This. Is who I am.

Okie dokie.

What did you think about my recent post about finding a local source for Chanel and other high end designer goods?

Loved it? Don’t really care? First world problems? Entitlement issues?

Angst. I suffer. Truly I do.

On the same day I purchased my new Chanel sunnies, I was still riding the sweet endorphin rush and made a beeline to Rite Aid to see what was on clearance as a way to detox myself.

Here’s where you’ll get to know the real me. To walk in my stilettos for a brief moment; to feel compassion for the crazy that I am, and which I fully OWN, by the way.

This is complicated, so follow closely.

Do you see these three bottles of nail polish?

(I’m assuming you are all nodding your heads.)

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It’s a low end brand but that doesn’t mean low quality. The polish lasts quite a while and doesn’t chip-while it’s not $10 Opi or Essie quality, it’s perfectly acceptable especially if you’re quirky like me and change your colors on a whim. One day I’m sparkly and the next day I’m red hot.

You get the picture…

But that’s not this story NOR my dilemma.

Bear in mind that I JUST spent a small fortune on new sunnies and the price tag didn’t make me flinch. Notwithstanding THAT, I am really very thrifty. Frugal, even.

The nail polish brand must have been discontinued because there were signs offering a deal. If you purchased two at the regular price of 99 cents, the third one was 24 cents.

So random. 24 CENTS? Honestly, who came up with THAT number?

But my convoluted thought process was working overtime. Do I NEED three new colors? NOT REALLY.

But how can I pass this deal up? I did a quick calculation and discovered the price would be $2.22 for all of them.

You prob think this is a no brainer, right?

NOPE. Not for me.

I agonized for a good ten minutes, talking to myself (in my head, not OUT LOUD, sheesh) about the necessity and/or waste of $2.22 when I really only wanted ONE color, and then I asked myself (again, IN MY HEAD) whether or not I could walk away from a deal like that and might I not find a use for the other two colors at some point in the coming months.

It was excruciatingly painful to be in my orbitofrontal cortex,  anterior cingulate cortex, the striatum, and my thalamus at that moment. You wouldn’t want to be in there, trust me.

All the odd OCD synapses were firing at the same time.

I mean, do you see the insanity? How can I explain it to anyone when it makes no sense to myself?

If you move the decimal point over a bit, you can figure out about how much I spent on new sunnies. (Well, more, but who’s counting.)

I had less angst over THAT amount of money than I did with the $2.22.

What did I do?

Holding your breath?

I bought all three.

NOT SO FAST.

Actually, I first decided not to, and was walking to the shelf to put them back, and then I thought I was being BEYOND mental and completely ridiculous, so I changed my mind.

Whew.

I’ve had some tough decisions to make in my life but this ranks right up there with the most insane waste of time about virtually nothing significant. (Like the time I stressed about driving twenty miles to take back a $2 ball of twine. Which I eventually kept. Read all about it here.)

I told you I suffer from angst. I really really do.

Believe it.

A Pink Lego Handbag. OMFG.

After writing about the dark night of the soul, I thought it’d be a good time to raise our collective spirits with a bright white uplifting #retailtherapy experience–you could say I underwent a Jungian shadow moment.

Carl Jung stated the shadow to be the unknown dark side of the personality. According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is recognized as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else.(Wikipedia)

So I guess I’m now healthy and balanced and that’s our ultimate goal, right?

Since I decided that I NEEDED (need as opposed to WANT) a new pair of sunglasses,  I performed my usual high level due diligence research. My options were to drive to South Coast Plaza in Newport Beach OR take my chances with whatever styles were available at Nordstrom or Bloomingdales. All of those locations are not in my little town and with holiday traffic, I knew it’d be hellish parking.

BUT WAIT.

Apparently there’s a new game in town. How did I never know about this? How? It’s inconceivable that a biz could open HERE that specializes in high end designer goods and it slipped in under my radar? I can speculate that I’ve been a bit preoccupied with certain personal issues and while that might well be true –but if I had only known, perhaps it would have softened the extent of my pain.

Enough ruminating. It’s here, and to coin a phrase from one of my fave Seinfeld episodes, it’s “spectacular.”

This is a tease; I won’t actually give specifics yet. But this should make you salivate.

You know how sometimes a company gets it right from the very first moment? Like they’ve done their homework with fonts and graphics and design and PR and marketing and customer relations?

That’s this place.

