Monday, November 30, 2009

You know you're just an old, mother of three when...

a "booty call" means that a driver from your 9-year-old's carpool sits on his phone -- and it dials your house.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Screw Black Friday

Yeah, I'm a little bitter because I had to work. But, really, I'm not so sad about missing Black Friday.

Did I want to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to stand outside in the cold with other shoppers willing to run for the good deals?


Was there really anything that looked worthwhile to get up that early?


Plus, I didn't need to be out. I shop year-round, so I'm mostly done and was able to concentrate on Kristen shopping instead of Christmas shopping. Two of my favorite Tucson stores — Sigi's and Stems — A Shoe Boutique started sales early, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I got myself a Hapiru shirt I'd been lusting after forever (it looks much cuter in person than it does on the mannequin) and Sam Edelman driving mocs that I'd also wanted ever since I found out Stems was gettin' them in.

I'm a happy camper.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Shoe Haiku

A treat for the feet!
They feel like squooshy slippers
Driving mocs rock hard.

Sam Edelman "Flora" mocs just purchased from Stems. So unbelievably, incredibly comfortable. And cute, to boot.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Pants

I'm auditioning Thanksgiving pants. This isn't a job to be taken lightly.

Choose wrong — too tight — and your pants cut off your circulation at your waist line, making you horribly uncomfortable by the time the pumpkin pie rolls around.

Choose wrong again — like, say, a loose-fitting T-shirt dress — and you'll be sorry the next day, when you can't button your jeans because you've overeaten.

Moderation, food and fashion-wise, is key.

The trick is to find a happy medium. I'm thinking either my new drawstring Norma Kamali sweatpants that don't look frumpy when properly rolled and paired with peep-toe booties. OR, jeggings. Again, elastic waist but still tight enough to keep the second helpings in check.

I'm leaning toward the sweatpants.

No matter which eatin' pants you choose this holiday, happy turkey day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dream 'Drobe

Stupid Olsen twins.

Growing up, I endured endless teasing — thanks to my younger brother — because my family thought I resembled the Olsens when they were toddlers on "Full House." (I'm fairly sure it was the puffy bags beneath the eyes.)

Now I don't like them because they're all effortlessly skinny and make these fabulous clothes under their Elizabeth and James label at unconscionable prices.

I mean, really. Who can buy this stuff? People are — this fabulous faux fur cocoon coat (which costs more than $500) was snapped off of superquick. But, me with my discounted newspaper editor paycheck, cannot afford such luxuries. But, I so love it. I've also fallen for other oversized poncho-ish cardigans and coats from the EJ line. I think part of me thinks I'll look dainty and demure if I wear the stuff.

Today, I scoured Gilt Groupe ( because it had Elizabeth and James clothing on close-out prices. Alas, no cocoon coat. Maybe Forever XXI will get into knock-off mode; I really do love that fur coat. Cuz, ya know, I'd sure get a lot of use out of that in Tucson, Ariz.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Musing

As I was scrolling through the phone numbers on my pay-as-you-go Target cell phone, I came across the number for Costco — specifically the number to order pizza.

Hmmm, what does that say about me that I have a pizza hotline programmed into my phone?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Shoe Haiku

OK, today's pair is an oldie but goodie — Marimekko sneakers purchased for $20 (down from about $70) at Anthro! Yes, Anthropologie. They're a good few seasons old, as you might guess if you've seen the current catalog. This pair doesn't look like anything the store would carry anymore.

The 'ku

Is there anything
Cooler than polka-dot sneaks?
Yes, when they're on sale.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Get Organized

I crave organization.

Yeah, good luck with that one.

My car is littered with abandoned schoolwork, empty food wrappers and pencils, so many pencils.

The house? Same story. Backpacks left wherever. Shoes and socks stashed behind the sofa (so the kids don't have to take them alllll the way to their room). Strips of rope from chewed dog toys litter the carpet. Today, I found gnawed-off fingertips from latex gloves, which gave the house a very sweet, "CSI" touch (the pups had been pulling them out of the box like Kleenex*).

And the backyard? Looked like a polyester fiberfill snowstorm after the devil dogs attacked an innocent chair pillow.

Luckily, I can control my purse. This Good-go-Go bag is a life-changer. I can stick it into my cavernous Mom bags and can still easily find my keys, my phone and even my hit of emergency chocolate-covered espresso beans. Gotta love it.

My beloved sells the fabbo organizer bags.

*No, I don't do proctology exams on the side. I have germ issues. The gloves are for raw meat handling purposes. Although sometimes I think I should slide them on before I touch my 5-year-old, who enjoys a good dirt bath.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ga-ga for Gray

For years, I dismissed gray as a non-color.

Too gloomy, too blah.

But this summer, I did a 180. Nothing specific happened to change my mind; it just did. All of a sudden, I felt like the Grinch, with my heart growing bigger every time I pondered the warm, cuddly color.

Gray isn't dingy PE clothes; it's drizzly winter skies, snuggly puppies, cute clothes.

It's the ultimate neutral — it goes with everything (even brown and tan) and isn't as harsh as black.

