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!

Is There Anything Better Than Shopping?

That is NOT a rhetorical question. Or is it?

Duh, whatever, the answer is a resounding “NO!” unless it’s being the recipient of a gift…or multiple gifts sent by an absentee husband.

I realize that most of the time I’m talking to YOU as if you know all about ME, and for those that aren’t familiar with the backstory, here’s a brief overview…I’m really and truly the wife of a tugboat captain, a professional mariner, a proud member of the Merchant Marine.

He goes out to sea and I stay home. And shop. And clean. And glue seashells. And shop. And go to the gym. And did I already say shop?

I am an unashamed shopaholic.

And while there’s really nothing better than a daylong shopping spree, finding a box of treasures delivered by my friendly postman is equally exciting.

While I’ve been caring for my son and helping his recovery from emergency life-saving surgery and then discovering that the sparkles in my left eye were due to a retinal tear, not diamonds or rhinestones even (so unfair) —  my tugboat captain husband had to leave and go out to sea.

Yup, he left me and to add insult to injury, he departed ON MY BIRTHDAY.  At least he had the foresight to take me shopping at Bloomingdales before he left so that I could pick out my special birthday gift, a pair of Chanel sunglasses that I LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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Because he was unable to be here for the laser surgery to repair my torn retina (fingers crossed that it was a success) as he’s in the middle of one of our oceans (can’t say where exactly), but he had a couple of hours in a foreign port (can’t say which one) and what did he do with his free time? He bought his Princess Rosebud a whole bunch of presents ‘cos he knows how to bring a smile to my face and a sparkle (not that kind) to my eye!

You can kinda tell that he’s somewhere beachy, somewhere maybe hot and possibly Pirates of the Caribbean-y?

Pretty silvery wrapping paper, but it just made it that much harder to get to the treasures. I ripped ‘em apart like a wild animal…giftbagmess

First things first. Hard-working hub combed the beach “somewhere” for these seashells. A couple of them broke, but I appreciate the effort. Broken shells are better than no shells at all. jshells

Jewelry!!! You can never have too much, right? One butterfly bracelet in happy oh-so-bright colors. This will look gorg with a maxi dress and a sexy suntan, don’t you agree?

btrflybrace

The more the merrier is the way my hub thinks. Check out this dragonfly  bracelet. Think white skinny jeans, a skimpy top, and cork wedges. Oh, and a fruity cocktail. Maybe two…dragonflybracelet

 

braceletsideContinuing with THAT logic, if one pair of earrings is good, four is much better, right? Do you have the feeling that they were possibly on sale? Hmmm, no worries, I love them all!

They are all mother-of-pearl and various shells. ADORABLE!
earrings1 earrings2 earrings3 earrings4

Now it’s time to resume being Cinderella and scrub the floors…my tugboat man is on the final leg of his assignment and should be home at Casa de Enchanted Seashells before the 15th. Yay!

 

 

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.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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

 

 

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.
…..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     

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

Cleaning Naturally — A Review of #Earth Brite

EarthBriteFlipping though the stations, this product caught my eye on HSN — ShopHQ, as it’s now called. A little name change, a branding re-do — to confuse the armchair consumer and blur the lines with another shopping network, QVC. Is that playing fair? What do you think? I’m not sure how I feel about it, or if I even really care — but as a marketing professional, I’m always fascinated by branding and new directions in marketing from an established company.

I don’t often purchase from these TV shopping shows: first and foremost, I’m a natural skeptic, and unless it’s a VERY GOOD DEAL like the Canon Rebel camera (that I’m impatiently waiting for),  I normally bypass this method of shopping as I’m a touchy-feely kinda gal; I want to see it, touch it, smell it–before I buy it.

However, on this day, two very excited and animated hosts were scrubbing and smiling, telling me all about how Earth Brite’s natural, clay-based all-purpose product cleans, polishes, and protects everything from silverware to tile to boats and RVs, while the XR51 degreaser helps remove grease and grime.

Intrigued by the spiel; I thought I’d spend twenty dollars to test it out myself. I checked out the product information online and this is what I learned:

Earth Brite’s natural, clay-based all-purpose product cleans, polishes and protects everything from silverware to tile to boats and RVs, while the XR51 degreaser helps remove grease and grime.

When it arrived, I put on my trusty yellow rubber gloves to see first-hand if those claims are true.