The website drew me in and I was hooked.

But I really wasn’t prepared for the ENTIRE EXPERIENCE.

It’s at the end of a cul de sac in the business area of our city, not a regular retail location.

There’s a security gate and an actual guard who checks you in.

VIP parking stalls.

And then I walked in. OH EM GEE.

Bright white walls, bright lighting. All dressed up for Christmas.

And the PINK LEGO HANDBAG. See? I wasn’t kidding around. It’s GIGANTIC. Like almost as big as me and I’m FIVE FEET TALL.

img_6371And look at the holiday decor. AWESOME. Well done.

img_6372When I arrived, I was greeted by two lovely smiling ladies and offered a bottle of water, and I’m not talking the low end generic stuff. I’m talking about Fuji Water. FANCY water.

Since I was looking for sunglasses, specifically CHANEL, I was given a tablet connected to their online website and catalogue and told to choose up to 10 items to see at one time. Those choices would be brought down to me from the warehouse area. When my sunglasses arrived, I was directed to a seating area to try them on and decide if I wanted to make a purchase.

It was so easy. I pretty much already knew which style I wanted and when I tried them on, it was as perfect as I had anticipated.

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A quick bit of plastic exchanged hands for a minute and then my purchase was presented in a lovely bag with lots of little marketing materials.

A wonderful retail therapy day!

Here’s me with zero makeup but a huge happy smile cos I LOVE my purchase.

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Nice shades, huh?

You might call me shallow, but retail therapy is a THING, y’all

It’s been a DAY. Taking a deep breath. Home now, feet up, having a cuppa.
I had an especially joyous afternoon!

Let me tell you all about it.

OK. Last week I felt like crap. I had a viral lung infection (thank you for your potent little germs, Angel Boy 2.0!) that was quickly turning to pneumonia and on top of that bad news, I had laryngitis. I mean 100% no voice. I couldn’t even squeak out a whisper.  I was forced to endure a vow of silence for about 72 hours.

Now I’m almost all recovered, enough to get back to the gym and back to my real sport of choice…SHOPPING!

Yup, Retail therapy is a THING, y’all. It’s therapeutic; self care and all that new agey mindset.

I planned my day with laser precision, flexed my shopping muscles, said a mantra for extra patience, and first ran errand or two for my absentmindedprofessor son who forgot to take care of something important before he/family left for the UK, so that was number one.

Mission accomplished. (As an aside, I don’t care how old they are, it warms a mommy heart to be able to solve a problem for her child. To feel needed. SIGH.)

As soon as I got that out of the way (visualize the chaos of a post office a few days before Christmas ‘cos that’s where I was) I confess that I got a little tingle in my root chakra area (heehee) as I sped off to the Forum in Carlsbad.

Yes, a real physical reaction, like salivating over chocolate, to see what the world had to offer for purchase!

Breathe, girl. Breathe, I said to myself. Pace yourself.

Find a place to park. Universe, open up the best spot for Princess Rosebud. And then it happened. Someone pulled out of the perfect location at the exact moment I was rounding the corner. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

A quick check of my hair and lipstick, and I was off, gleam in my eye, rapid heartbeat; I bet my pupils were dilated just a bit, too.

Even though Angel Boy 2.0 already got his gifts, I can’t walk by Gepettos without popping in and getting something. Looky at this. A growing owl. Grow Owl: An owl will emerge from a tree stump. Just put the tree stump in a container, cover with water and after 12 to 24 hours, the critter will begin to emerge as the water is absorbed! Can’t wait to send it for a New Year’s Day prezzy. Just a little something cute and fun. Theo LOVES owls, so this will be something fun for the Angel Boys to work on together.

My inner GPS guided me to H&M, where I picked up some SUPER ADORABLE clothes for Mr. T. They were on sale!!!!! A total score. Three dollars for the striped shirt and seven dollars each for the sweatshirt and distressed jeans with suspenders. I cannot even imagine how precious he’s going to look. Such a little boy. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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Across the parking lot was my HOLY GRAIL…Anthropologie. I get it. It’s overpriced but their marketing and store decor is so amazing, you gotta appreciate their attention to detail.

Here I was, back with my tribe, my people. My PEOPLE. All Christmas-y. The mall was crowded and so was Anthro.