I've made up for lost time by — over the course of the summer — adding a dress, tank top, two long-sleeved knit shirts, a cardigan and a vest. Everything in a light or medium heathered gray.

Now I need to boost the shoes.

These are what I'm lovin'. The Ugg Lo Pro Drawstring boots are a light-weight cotton, which really is the smarter choice for this desert girl. They're waiting for Stems. The only thing keeping us apart is that credit card cycle. But, the new one's gonna start any day now. Hot diggity.

So, the Uggs are the practical choice for a place where winter daytime temps rarely dip below the 60s, and yet,
the shearling lining of these J Crew chalet boots has me in their tractor beams. I think I feel a shoegasm just imagining slipping my toes into that fluffy, soft lining first thing in the morning.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Dirty Shopping Secret

Forgive me, fellow shoppers, for I have sinned.... I shopped at Walmart.

Well, technically, so that's not as horrible as actually setting foot in that store, which skeeves me out on so many levels and for so many reasons.

Yet, I shopped there.

I did it for, gulp, a pair of sweatpants. Not just any sweatpants, though. These are $15 Norma Kamali sweatpants that can only be found at Walmart. They were singled out in the December issue of Lucky magazine. They look decidedly sweatpant-y in this picture, but in Lucky, the gray pants were jauntily rolled up — a la boyfriend jeans — and paired with a black blazer, white tank and peep-toe ankle boots. So cute. I can't think of a more chicly comfortable outfit for a girl on the go, especially for day-after-Thanksgiving shopping.

The pants have a drawstring waist and pockets in front and back. They're comfy, fit true-to-size and, dammit, I really like them. And, shipping only cost 97 cents. My package arrived a mere three days after purchase. Damn you, devilish Walmart.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Shoe Haiku

The Shoe 'Ku is back!
You know the drill....
These are Uggs "Rime" skimmer flats. Bought 'em a few months ago. Have not worn even one time. C'mon cooler weather! C'mon!

Sassy, woolly black flats.
Like rubbing my toes on sheep.
Cuddly comfort. Ahhhhh.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jewelry, Part 2

I'm feeling nice today, so I'm going to let you in on a little secret. OK, ready? I'm going to tell you how to get the chicest, cheapest, custom earrings ever.

Go to Krisybird's shop. She makes these Swarovski crystal stud earrings that are to die for. Just $3.50, you can get pretty much any color. At that price, you can afford to buy every color.

I have a brilliant blue and a pale opal blue (plus a black diamond and pale red on the way). Whenever I wear them, people comment on them. The crystals sparkle like a TV soap opera star's teeth and are big enough to be noticed but not so big they're overpowering.

Buy a pair. You will love them.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jewelry, Part 1

When it comes to jewelry, the blingier, the better.

This has been The Year of the Rhinestone, based on my jewelry-buying over the past few months. Which makes me wonder, how many fake crystal bracelets and necklaces should one person have?

So, this low-key tan with gunmetal studs bracelet is most unlike me. An understated neutral? I don't go for them. But this bracelet just seemed right.

When my search for something studded started, I thought I'd go for the Linea Pelle purple leather studded bracelet. But when I was scrolling through, this little number stood out. Tan AND gunmetal, so it would go with browns and blacks. AND it would look smashing with these unbelievably cheap chain bracelets purchased on super-sale from Urban Outfitters. They play together nicely, don't you think?

The bracelet's edgy but still feminine, thanks to the thin leather strap. The tan is a really flattering mocha shade.

It's a great wear-everyday piece.

Coming tomorrow: cheap, gorgeous earrings.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bad Jeans

My jeans are making me fat.

Well, maybe I can't blame it all on them. But, at the very least, they're lulling me into a terrible sense of complacency. You see, I've been living in boyfriend jeans (not this exact Current/Elliott pair, but I own four pairs of a similar slouchy style. Yup, I'm a hoarder.)

Anyway, I pull them on and they immediately slide down. Hmmm, I'll think, perhaps those two cupcakes yesterday didn't do as much damage as I thought. As the day goes on, the drawers get droopier. Huh, maybe I should have a full-fat caramel macchiato, I'll think to myself.

To make matters worse, I've found an end-run around the horror of skinny jeans — an elastic waist. This pair from Forever XXI (a mere $20) is unbelievable. First of all, not only does the stretchy waist, although maternity clothing-like, make wearing such a style infinitely more comfortable, but the stretchy denim is strong enough to cinch in bulges and lumps. AND, I bought a size 26! I am so not a 26. But pair vanity sizing with easy-to-wear jeans and I'm your customer for life. One day, I will use my walker to toddle into Forever XXI. That will be the day that they change the sign — You're Not Really 21. Stop Kidding Yourself.

Until that time, I've got some darn good options for Thanksgiving pants.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tales From the Bad Parenting Files

And this time, I'm not the bad parent! I'm the victim. Well, one of them, anyway.

OK, so I promise to get back to frivolous fashion tomorrow, but this is a story that begs to be told. Needs to be heard. For those of us out there who doubt our parenting abilities on a daily basis, who regret things we may have shouted in grumpy, crazed fits or just need some validation that we really, truly aren't doing that bad of a job....This one's for you -- proof that there are already clear winners for Lame Parents of the Year.

So, today Youngest Child celebrated his upcoming Fifth Birthday (yikes!) with his three best buds at a golf/amusement park. Now one of the invitees is a perfectly nice kid but has parents I really just don't care for. They're pleasant, but complete flibbertygibbits. Once, they sent their kids to school with a bag of pistachios -- for breakfast. That's bad.

Yeah, it's a nut-free daycare. Worse.

Still, I want my little boy to be happy, so this kid got an invite. As usual, didn't hear from them, didn't hear from them. Youngest Child had really worked himself into a lather, worried his friend couldn't come. Finally I needed to call on another matter and I got my RSVP.

Today, husband is getting ready to head to the birthday spot (I'm already there, setting up), and the phone rings. Mrs. Flibbertygibbet can't believe how the time got away from her and her husband took the car, could Joe please come get her son?

Kinda rude, but Joe is nice. He did it.

The boys all arrive, and Son of Flibbertygibbet isn't looking so good.

"Are you tired?" I ask.

He nods. Says he stayed up late.

He pokes at his pizza and just seems out of it. I mention this to my husband. "Yeah, he's kinda sick. His mom said he has explosive diarrhea, and she gave me this bag full of stuff in case we need to clean him up."

As the hip kids would say, OMG.

Poor kid continues to look miserable, he's moving funny. I ask if he needs to go the bathroom. No, no, he insists. Joe kneels down and talks to him, tells him he knows he's not feeling well and it's OK if we need to go get him a new Pull-Up. Kid just says he wants to go home.

Joe does. It's an hour round-trip. He misses critical parts of the party, i.e., the ones in which I want to pull my hair out because I'm chasing after three 5-year-old boys, an overly-excitable 7-year-old and one 9-year-old drama queen who can barely hold it together after her go-cart craps out in the middle of the track.

After we get back home, I pump Joe for details. Were they apologetic? Act chagrined?

Nope and nope.

I'm just stunned. I want my kids to be happy, too, and no kid ever wants to miss a party. Still, you're a parent first and foremost. Your child's health and welfare come first. Aside from that, to be willing to palm off a diahrreal-kid and send him along with a package of diapers, just in case, like we're hired help (Oh, and I should mention that these people have also asked the lovely, accommodating daycare folks to meet them in the parking lot with their kids because they're in a hurry)....

Well, the karma in the story is that Son of the Flibbertygibbet went home packin' a load. Poo-etic justice? I think so.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bad to the Binge

I'm not bad; I just shop that way.

It's not even noon and already I've been on a jewelry bender at and I may need this B. Makowsky leather purse from

Think of it as retail retaliation.

And what am I retaliating against? Oh, let me see... feeling unloved, unappreciated, unimportant and incredibly tired after a late night in which husband and at least one oversized puppy snored; cricket — strategically placed somewhere behind my head — chirped ALL NIGHT; Middle Child kept screaming about eyeballs in her sleep.


AND husband was mad/worried because he forgot I was two cities and two hours away last night for an event, hence my 11:30 p.m. arrival, hours past my bedtime. This a.m., I had to follow sweet, but oh-so-challenging Middle Child around the house, barking orders like a drill sergeant. Same thing I do every day, all day. Then Youngest Child complained about the lunch I lovingly packed for him.

Once again, I'm persona mom grata.

Oh, and I lost the back of the automatic door lock for my keys, so I act like I'm living in the 20th century, unlocking doors by hand. Ugh.

See? I needed some shopping.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Keeping Cold Cooties At Bay

My husband is sick.

This means a few things: 1, he's a pill to be around and 2, it's only a matter of time before I get it. Bad.

AND the other night, he rolled over and EXHALED right into my face. My cold clock is now ticking.

It's bad when the daddy is sick, don't get me wrong, but it's positively catastrophic when the mommy gets sick because I'm the one who feeds and runs the household and most importantly, chauffeurs everyone everywhere. Not only would I still have to do this if I'm sick but I'd be a complete bitch at the same time. So when I felt that familiar tickle in my throat last night, I broke out with the Airborne.

Everyone has a cold remedy to rely on. Old-fashioned types swear by chicken soup. My husband downs the Cold-Eeze like no one's business. Me, I go for the Airborne. It really, truly does seem to lessen the severity and length of the average cold. Problem is, the stuff is nasty. I tried "zesty orange" and "pink grapefruit." Blech. Then, I bought Target's generic version because it was even cheaper. It tastes worse — like Tang that spoiled on the moon light years ago. So today at Target, I ponied up for the actual Airborne and was intrigued to see there's now a Very Berry flavor.

It's probably the best cold medicine I've ever tasted. Really. Makes me think back to my childhood days when I thought that the thick, pink antibiotic I'd been given for an ear infection was as delicious as candy. This flavor Airborne tastes kind of like Kool-Aid, and while I'd never make it my first choice for dessert, it will definitely make the battle against this cold much more pleasant.

Wish me luck.