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Over the past few months, my husband and I have come to the realization that no, we’re not going on that over-seas trip because we’re having a baby!  We’re not installing new kitchen cabinetry because we’re having a baby!  We’re not fencing in our backyard because we’re having a baby!  You’re not going on that sky-diving trip because we’re having a baby and you can’t die and leave me here alone.  What?

The money we would be spending is now going to nipple cream, butt cream, blankets that you receive things in, blankets that you wrap things up in, blankets that are annoyingly called “lovies”.  Swings, play-pens or yards or packs or boxes, onesies – twosies – threesies.  If you’re a new parent, the list is overwhelming.  Will my child die if I don’t buy this brand of wipe?  Should I be concerned about this pacifier and the manufacturer’s evil plan to confuse my baby?  Is this my mother’s nipple?  IS IT? I’m so confused!  Maybe my baby should have this type of toy so that he is intellectually stimulated at a very young age, which will prove to be beneficial when he is sitting for the MCAT in 20 plus years. 

Check these out:

Staring rabbits.  Any way you turn this puzzle, the rabbits just keep staring.  Is this really interesting to a toddler?  Where are the fun colors and the cute bunny faces?  I get it.  There are several different ways to solve this puzzle.  Thank God.  I wouldn’t want my child to get his feelings hurt when it didn’t work on his first try.  Now, to go and find a little league soccer team where the coach cheers when a player runs away from the ball and tells him, “Hey, great job recognizing your feelings about that ball.  Who needs to score? Or play the game, right?  High-five.”

Look are that pretty green paint.  So soothing.   Cute bassinet, right?  Hmm…wheels may not be a great idea.

OH MY GOD.  WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT DUCK?!

I phone, you phone, we all phone for ridiculous apps.  Hey, hun, we should totally buy that app that analyzes our baby’s cry.  I mean, I definitely want to put my overly expensive phone in the crib where our child can have explosive diarrhea all over it and then I’ll be like, Oh, no.  Baby is crying.  Let me go check my phone and see why.  Wait.  I can’t because it’s covered in poop.  What do I do now?!!  I just want to know if the app recognizes the cry of a baby who is sad she was born to such f-ing idiots.

Oh, Glory Be!  Do you think she knows there’s a baby coming out of that hole in her vest?  Maybe you’ve seen this picture before.  I searched for its origin and could not for sure connect it to www.togetherbe.com, but it seems likely they are the ones to blame.  And, they’ve taken this particular product off the website.  Wonder why?  I love alien baby heads.  This particular baby head is consuming this woman from the inside out.  But at least they are both warm.

My house was filled with estrogen this weekend as I hosted a girls’ weekend get-away for my closest friends.  As promised there was a lot of laughter, some booze and a stirrup pants sighting at the mall.  Bonus activities included an impromptu fashion show in my living room and laughing at old pictures that I didn’t realize were on my friend’s facebook account (thanks, Erin.).  God, it’s good to be a girl.

Once the party was over and everyone had packed up and started on their treks back home, I hunkered down with my laptop and told myself I was going to figure out this coupon clipping craze.  This can’t be hard.  I’ve never won at Monopoly, but I have kicked ass in Candy Land.  So, I’m golden, right?

I was in Walmart last week stocking up on essentials for the coming girls’ weekend frivolity when I passed this woman who was thumbing through a large zippered binder full of coupons.  They were organized in these plastic pockets, just like the ones my brother used to stash his basketball cards in, which, by the way, he would not let me touch.  This may have something to do with some G I Joes I buried in the front yard.  I stopped beside her and said, “I think you might be my hero.”  We talked for about 15 minutes.  She explained her strategies to me, most of which I have already forgotten probably due to some episodes of Housewives of NY.  Those women are killing my brain cells. 