We were all rotating in our own little worlds of conspicuous consumption- women on a mission with a very few brave men who dared to cross the threshold, and omg they all looked the same: scared, dazed, deer in the headlights. trudging around and around not able to locate the door to exit the hell they were trapped in. I almost felt sorry for them. ALMOST. No eye contact cos I didn’t want them to plead with me for assistance. Not my problem.

The checkout line snaked around the store. I was looking for something for myself. I had a “secret Santa” who gave me a little cash and I wanted to spoil myself because I’ve been a VERY good girl this year. I found this beautiful pierced tin candle. The scent is Mahogany Amber and it’s filling my bedroom with love and joy. 30% OFF! The bag and wrapping paper adds so much to the shopping experience. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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I forgot to tell you that I went to Macy’s yesterday at Carlsbad’s other (newly refurbished) mall and bought myself an extravagant Chanel lipstick. I know it was forty dollars and I could have purchased at least three or four others for that same price, but CHANEL. Plus lots of samples, so a good deal, right? Rouge Coco Etienne #446 LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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I had a follow up doc appointment to see if I needed an x-ray (I don’t, yay!) and their office is across the street from a hospice resale shop, so I stopped in for a minute. Christmas decor was on sale, so I picked up this adorable vintage bunny ornament for one dollar! ONE EFFING DOLLAR! LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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When I got home, I found a box at the front door!!! Nestled inside was a wrapped gift from my wonderful son and DIL. I can’t wait to open it!

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All in all, a wonderful, stupendous. amazing, joyfilled day! Maybe it doesn’t work for everyone, but for me, retail therapy can turn my frown upside down, no matter what.

Love and joy to all!

Oh Kate Spade, You GET Me!

Kate Spade, you really do GET me.

I love you.

KSbackpackRecently, I went through a massive and stressful shopping campaign to find the perfect purse/backpack for travel and walking for all those times that my sweet baby Chanels couldn’t accompany us and had to stay home; lonely, locked away in a dark closet until my return.

BUT it wasn’t perfect after all.

I thought it was, but it lacked a certain SOMETHING, an undefined je ne sais quoi,.

My post about the journey was even featured on BlogHer!
In Pursuit of the Perfect Vegan Backpack
https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/08/19/in-pursuit-of-the-perfect-vegan-backpack/

Today, while I was on the hunt for a new pair of Asics cross trainers, I popped into Kate Spade at Carlsbad Outlet.

Kate rarely fails me and she was victorious again!

KSbackpack1Look what I found! It’s easy-to-clean nylon and the perfect size (really this time, I mean it!)

Kate Spade New York Blake Avenue Hilo Backpack
Measurements: 10.5 H X 9″ L X 4″ W

It originally sold for $245.00 (that’s on the price tag) but there was a huge sale and I actually paid $99.00 which is still a lot of money, but I wanted it, so there’s that…always that.

I brought it with me on my recent trip to San Francisco and it was perfect for travellng and perfect for walking through Golden Gate Park as well as accompanying my DIL to her doc’s appointment.

I love you, Kate Spade.

My Tugboat Man is Gone and I’m Blue

It seems like I can just copy and paste the same posts because the same things happen over and over again.

It begins…

Tugboat man withdrawals. Cold turkey.

I took him to the airport at 4:30 a.m.

Once again there’s that lonely ride home.

This time he’ll probably be gone for six weeks or so.

Hopefully, but that’s what was supposed to happen last time, and it turned into FOUR months!

And because I try to find silvery and sparkly linings in most difficult situations, I came up with these…

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I pointed my camera straight up because the sky was so blue, more blue than I’ve seen in a long time. Not a cloud in the sky.

And so hot. Record-breaking hot. Drinking ice water all day.

And nope, I can’t go with him, in case you were gonna ask. 

Sky blue, SO BLUE — can you believe this is an un-retouched pic I snapped in our backyard? Kind of heart shaped, can you see it? If you tilt your head just a teensy bit to the left, can you see it now?

blueskythursday2

My old friend, Willie Nelson, singing “Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin

Gym Bag Beauty Essentials

gymbagessentialsreview1It was just like Christmas when I opened the bulky envelope chock full of girly toys to sample and review.

I’m a work out junkie; I go to the gym pretty much every day or do some kind of extreme physical activity and I don’t always go right home and take a shower.

I like to go to the gym first thing in the morning and usually do all my errands after; I might be a little sweaty and my hair’s a mess and I definitely need to freshen up before I head to Target, Trader Joe’s, Marshalls or TJ Maxx. (But if I’m going to Fashion Valley or South Coast Plaza, I’ll head home, shower, and change clothes.)