  • I used it instead of Comet on my porcelain sink. Earth Brite did indeed work, but I had to scrub a lot harder to get the same results.
  • In the bathroom, I scrubbed the shower floor and glass doors, which is a big test here in SoCal where we have SUCH hard water that it sometimes takes a chisel to get the shower clean. The results were OK but not “earth” shatteringly better than plain vinegar or any of the other array of products I have around Casa de Enchanted Seashells.
  • The final test was an old Revere copper-bottomed saucepan. Again, Earth Brite shined and polished the copper, but with additional elbow grease, and it wasn’t as easy to shine as the TV hosts told me it would be.

Not a spectacular shine, right?earthbritepan

Product Review:
In the final analysis, I was hoping that this all-natural product would replace most or all of my chemical-laden cleaning supplies, and it has not done that. I’m happy that it contains ingredients that are healthier for my family and for the environment, but I was disappointed that it did not live up to the live on-air demonstrations that initially compelled me to make the purchase. However, the companion product, XR51 Power Cleaner & Degreaser Concentrate turned out to be a wonderful surprise and it’s become part of my daily cleaning — and it smells great, too.


Here’s What I Received:

  • (2) 10.5 oz. Earth Brite All Purpose Cleaner
  • 2 Round applicator sponges
  • 8 fl. oz. XR51 Power Cleaner & Degreaser Concentrate

What The Website Wants You to Know:

  • Work All Purpose Cleaner into wet applicator sponge before applying to any surface. Failureto thoroughly wet product may result in scratched surfaces.
  • Always use the application sponges included.
  • Apply light pressure and increase pressure only as needed to clean surface.
  • Rinse thoroughly to avoid possible clay residue after cleaning.
  • After each use, let the All Purpose Cleaner paste dry before closing the container.

Boys DO Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses. Oh YES, They DO.

Kate Spade glasses2

Newsflash: Eyeglasses are the new aphrodisiac.

Sasssy and sexxxxy in a slightly beeyotchy way.

That describes both me AND my new Kate Spade glasses, don’t you agree?

Can’t wait for my tugboat man to see the new me. He loves the sexy librarian look…

Aren’t those polka dots TDF?

And the hair? It looks like my head had a curl explosion.
Oopsie, it seems as if the picture on the wall behind me is slightly askew; my OCD side will fix it immediately, since I clearly have no control over my hair.

And yes, that IS my enchanting bathroom, and no, I’m not wearing any makeup.

Kate Spade glassesIt’s a different world now than when I first needed to wear glasses. Back then, it tolled the death knell if you aspired at all to be a popular gal and hang out with the cool kids.

I was continually taunted with.such witticisms as,  “Hey, Coke-bottle‘s here. Ha Ha.”

Not so funny to be the target of mean girls. 

I couldn’t wait to be old enough to wear contact lenses.

But now, wearing glasses is just another important fashion accessory, not a signal to the world that the wearer is a bookish nerd, not that there’s anything wrong with that!

If you live in the San Diego area and need new frames, come to Carlsbad and check out
Andrews Optical on Grand for a huge selection and great customer service.

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Stop Wolf Hunts Now

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Ghandi

De-tri-tus

Definition: waste or debris of any kind.

It’s a fact that our individual personas embody a plethora of idiosyncrasies, quirks.

Anima is the source of the female part of personality and animus is the source of the male part.

Anima is Carl Jung‘s term for the inner part of the personality or character, as opposed to the persona or outer part.

Facets.

Diamonds.

Yin and yang.

And then there’s me…

I don’t know if it’s a male/female thing, but I’ve got two powerful forces inside me that fight it out on a regular basis.

Side One: Clean freak. A coaster under every cup. Sparkling windows. Pristine bleached tile and grout. Yes, you CAN eat off my floors.

Side Two: Packrat. Bubble wrap saver, Box hoarder. Receipts from 1985 to present.

Regarding old bills and receipts,  I’m not sure if the rule is to keep them for seven years or ten years, so I’ve settled on forever, just to be safe.

Once a year, I roll up my sleeves, gird my loins, and purge the office of all the detritus that I can bear to throw out.

…Empty WinFax box from 1997…Keep or toss?
…Receipt from a chair purchased in 1985 we no longer have. Keep or toss?
…Wrinkled and then refolded tissue paper from a thousand birthdays and holidays. Keep or toss?

Here’s a wonderful elliptical that shares space in my multi-use office, sewing/crafting room – what a mess.

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Photo property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.