I watched my hero flip through her binder showing me how to organize by store (she goes to at least two different grocery stores depending on the deals) and then by item.  She looked at my cart (Embarrassing!  I didn’t have a chance to explain to her that I don’t usually by four different kinds of bread or two tubs of sour cream at a time or drink that much beer by myself) and she noticed my two boxes of Suddenly Salad (Oh my gosh!  This salad is so sudden.) and instantly knew that she had a coupon for fifty cents off two boxes of Suddenly Salad and gave it to me.  Did I mention that she had a small child with her?  How did she remember that coupon existed?  Then, she wrote down two sites (here and here) for me to visit for more info on clipping coupons.  I think that if I had invited her to come to my house and show me how to put a coupon binder together, she would have come and brought snacks – free snacks that she bought by combining coupons and sales deals. 

But I did not invite her, so here I sit on my own visiting these sites she wrote down for me and trying not to get distracted by Bejeweled Blitz or online Scrabble.  It’s just that I was never good at math and I loathed word problems.  And these sites, while they do offer a great deal of information, do not offer step-by-step, outlined, color-coded instructions on how to get the most out of clipping.  I would even settle for old school clip-art hieroglyphics because let’s face it.  I’m a visual learner.  All these words.  Blah blah blah coupons blah blah manufacturer blah blah double blah blah stock piling (should I be worried?) blah blah it’s so simple.  Kiss my fanny.  It’s not simple.  It’s panic-inducing.  Do they make coupons for Zoloft?

The thing is, I’m sure there is a justifiable savings for all this work.  I just wish I could download a manual directly to my brain or hire someone to shop with me and show me the ropes. OOh, or hire a personal shopper AND a personal coupon clipper.  If I won the lottery, I wouldn’t have to use the coupons at all. 

I wonder if we have any booze left…

So far I have found a koozie with the name “Susan” stitched on it (this is for when I have beers and like to pretend I’m someone else), a Mary Engelbreit notepad that tells me “Anything Is Possible”, a glass vase, and a Valentine’s Day porch flag in our new home.  All of these things were left by the previous owners as a welcoming gift, I’m guessing.  By the way, the notepad reminded me of the white sweatshirts my mother used to dress me in.  She would iron-on a Mary Engelbreit design.  Come on.  I know I’m not the only one that had those.  And if so, everyone else in the world should be jealous.  And now that you’ve checked out ME’s website, imagine a little girl with loads of curly red hair wearing a ME sweatshirt and holding a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper (for reminiscing purposes click here) that would look something like this:

My actual Trapper Keeper had kittens on it.  Alas, I couldn’t find a picture of my Lisa Frank design.  Believe it or not, I did have friends, which brings me to the real issue here:  Why did The Hogan Family go off the air and what can I do about it?  And we have finally settled into the new house.

 

This was the view from the front porch the morning of our move.  We moved a few things the night before and stayed in the new house like real grown ups.

A week or so after we moved in, we decided to really screw with Destro’s head and cover things in plastic.

He retaliated by sticking his head in the paint can.  You think you’re soooo clever, dontcha?

A first look at the paint color.  Fortunately, Destro’s slobber didn’t make it past the window sill. 

Taaaa Daaaaa!!!  Here is what it looks like now.  Gray paint.  It is Olympic paint called “Secret Passages.”  Other paint names I think they should consider: “My Dad’s Not-So-Hidden Stash of Porn”, “Through The Neighbor’s Window” and “That Creepy Floor At The Public Library.”

The kitchen is up next.  It has a great wall that’s perfect for my wolf mural or perhaps a tribute to Lisa Frank.

Dear South Carolina,

Hey!  I miss you.  Momma says you’ve actually had a winter this year.  We always said, “Seasons?  What are those?” I guess the change has been nice.

We’re settling in to the new place.  Destro wants to climb on top of my head because the oven makes noises he’s not used to.  Hopefully, he’ll get over that or I’ll have to find a sling big enough for a 60 lb dog and strap him to my back.

I wanted to tell you that I saw your new book.  It’s gorgeous.  You look great!  Historic Photos of South Carolina.  Wow.  So, maybe it dates you, but I’m just saying.  Your Lowcountry, your Sandhills, your Piedmont – all your sides look good .  Doug Bostick tells your stories through photographs dating from 1860-1970.  I’ve  never seen some of these pictures.  The photographers range from the professional to a child playing with a camera.  I think choosing Mr. Bostick to tell your story was a good idea.  His arrangement of the photos and captions are well thought-out; although, I did notice that he is from James Island and an awful lot of the pictures are of the Charleston area.  No matter.  I love Charleston and The Holy City sure does have a history.   Oh, just thinking about it makes me want shrimp and grits and sweet cornbread.

I love looking at the old cars and clothes.  Women’s hairstyles and men’s high-waisted pants.  The storefronts and slow city streets.  There was so much land!  So much yard and unpaved, grassy lots.  Horse-drawn carriages and trolley cars.  Bare feet and rickety houses.  Dusty everything.  It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come.  And wasn’t it hot?  I mean, hot South Carolina hot in the summer.  Living with no air conditioning, and for those not on the coast, little to no breeze.  No sir.  Your living looks like it was hard.

I wonder how it feels to air some of your dirty laundry.  All out in the public.  Your archive isn’t flattering or particularly sordid.  It just is. You had to be honest.  You have a history of being stubborn, resolute in your convictions, often controversial and some might even say a little backward.  I imagine it is hard to visually capture your attitude, but this compilation shows a good try.  Pictures document some of your bleakest moments: cities ravaged by war, hurricanes, an earthquake, fires and people enslaved and living in the poorest conditions.  Beautiful plantation homes and grounds coexist with the darkness and awfulness of slavery. It’s a stark juxtaposition.  But there are also pictures that show your resolve, your willingness to try again, to rebuild.  Can you believe that church in Bennettsville?  It burned down the night of the first service and it took them four years to restore it.  That is commitment.

Your politics, social strata, your industry and your landscapes are all represented here.  It’s not a complete story, but for a coffee table book it’s a good start.  I’ll be getting out my magnifying glass to go through the book again.  I’m pretty sure that’s my great-grandfather walking down the streets of Columbia.  Did you see him?  Or my grandmother working in the mills.  She’s there – somewhere.

So, thanks.  And if you keep your sunny disposition this spring, maybe I’ll come for a visit.  But not too sunny, please.  And by the way, are you preparing for football season yet?  Never too early for a Clemson joke.

 XOXO,

Alissa

Historic Photos of South Carolina
Douglas Bostick

ISBN: 9781596525559

Turner Publishing Company 2010

part of the Historic Photos series

hardcover, 206 pages, 200 reproduced black and white photographs

archives used:

The Library of Congress

Santee Cooper

The South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Hark!  I hear the call of a scheduled closing!  On a new house.  Not the previous house we “closed” on in December.  Pffff.  On a Monday we canceled a contract.  By Friday we were in a new contract on a new house.  And The Hubbs is still down with painting the living room gray-grey, whichever you prefer.   Speaking of design, my eyes are red and puffy and slightly crossed due to hours scouring the blogosphere for ideas.  Here are some of them (click on the pictures for links to their origin).

I will be using these orbs as a bra holder or a “brolder.”   Yes, they are positioned on the mantel in this picture.  I like to display my orbs wherever possible. 

I’m figuring out these design blogs.  There are so many of them. I think they rival food blogs.  And now I can’t decide which I like to look at more, food or style.  I have, however, decided that it isn’t a good idea to take a nap in the bushes.

Please watch your step.  Rufus, my giant rabbit has yet to be house-broken.

Oh, Scarlett.  You look divine in your old age.  And those curtains!  Girl, it is working for you.

Mirrored furniture is such a great idea.  Now, I can check my make-up while grabbing extra plates for the additional dinner guests that didn’t call.  See if they get pie.

Lastly, this chair comes with a set of magic markers.  I would not advise drawing your face on the seat.

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© Alissa C. Miles and "And So They Did...", 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material including pictures from posts and/or other pages without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alissa C. Miles and "And So They Did..." with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Basically, don't steal my stuff. Thanks. -A.

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