So, do what I do, and keep your gym bag stocked and ready to go with these beauty necessities, which are just as useful for traveling or camping.

1.       Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths in Energize: Keep up with your active lifestyle with ease. Try Ban® Total Refresh® Cooling Body Cloths to instantly cool the back of your neck and décolleté or use for an all-over refresh during any transitional moment day or night. I don’t go anywhere without them, for reals!

2.       KMS California HAIRPLAY makeover spray:  Dry cleansing and instant style renewal. Split-second style refresher. Absorbs oil and builds bulk to refresh limp or day-old styles. Great for quick style touch-ups and in-between shampoos. This is total genius for us curly heads who don’t wash their hair every day.

3.      Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Mini Deodorant: The perfect deodorant to throw in your gym bag! This all-natural, freshly scented deodorant provides superior, long-lasting odor protection. Soothing essential oils blend with powerful anti-oxidants and beta glucan technology for daily defense and nourishment. Because we always need to be fresh, right?

4.       Rimmel London Wonder’lash Mascara with Argan Oil in Waterproof: You can now get the Moroccan Argan oil your hair loves in a Rimmel mascara with new Wonder’lash Mascara with Argan Oil. Condition lashes and break through clumps for full, smooth volume. The unique brush’s super-soft bristles hug and coat each lash, perfectly separating them from root to tip. Even small corner lashes are dramatically transformed for an effortlessly eye-catching look. Lashes are left smoother, sleeker, and more defined than ever.  Have you heard about the wonders of Argan oil? Now it’s been added to mascara. Awesome!

5.       Scunci Everyday & Active™ Need I say more? My FAVE!!

6.       NYC New York Color Smooth Skin BB Crème Instant Matte: Refine your skin instantly with this long-wearing crème with an effortlessly matte finish. Smoothing and hydrating, this crème leaves skin looking healthy and silky-smooth without even a hint of shine. LOVE!

7.       Burt’s Bees Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser: Clinically proven to help improve the appearance of surface dullness, this cleanser, infused with Daisy extract, helps reveal a more even skin tone in as few as 4 weeks*. Formulated with a multifruit complex, our cleanser effectively removes dirt oil and makeup. Make it part of your daily regimen for a brighter and more even complexion, naturally. I love everything BB!

Beauty tip: Be prepared!

(I was provided product to sample and review; the opinions are my own.)

Lilly Pulitzer at Target: Bringing The Hamptons To The Common Folk

LillyPulitzerforTarger

I confess to showing up bright and early at Tar-zhay for some of the other designer brand marriages like Missoni (not to be confused with Target’s own brand, Mossimo) and TTTT I was less than overjoyed.

I picked up a “Missoni” scarf, but it was a bittersweet moment. While the tag proudly proclaims it to be MISSONI, in really tiny letters you read “for Target”.

missoni for target tag

It’s a feel good/feel bad moment to be considered “less than”, like a second-class citizen, not quite good enough to play with the big kids.

And it’s scratchy. Several negatives.

Do you think it dilutes the brand?

I do.

Isn’t the whole point of “designer” to be elitist and aspirational?

(Don’t worry, I’m being a bit tongue-in-cheek here. Or am I?)

If everyone has semi-equal access, how special can it possibly be?

I own a pretty (real) Missoni top; one of my treasures from a local consignment shop before they changed management and no longer carry any designer brands. The fit is awesome, the fabric is textural, and it’s well constructed –a  high quality item.

Check out the angle of this selfie; it makes me look thinner and narrower. WINNING!

missoni

Not that I don’t love Target in all of its unique brand of Target-y-ness.

Wandering through each and every aisle is a wonderful way to kill a few hours while the tugboat man’s away.

From bleach to bathing suits, Target definitely fulfills the term “one-stop-shopping.”

But there’s something a little off-putting about creating a sub-line for the masses.

For example, I was excited to see what Jason Wu would offer, and was disappointed.

Some of the clothing was poorly sewn and poorly designed with cheap fabrics and I didn’t get a thing.

It was the same with the Neiman Marcus collaboration. Nada.

I don’t mean to sound snobbish; for the most part they were a big let down.

Now there’s Lilly Pulitzer.

Here in SoCal, we may have beaches, sunshine, and palm trees, but we’re a different breed than Miami and the Hamptons.

