’s lost about ten pounds that he didn’t need to lose (why can’t that be me??)

Before all this happened…the phone call at 3 a.m., flying east and living at the hospital for ten days, I was planning to write a really funny post about my birthday (which is today) — something about the face of 60 — yes, I mean SIXTY YEARS OLD — and how I still feel like I’m about thirteen, and then take a bunch of selfies to commemorate my special day — but I’m too busy helping my son recuperate (a full-time job).

,,,AND I just drove to the airport at 5 a.m. to put my tugboat man on a flight ‘cos he’s going away for a month — ON MY F-ING BIRTHDAY!!!!

Live is not fair, you guys!

Geez, nothing is working out for me today. I can’t even go shopping and drown my sorrows in some good old fashioned retail therapy.

And why is that, you ask?

Because SoCal is under some witchy-type spell and the boiling hot bowels of hell opened up; we’ve got record-breaking 100 degree temps AT THE BEACH in May when it’s normally cool and cloudy, and raging fires have started which turns the air all smoky and unbreathable, thanks to almost hurricane-force winds blowing from the east — a true Santa Ana that we normally only get in the fall.

To make matters worse, there are armies of ants invading every pore of our house —  even the ants are trying to escape the heat — and I’ve gone through an entire can of Raid in my attempts to dissuade them from setting up residence at Casa de Enchanted Seashells  — which means the house smells like insecticide — can you hear my screams of frustration?

Well, it’s back to cleaning and laundry and making special food every two hours for my Angel Boy. Hopefully, it’ll cool off a bit later on and we can go for a walk on the beach.

Happy Birthday to me!!!!!!

P.S. You must know that I’m really happy to be caring for Angel Boy and spending my birthday with him is an added bonus — considering that we might have lost him, even the thought of another bowl of Cream of Wheat can’t dampen my joy!

The new face of 60…(along with the top Chanel makeup artist from NY)

chanel makeover

 

Then All (Spider) Hell Broke Loose and That’s Why I Needed Some Retail Therapy

Suggestion for the day: Use Grammarly’s plagiarism check because if anybody copies anything that my brilliant Yale Professor Angel Boy writes, they are gonna have to deal with ME, the fiercest Mommy Monster EVER. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

BLOG WARNING: If spiders freak you out, pour your favorite adult beverage and take a sip or two before you continue. Keep refilling as needed.

Last night in the middle of the night; was it a dream or was it real?

I don’t know what sleep state I was in, but I FELT something crawly on my arm.

You know how sometimes dreams can be SO real?

Like when you have to pee but you’re not sure if it’s just a dream or for reals and your subconscious says if you don’t wake up RIGHT NOW YOU ARE GOING TO PEE THE BED and then you’ll remember next time that you should have listened?

No? Just me?

Too much? 

Well, this time I dragged myself out of whatever level I was in and woke all the way up and saw that I was holding my left arm with my right hand, which was pretty amazing in its own right, right?

I ever so carefully turned over and flipped on my bedside lamp with my left hand all the while holding firm with my right hand to my left arm. Get the picture?

Can we say awkward?

Slowly, ever so slowly, I cautiously spread apart my fingers  — which by now had a major death grip on my left bicep.

OH HELL NO.

YUP,  IT WAS A SPIDER.

IT WAS A MOTHERF***ING SPIDER.

BIG AND BLACK  WITH EIGHT NASTY HAIRY BLACK LEGS.

www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com

http://www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com                                           It wasn’t this big, but that’s how big it SEEMED.

(Thank goodness it wasn’t a black widow, but I wasn’t thinking about that at that moment.)

ALL HELL WAS BREAKING LOOSE IN MY HEAD.

A SPIDER WAS ON ME.

How did he get there?

What would have happened if I hadn’t awakened?

What if it bit me? OMG.

What do I do? What would YOU do? I didn’t know what to do.

With the tugboat man out of town for the week at some stupidass seminar, I couldn’t  punch him out for — well, who cares for what– just for being there, I guess. Of course it was his fault somehow. ‘Cos that’s the way it works. No matter what, he gets blamed for it ha ha.

I had to deal with this by myself. Alone.

My heart was beating so hard that I thought it was gonna pop out of my ribcage and I simultaneously started swearing and hyperventilating.

I only had two arms and two hands and they were still clenching each other and trying to contain the dinner plate-sized SPIDER from moving anywhere. (It wasn’t that big, but you know, that’s how it FELT.)

I mean, what the hell do you do in that situation?

If I took my hand away, he would continue on his merry way up my arm to who knows where, and if I smashed it ON my arm, I’d have a dead spider with spider juices all over my arm.

Quite the dilemma I was in, don’t you agree?

With my agile toes, I grabbed the tissue box that was on the floor conveniently nearby ‘cos I’d been having allergies and was sniffly.

With my right hand still virtually superglued to my left arm, all those years of ballet training came into play as I plucked a tissue from the box with the toes of my right foot and very gracefully (NOT) brought my toes and my mouth to meet, kind of contorting in a forward fold OVER my arms.

Envision a human quesadilla.

Good to know I’m still as flexible as a twenty-year-old, I noted to myself with pride…

With the tissue secured in my mouth, in the blink of an eye, I lifted my right hand, grabbed the tissue, and scooped up the probably by now brain damaged spider where I believe he’d been paralyzed in terror, ran to the bathroom, threw the spider-filled tissue in the toilet, and flushed.

Bye-bye spider. On to the afterlife for you.

Who could get back to sleep, right? I was traumatized. I grabbed my laptop, Tweeted about the incident and composed a list of things to do the next day, which always calms me down. List making is like that.

Which brings us to retail therapy.

Because my tugboat man’s been home for a while, I’m out of practice– and like any sport, it’s imperative to drill on a regular basis and stay in tip top shape with consistent training to hone and sharpen skills.

I’m gearing up for a daylong shopping excursion to South Coast Plaza (OMM) and thought it’d be good idea to start with a little local therapy.

I mean you wouldn’t run a full marathon without first trying out a half marathon, right?

After Boot Camp, I hit all of the local spots in an impromptu training sesh  – Target, Michaels, World Market, Tuesday Morning, Marshalls —  flexing my shopping muscles and getting my groove back.

I was pleased not to have lost my quick reflexes; whipping out the plastic in 2.5 seconds, tying my former record.

A couple of necessities, a tray adorned with roses (how could I resist), pink push up bra, cutest ever flip-flops, card for our anniversary…not too bad, nothing spectacular, nothing major, even a couple of one dollar books from the library.

No Chanel, no Louby heels, no jewelry…baby steps, baby steps.

It felt good, though…real good — to get back in the saddle.

It really is just like riding a bicycle, you never forget.

And the retail therapy successfully helped to erase the psychological trauma of sleeping with a spider. 

shoppingtrip

annivcardThe inside text: “Listening and Understanding…The key to every good relationship. Happy Anniversary.” Pretty funny, huh?
My tugboat man’ll like that. 
flipflops Who could resist gold + sparkles + a bow? Not me.

Next time, watch out! South Coast Plaza, here I come.

(FYI I get a $20 gift card for using Grammarly.)

Best Christmas Decorations EVER-Haters, Line Up! Yoo Hoo, Pinterest, I’m Calling YOU!

 I hope you enjoy a repeat of one of my most clicked on posts of 2012 while I spend a little time with my tugboat man and my son, Angel Boy.
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It was last year that I was inspired by other topnotch decorators who so kindly blogged about their DIY Christmas tree masterpieces.

In fact, I was so inspired and so thrilled to be stuck here all alone for the millionth time during the holidays that I created a masterpiece of my own, just for you, my loving internet family.

As I looked around my house, the elliptical seemed like it had the best “bones” to adorn.

Plus, it had a ready-made beverage holder!

I didn’t have any Maxi-pads or other feminine hygiene products–‘cos THAT ship has sailed–if you know what I mean. (Hey cool, a nautical reference jauntily tossed in. Damn, I’m good!)

I added a toilet paper garland, a couple of Sophie Kinsella novels, two glittery seashell ornaments, a bottle of wine in the beverage holder, a white plastic poinsettia, a few EMPTY gift bags, and a festive plush Hello Kitty toy.

You can’t really see it very good, but there’s a chocolate bar too, which I don’t have to share with anyone! I’m such a lucky girl! This is the best use I’ve found for the elliptical. Hanging freshly ironed shirts hanging on it is a close second.

Now you can carry on with your day; just take a moment to let it all sink in.

The moral of the story is that it might not be a good idea to leave Princes Rosebud alone for long periods of time.

Don’t HATE…Emulate.

Decorated for Christmas elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

decorated elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

My Fresh Obsesh

Blog Update: I don’t know what’s happening to me! If you’ve been following the life of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife for a while you might have noticed a sea change, a slight course correction, a freshening breeze.

It’s become increasingly more difficult – impossible even – to suppress the other seashells that insist upon rising to the surface…more than frivolous pursuits; pearls and Chanel, Hello Kitty and retail therapy, more than waiting for my sometimes-he’s here-sometimes-he’s-not tugboat man to come home.

The real world has rudely barged in and is guilty of disrupting Princess Rosebud’s rose-colored glasses form of reality, in spite of all the vigorous denial of that river in Egypt.

I’d much rather write about my seashell gluing and sewing projects, the search for that perfect shoe, or any of my seemingly neverending encounters with bad drivers and crappy customer service – but when animals are being abused, neglected, abandoned, slaughtered, unloved, or species threatened with extinction — it’s impossible to ignore.

My one small voice in concert with many will hopefully become a roar loud enough to effect positive change.

At least we have to try, right?

**This is a warning of sorts. You’ll be subjected to more posts that will be calls to action to raise awareness about animal related issues, defending these magnificent creatures, and providing them with the voices they lack. It seems like I should change the title of my blog to be Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife and Beeyotchy Animal Advocate-- or, too much?

===============================================================

But that’s not today’s topic. Today is all Princess Rosebud in her shopping glory!

If you’ve been keeping up with the saga of my quest for the perfect wedge. here’s an update:

I’m in holding pattern. I’m not actively searching anymore; I’ve exhausted all of my resources. I’ve looked far and wide up to Orange County and have experienced disappointment at every turn. I’ve made the majorest of decisions to leave it all up to Mother Universe — when she’s ready and the time is right, she will place the ultimate shoe in front of me — and I need to stop stressing about it.

There. I’ve given it up to a higher power.

Edging out the wedge (ha ha) of Number One priority status is my new (obesh) obsession to find the perfect black suit — pencil skirt and jacket  — for my public speaking event at a hearing in Sacramento on October 2 with Defenders of Wildlife.

Normally, I don’t travel alone. I don’t like to fly, I don’t like airports, I don’t like crowds, and I don’t like taking my shoes off in potentially germ-ridden places. I’ve only flown alone a few times; to visit my tugboat man in Hawaii before we were married, and to visit my son at Yale. Going to Sacramento alone is a major deal for me.

I’m not afraid of the public speaking part of this; I don’t suffer from glossophobia – I’m afraid mostly of driving to the airport, finding a place to park my car, getting from the airport to the hotel; those kinds of things.

So it makes sense that a new outfit to boost my confidence is just what I need, amIright?

A pencil skirt can enhance one’s shape or detract from it in a most unflattering way.

A three-way mirror is a harsh critic but very necessary, especially since I’ll be standing at a podium, facing the panel, but I can’t forget about the audience behind me. They’ll have the rear view.

A good fit is priceless.

That’s my logic for probably spending way too much money. I’m depending upon this suit to speak volumes to my audience and maybe even the media. Call me a media whore, no really, call me a media whore and I’ll answer you. I’m not ashamed of it, I’ve been known to whore myself out for a few precious moments of video, as long as my makeup and hair look good and my butt looks small. Well, smallish.

My Monday retail therapy pilgrimage brought me once again to White House Black Market. They have a pretty good selection of sizes for my five-foot-tall frame. Yes, I’m a Size Two and sometimes a Zero, but I’m a FAT Two. Really, there is such a thing. I’m small but solidly built. That’s what a zillion years of ballet and training with weights’ll do.

Black suit1I was lucky; I got a lovely skirt and jacket that look professional and will travel nicely. The jacket has a half-belted back that looks great and accentuates my waist. The three-quarter length sleeve is perfect for my short arms; this way it won’t have to be taken to the tailor.

I paired it with a deep charcoal gray shell; the only jewelry a simple strand of pearls and pearl earrings, along with platform patent leather heels. And of course, my Chanel Grand Shopper Tote, ‘cos that’s the ONLY Chanel I have…for the moment.

Being so short, I’ve found that I need to dress in a severe manner if I want anyone to take me seriously; I tend to still have a “little girl” look even though now it’s a wrinkled and Botoxed affect. Ah well, aging…

These selfies don’t really do justice to the deep black; I must have a lighting issue. And they’re neck down ‘cos I’m scary with no makeup.

Since my mean and non-existent-for-the-moment tugboat man has FORBIDDEN me to get a new smaller Chanel to supplant my courage, this suit will have to do it all — carry the day.

Although…he’s NOT the boss of me (I tell him that all the time) and he CAN’T tell me what to do, ‘cos I always do the OPPOSITE.

blacksuitopenWAIT!

Hold that thought for a minute.

Let’s analyze what he said.

HE KNOWS THIS. He knows that I’m contrary and normally do the exact opposite of mostly everything he suggests. (Example: my broken wrist. He told me not to run up the hill in slippery flipflops ‘cos I might fall and I did it anyway…fell, wrist broken. Read about that here.)

MAYBE the reason why he said I couldn’t get a new handbag is FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT HE WANTS ME TO GET ONE!

YES! That’s IT.  Reverse psychology!

Problem solved.

Looks like I need to do a bit more shopping, don’t you agree?

Hee hee.

When The Tugboat Man’s Away, Princess Rosebud Will Play…Err…Shop

Yes, I’m referring once again to retail therapy, the practice and art of fervently slapping down the old plastic on the counter — because I’m still searching for the perfect wedge and –just becuz. Who says you need a reason?

And because it’s prolly time for a less than totes cray rant about not killing animals, am I right?

Deep breath — keeping it light and fluffy, shopping is the perfect antidote to crazytime.

After Pilates, I scurried down the road to Nordstrom Outlet in San Marcos. It’s as if my car knew the way without any direction from me.

And yay for me! I came close to finding that elusive perfect wedge. Very close. 
And check out that silly Chanel photo bomb. Always trying to upstage everyone!
(Nord 
obvs designed the bag for me, “shopping genius”.  I mean, “Duh”. Look how the arrow points directly to moi.)

nordstrom bag

BTW, don’t you HATE it when stores change the layout that you have come to rely on, to trust?

I SO do, and I was a bit discombobulated when I walked into Nord and discovered that the jewelry had moved, the workout clothes weren’t where they should have been –but thank goodness, SHOES stayed solid and safe –aisles and aisles, rows upon rows — of wedges, heels, flats — repeat it like a mantra–wedges, heels, flats. Sigh…

Nordstrom shoe aisle

I have a certain modus operandi upon entering this store. I want to go to the shoes soooo bad, but I force myself to take a circuitous route to have a little delayed gratification.

Lots and lots of jewelry and sparkly stuff, but nothing caught my eye.

On to the scarves and I found two that needed to come home with me. Coincidentally, they both feature a butterfly motif. Too cute!

butterflyscarf2

butterflyscarf

I could wait no longer. Pushing a couple of little kids out of the way (shouldn’t they all be in school by now??) I immediately grabbed about four pairs of shoes and tried them on.

Just like Goldilocks, it was a no to all of them but these sweet little Cole Haan strappy platform wood wedges. Cole Haan always has the greatest fit, light as a feather, and the  zipper is totes adorbs, don’t you agree? They’re fire engine red (pic came out a bit light) and CLOSE to achieving perfection, but not quite there. The wedge is wood, not cork, but the comfort factor makes up for that little problem. They were a bit pricey even at the outlet — originally  $228.00, on sale for $119.00. I think I’ll wear them a lot with skinny jeans or maybe I’ll take them back, I always leave that option open.

Cole Haan wedgesThe two new scarves will join my huge collection of scarves.

I fold all of the silk ones.
They have their own special chest of drawers.

scarf drawer collection

Hanging scarves is a great way to display them, too.
My tugboat man doesn’t think so,
but his opinion doesn’t really count, ya know what I’m sayin’?.

scarf hanging collection

The Best U.S. Cities For Shopping

iStock_000016027791XSmall

From designer handbags and shoes to jaw-dropping diamond encrusted rings and things, it’s no secret that me, Princess Rosebud, LOVES to shop. I mean, shopping’s like a lifelong mission for me; that elusive perfect wedge is a prime example, right?

If you’re interested in shopping as a hobby, then you’re probably aware that it can be paired effectively with summer travel.

Sure, it’s always nice to stroll through local shopping centers with friends window shopping at the same old stores – but a bit of travel can put some adventure into your shopping habit, and give you an excuse to buy a few fun items.

After all, nobody travels to Paris for shopping without making a few unnecessary purchases! So with that in mind, here are a few of the best shopping destinations in the United States, for your summer travel consideration.

Aerial view of Fifth Avenue, New York

Aerial view of Fifth Avenue, New York

If there’s a U.S. equivalent to Paris – an undisputed fashion and shopping capital with world class venues – it’s undoubtedly New York City. Sure, the city is massive and crowded, etc., but truth be told it’s fairly easy to navigate, and the shopping is unparalleled in the United States. 5th Avenue is the most famous shopping district, and offers an eclectic mix of everyday style options (like flagship stores for Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch) and the best names in style and jewelry. Be sure to check out SoHo and the East Village as well for some more unique shopping options and local art.

You might just think of Las Vegas as a hub for gamblers, or a massive cluster of bright lights and fountain streams. And, for the most part, you’d have the right idea. But there’s a high-end, classy side to Vegas as well, and one aspect of it is truly world class shopping.

Aria - Shops@Crystals

Aria – Shops@Crystals

Each resort has some spectacular options (the Bellagio, in particular, is worth a stop), but the ARIA resort is where you’ll find the Shops At Crystals, an incredible modern pavilion of shops, art displays and restaurants that could make a Parisian drool.

It’s not just close proximity to the famous Mall Of America that makes Chicago an incredible shopping destination. Rather, it’s the Magnificent Mile, the midwest’s answer to 5th Avenue in New York. From Saks to Macy’s and Lord & Taylor, to independent boutiques, this Michigan Avenue shopping strip has something for everybody, making it a perfect stop for traveling shoppers.

If this urban shopping district isn’t your thing, check out Wicker Park for some more unique boutiques, local shops and antique stores. And in addition to all this, Chicago has incredible dining options at every turn, to break up your day of shopping.

This is one shopping mecca that I’m definitely visiting again and again — with my Tugboat Man or a fun girly holiday!

P.S. This was a sponsored post.