I threw most of the boxes away and all of the decades old wrapping paper. I saved the bubble wrap; I HAD to, ‘cos well, you never know when you’ll need it, right?

It was painful, but I feel cleansed.

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Photo property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.

Boxes and boxes of old phones boxes. Just empty boxes. Gone.

office

Photo property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.

Nice neat books and financial documents.
Well, mostly nice and neat, definitely better than they were.
Look closely and you’ll see all of Emily Giffen’s books. I love her!

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Photo property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.

All my crafting supplies nicely organized.

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Photo property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.

Seashells, seashells, and rocks.

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Photo property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.

Every office needs a sofa, right? 

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Photo property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.

The view.

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Photo property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.

And finally, this is where the magic happens, my workspace, with a pretty little MacAir, ginger tea, and hand sanitizer.

 ***Notice how the dinosaur computer is a wonderful canvas for notes and pictures.

You didn’t think I’d be able to throw everything away, did you?
That’s something I’ll put off ’til next year, or the year after.

There’s no hurry; I’m sure I’ll have a brand new collection of empty boxes by then.

officespace

Photo property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.

One last thing…my Retin-A ; save or toss? If I cut it open, I can probably scrape out the very last bit. We wouldn’t want to waste any of it, right?

What do you think?

offices

Photo property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

What I Do is What I Do. A Day in the Life of an Empty Nester.

(With a very obscure tip of the hat to Solzhenitsyn.)

This isn’t typical of when my tugboat man’s here, and most definitely not the fabric of my waking hours when I was a SAHM; rather, this is an especially bland and Seinfeld-ish day. 
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My day commences abruptly at 6:00 a.m.

Sleep to instant wakefulness at the hoarse, screaming kee-eeee-arr of a red-tailed hawk.

Over and over again. Ear-piercing screams.

I get up, find my glasses (I’m extremely myopic, can’t see a thing), locate hub’s extra binoculars, and discover two hawks in the eucalyptus tree. They’re sitting on the same branch and they’re facing each other, having an early morning conversation or a duet, probably courtship time.

6:15 a.m…Grind beans, Trader Joes‘s French Roast, make coffee, simultaneously grab the remote to turn on the news and pop open my laptop. News is depressing. Problems in Syria, fires in Yosemite, a SWAT standoff in La Mesa; time to turn it off. After checking to see if my tugboat man emailed me (he didn’t),  I turn to WordPress.  A few comments necessitate responses (not as many as I’d like), a few likes (not as many as I thought my brilliant post deserved), and then I switch over to Facebook. In the beginning of FB, or at least my experience with FB, it was all about connecting with new and old friends, sarcastic and funny observations, cats, dogs, mainly cute animal pics. Now it’s all about supporting “friends” in their sponsored posts, marketing and promoting for their sponsors. I don’t begrudge anyone who can generate income; it’s just that some blogs start to feel really corporate and inauthentic after they become “affiliates” or “brand ambassadors”. It’s a newer version of Tupperware or jewelry parties where you get all your friends to show up and buy your stuff.

Of course I’d love to monetize — I’ve even had one sponsored post — and I want my book to be published and make a truckload of money so that my tugboat man wouldn’t have to go out to sea anymore, but I don’t think I have the personality to push products or pull people to my site –which is funny ‘cos I have a background in public relations and marketing — but I’m more of a soft sell, not the jackhammer-type.

I’m more like “Hey, I’d love for you to come by if you have the time and no pressure or anything. No worries if you can’t, I understand.”

I check Twitter too, but it’s kinda lost its appeal for me at the moment.

7:00 a.m…Paid a couple of bills online; mortgage and credit card. Checked TMZ but it’s all Kardashian-this, Kardashian-that, and I’m sooo over it. I hear the squawk of our resident scrub jays, throw a few raw nuts on the deck and watch them eat.scrubjay

7:20 a.m….After a couple cups of black coffee (the only way I drink it),  I start to get ready for the gym, but first I make the bed and wash whatever dishes I didn’t do the previous evening. I don’t eat breakfast on a regular basis; sometimes I’ll have a little protein drink, or a couple bites of toast, but I don’t really like to eat in the morning, unlike hub, who’s up and chewing before his eyes are completely open.

7:35 a.m…Check email again. Yay, a brief message from hub. All the last minute work was completed on the tug, they’re underway and are offshore. Everything is going fine, which is good to hear. I write him back and tell him about my boring weekend without him; how I went for a six-mile walk to the beach and back, gardened, washed the windows, boring, boring, boring, oh, but I heard a coyote and an owl, so there’s that.

7:55 a.m…Get dressed; black workout pants, yellow Zella top. Brush teeth, use Clarisonic to wash my face, apply light makeup — just eyebrows, liner, lipstick, spray perfume –Chance by Chanel (of course). Fill a water bottle, grab an apple for after Boot Camp.

8:30 a.m…Publish the post I wrote the previous evening. I try to stay one or two days ahead.

8:35 a.m…Head out. Water a few plants near the front door; take the trash cans out to the street (something else I have to do when hub is gone).

8:45 a.m…The 24-Hour Fitness I go to is about three miles away, but up a huge and long incline or I’d ride my bicycle. Sometimes I get lucky and get all green lights; today was one of those days, yay!

10:10 a.m…Back in my car after a strenuous workout with a zillion tabatas to exhaustion. Squats, lunges, box jumps, weights, jumping jacks. I still can’t do any real weight bearing exercises, so no pushups yet or plank. If I wear my cast/brace, I can lift five pounds in my left hand while I lift ten with my right. Eat the apple, need nourishment for a little retail therapy hee hee. Oh NO! I almost forgot I had an 11:15 a.m. physical therapy appointment for my almost healed broken wrist. No time to shop now, darn. I’ll have to run home and shower.

11:00 a.m…Made a fast smoothie including yogurt, banana, chia seed, wheat grass, protein powder, and frozen loquats and mulberries from the garden. Showered, threw on a maxi dress, and out the door to Encinitas. Hope there’s no traffic or I’ll be late.

12:30 p.m…Where to go after PT? I drive up Encinitas Blvd. to El Camino Real and you know about Speed Dating? This is speed shopping. I stop at HomeGoods, TJMaxx, Pier One Imports, Anthropologie, Victoria’s Secret, White House, Black Market, and even H&M. This was more of a browsing mission. Nothing really caught my eye; nothing I couldn’t live without, so I came away empty. Plus, I’m out of water and thirsty. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow :)

3:00 p.m…Back home, and NOW I’m starving. Time for hummus with Ak-Mak crackers and a veggie wrap. (Lettuce, tomato, feta cheese, cucumber, raisins rolled up in a tortilla.) Plus ginger tea and a fat-free fig cookie.

3:30 p.m…Check email, WordPress, FB, Twitter. All pretty quiet. No new Miley Cyrus outrageous behavior. Best news of all, the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart is back. Yippee!

4:00 p.m…Work out in the garden since it’s cooled off a bit. Our summer garden was HORRIBLE this year. I’m not sure what caused it, but I pulled everything out and will allow it lay fallow for a bit. I’ll need hub to get more mushroom compost when he returns; in the meantime, I’ll work compost in. Mowed the lawns, front and back. Another job I must do while my tugboat man is away. Take the trash cans back from the street. Had a chat with a nice neighbor who keeps an eye on me while hub’s away.

5:30 p.m…Back in the house, checked email again; this time I discover a message from my tugboat man, letting me know that plans have changed and he won’t be making a port stop in San Diego after all, and he’ll call to explain when he gets in cell range. Oh DARN! I was really looking forward to seeing him, even for only a brief moment. I’m disappointed, but not overly so, things change all the time; I’m inured — accustomed –to fluid situations.
There’s always the possibility things will change back again; I’m a hopeful, glass half full kinda girl.

6:15 p.m…I got so dirty working outside I’ll need to take another shower and wash my hair this time which takes forever — curly hair needs a lot of love…

6:45 p.m…It’s no fun at all preparing and eating food for just me. One really is the loneliest number! I decide to make quinoa and add broccoli so it all cooks together. It’s ready in fifteen minutes, delicious with a dash of Mae Ploy, sweet red chili sauce.

7:30 p.m…Turn on Jeopardy and keep the TV on, mostly not watching it, while I write the next day’s blog and work on my book (yes, I too am writing a novel.)

9:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – ish…Get ready for bed, slather my face with a few layers of anti-aging creams; Retin-A, glycolic acid, brush teeth, pop in my retainer, read for a bit, and fall asleep. Goodnight, y’all.

2:00 a.m…awakened by the plaintive voice of a coyote. It seems very close; just one lonely howl. As long as I’m awake, I might as well use the bathroom and I’m back to sleep in just a few minutes.

That’s my very empty nest day.