However, I kind of love the colorful LP designs.

There’s always a place in one’s wardrobe for pink and green and yellow and white eyelet…

I’ve visited the LP store at Fashion Valley in San Diego and it’s not outrageously expensive; it’ll be interesting to observe the price points at Target.

So I’ll be there bright and early on Sunday morning, but when I see the tags say Lilly Pulitzer for Target, I’ll be a little less than happy.

What’s next for Target? A partnership with Chanel? Tags that say Chanel for Target?

OHGODNO.

Coco would turn over in her grave.

LillyPulitzer quote

Imperfectly Perfect

perfectly imperfect“All right, all right, all right!”

Time to shake it off; ENOUGH of the stroll down memory lane.

This empty nest mom needs a little therapy.

And SUH-NAP. *snapping fingers*, just like THAT, back to what makes me tick, what gets me all excited.

And I don’t mean tugboat man…he’s still chugging and tugging toward that remote destination…

I’m talking about RETAIL therapy.

SHOPPING!

I’ve been on a roll lately, finding lots of amazing treasures, can’t wait to share them with you!

Everything from Vitamin C cream, trendy little t-shirts from Ross Dress for Less, and that elusive black pump.

And a sparkly bracelet and seashells, too!

It’s not always about thousand dollar Chanel shoes; I get just as excited for a $6.99 shirt!

For the gym with a sports bra; LOVE the message!

We should always do more of what makes us happy, right?

DoMoreshirtAlso from Ross, Vintage Paris tee with red sparkles. I paired it with white skinny jeans and a cherry red cashmere/silk sweater.

Parisshirt

Minus a weirdly shiny face, this is now one of my fave outfits.ParisVintageselfie

A couple miles down the road, I stopped at Marshall’s and loaded up on my FAVE Vitamin C cream by Dead Sea Minerals from Israel. (Make a note: if you can find it, stock up. It’s GREAT.)VitC

Like a magpie, I was attracted to the shine and sparkle of this adorable little bracelet at White House, Black Market. How could I resist?newbraceletsparkle

Since things were going so well, it was time to drive down the 78 to Nordstrom Rack where there are more shoes than anywhere else I’ve shopped. This pair doesn’t hold the same magic as those Chanels, but with an on sale price point of $49.00, they’ll do for a while until the even more perfect shoe appears.blackshoes

They’re not vegan, which gave me pause —  I obviously had a weak moment — which is why I titled this post, “Imperfectly Perfect”.

It’s a constant struggle to follow a cruelty-free life. Some things are easier than others.

blackshoes2Finally, I stopped at my favorite enchanted garden shop, PlantPlay Nursery, came away with a couple kangaroo plants, a butterfly bush, and how could I NOT bring home this AMAZING seashell wreath?

seashellwreathNow if I only could figure out where to hang it…

 What makes YOU happy today?
How are YOU perfectly imperfect or even imperfectly perfect?

My Tugboat Man is Gone and I’m Blue

And so it begins…

Tugboat man withdrawals. Cold turkey.

I took him to the airport at 4:30 a.m.

Once again there’s that lonely ride home.

This time he’ll probably be gone for six weeks or so.

blueskywrds

I pointed my camera straight up because the sky was so blue, more blue than I’ve seen in a long time. Not a cloud in the sky.

And so hot. August hot. Record-breaking hot. Drinking ice water all day.

And nope, I can’t go with him, in case you were gonna ask. 

Sky blue, SO BLUE — can you believe this is an un-retouched pic I snapped in our backyard? Kind of heart shaped, can you see it? If you tilt your head just a teensy bit to the left, can you see it now?

blueskythursday2

My old friend, Willie Nelson, singing “Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin

My Tugboat Man is Gone and I’m Blue

And so it begins…

Tugboat man withdrawals. Cold turkey.

I took him to the airport at 4:30 a.m. yesterday.

Once again there’s that lonely ride home.

This time he’ll probably be gone for a month or so.

blueskywrds

I pointed my camera straight up because the sky was so blue, more blue than I’ve seen in a long time. Not a cloud in the sky.

And nope, I can’t go with him, in case you were gonna ask.

Sky blue, SO BLUE — can you believe this is an un-retouched pic I snapped in our backyard? Kind of heart shaped, can you see it? If you tilt your head just a teensy bit to the left, can you see it now?

blueskythursday2

My old friend, Willie Nelson, singing “Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin