Category: Shopportunities

Nailed It

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Before heading out for yesterday’s BFF girlie day pedicure, I rifled through my nail polish collection to find the perfect color.  We like to bring our own polish, because it allows for post-pedicure touch-ups.  I wanted something bright and summery, but my polish bin was a sea of navy blues and blood reds.

I flipped through the nail salon’s selection cards,  considering a neon pink and bright orange, before selecting  OPI’s new Neon collection in Push and Pur-Pull:


Kind of funny, huh?  I had too many dark blues and reds at home, so I opted for the salon’s purple.  Go figure!  While happy with my choice, I still wanted something a little bolder…

Serendipity struck this morning when flipping through my Memorial Day Sale email notices.  Normally, I delete my Lucky Magazine daily deal, but they caught my eye with today’s subject “17 Can’t-Miss Beauty Sales To Shop This Memorial Day Weekend.”   I flipped through the deals with nothing worth clicking until I came to slide 18/18:

Whoa.  3 amazeballs bright FULL SIZE Butter London Polishes for $19?  These puppies are typically $15.00 per bottle...


And, um, this one, too:

I’ve been wanting an orange and the white will be a great base coat for bright colors.  It’s totally worth the  overwhelmingly heavy burden of adding another fantastic blue to my collection.

And, well, I couldn’t let free shipping and a 20% off code (ahem, SEVENTEEN20) go unused (SACRILEGE!), so I added this beauty:

It’s called Sozzled.   It’s GREEN.   It had to happen.

In summary, I just scored 7 full size Butter London polishes for the price of 3.

Slap me in an oversized 90’s suit and color me badass! 😉

Soy You Think You Can’t Eat Cheese?

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Whether by choice or circumstance, a dairy and/or soy free diet can be challenging. So what do you do?

Well, for starters, you embrace all things rice-based.  Then, you hunt for grub with alternative oils (canola, safflower) and thickeners (tapioca starch).  Here’s a list of products that carried me through my allergen elimination diet:

Daiya “Cheese”: While the smell of this stuff repulses my husband,  it’s a fabulous cheese substitute.  I love using it for my nachfauxs (pita or corn chips with Cheddar and/or Mozzarella shreds, pickled jalapenos and guacamole).  This stuff gets a little sticky when melted, but, unlike several rice vegan cheeses (ahem Galaxy), it does melt fairly easily.  I get mine at Whole Foods and will likely keep eating it once I can have dairy again.

Earth Balance Soy Free Butter Spread is awesome.  I melt it in pasta and slather it on my morning toast.  I used to have to get this from Whole Foods, but my HEB started carrying it.

Speaking of toast, Ener-G Foods makes an extensive line of allergen-free products. Their website offers a handy-dandy search page that allows you to identify products that fit your allergen concerns.   I’m not a big fan of their cookies, but their assortment of rice-based, dairy free breads (including Hamburger Buns) are pretty decent! For those without a Whole Foods or a respectable health food aisle, Ener-G’s online store has reasonable shipping rates.

So Delicious is probably the most well recognized dairy alternative brand because of its widespread, mainstream supermarket availability.  From their almond to coconut products, they also provide a slew of soy-free options.   I love how each product page features not only the ingredients, but also lists the allergens.  Their Coconut Milk Ice Cream was my savior when I wanted dessert.

When it came to a milk subsitute, I started with Rice Dream but found the HEB/Central Market Brand much cheaper and better tasting.   I use it in cereal and in my sanity-saving Frappucino knock-off (Starbucks Iced Via! + Vanilla Rice Milk).

While a soy/dairy-free diet is a pain in the butt, it is doable and can be enjoyable.   Though the products may cost a bit more, there may be a way to recoup your expense …

Rice futures. 😉

I Like Blue…Leopard Things & Other Stuff

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

So here’s the non-kiddo related stuff going on in my life:

  • I constantly have three songs stuck in my head: Taylor Swifts “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and Cookie Monster’s “Share It Maybe.”
  • I’m obsessed with dark blue nail polish.

  • I’m excited that Old Navy and kate spade are selling awesome leopard goodness.

  • I volunteered to organize our mini neighborhood garage sale in October.  Yeah, I’m a moron, but I did it for two reasons:  1.)  more households participating will draw bigger crowds (kow) and 2.) I needed the motivation accountability affords.
  • I can’t wait for Fall.  I blame all the clever Halloween-themed pins on Pinterest.
  • I’ve almost mastered a home version of my grande 1/2 caff soy caramel Frappucino using Starbucks Via! Iced Coffee packets and Central Market vanilla rice milk.  It’s good because I can enjoy my coffee beverage for a fraction of the cost, but bad because I have easy access to a sugary beverage that enhances my ass width.
  • I’m a big fan of the classic interview tactic where you sneak out to see an applicant’s car interior to judge his/her work ethic.  Right now, I wouldn’t hire me. I haven’t had my car professionally cleaned since the dealership gave it a quick wash and vacuum when I had it serviced in December.  Of 2011.   I plan on remedying that tout de suite.

Everyday I’m Shufflin’

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

The house is abuzz with party planning galore as the big day approaches.

This Saturday, 28 of Em’s family members and close-friends-who-are-family will gather at our house to celebrate her first birthday.   It being Mercury Retrograde, I’m so paranoid about all the logistics that I’ve made a gazillion task lists.

Last week, I rented chairs and ordered Em’s dairy-free smashcake.  It’s not going to look 100% as I’d envisioned, but it’s just a cake.  I’ll be surprised if she actually eats any of it.  For our guests, there will be 4 kinds of dairy-packed cupcakes.  Wahoo! I also ordered her cake-matching candle online… it’s coming regular mail from New Jersey.  I’m kinda sweating’ that one.

I’m one of those people who will go to 4 different stores on multiple occasions until I get everything I need, even if I’m just getting something as simple as the perfect tablecloth or the right shade of blue plastic fork.  I made a promise to myself that I would hit one store once.  I designated yesterday the Great Party City Shopathon.  I wouldn’t leave until I had everything, and, if they didn’t have exactly what I needed, I’d pick a substitute on the spot. Of course, they didn’t have the light pink polka dot luncheon napkins I wanted.  My first thought was “okay, I’ll just go to the Westheimer location…”  But I quickly quashed that and went with the fuschia polka dot pattern.  One hour later, I left with decorations, tableware, goody bag goodness, a backup candle and a helium tank in tow.

All that’s left is buying the food later in the week.  I considered getting Jason’s Deli fruit, cheese and veggie trays until I looked at how much those fools charge.  Costco it is!

Oh, and IKEA!  I looked at renting a kiddo table with chairs for Em’s little cousins, but it’s cheaper to buy the white Sundvik collection at IKEA.  We’d already intended to put one in her future playroom, so I’m crossing my fingers the chairs are back in stock tomorrow.  I’m going to wait until she goes to sleep tomorrow night.  That way, I can go der nuts scampering through the warehouse of bliss, filling my cart with value-priced Swedish exports.  😉

Someone should warn them I’m coming.

Hide your lingonberries!

Mama Needs a New Pair of Shoes

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Shoes, pants, shirts… You name it, I need it.

By my 6 week post-partum checkup, I’d lost all 40 pounds I gained over those 9 months. By November, I was down 20 more. How on earth did this happen?

Easy. I had a baby who wouldn’t take a bottle, suffered from acid reflux and was thought to have multiple food allergies. (She’s either outgrown most of them and/or it was an adverse rotovirus vaccine reaction all along). I went for weeks excluding dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, corn, fish, nuts and chicken. This meant no eating out or pre-packaged foods. Basically, I lived on rice, quinoa and meat.

Now that her green, bloody diaper days are behind us (KOW!!!), I’m eating everything but soy and dairy. I’ve regained 5 pounds (damn you, Whataburger!). Still, that’s a lot of weight to have lost in a short period of time. It’s resulted in a dearth of clothing options and a shrunken foot.

Not that I’m complaining! I never imagined I’d be in this situation. I thought I’d fight those preggo pounds forever just as I battled bulge before Wiggles was even on the radar. It’s just that now I’m in a weird predicament.

Nothing fits, even some of my shoes are too big. I’d live in jeans if I could, but work requires more effort. I’ve resorted to safety pinning and rolling waistbands for my pants and wearing camisoles under my knit shirts-turned-plunging neckline tunics.

I’ve tried buying a few items online only to return them. I find myself in between both clothing and shoe sizes. Further complicating matters, I’m still short. You’d think with all those prenatal vitamins a girl would grow an inch or two. Three would’ve been fabulous. I’ve always wanted to be 5’4″…

Snap back to reality!

Then there’s the fact that I just don’t like anything I see. Pastels, color blocking, boho chic and neons?

These are fashion trends I could do without.  I’m a pale, 30-something winter. Gimme mah solid jewel tones!

I’ll have to wait until autumnal hues return. With today marking Spring’s start, I should start stocking up.

Anyone know where I can buy safety pins in bulk?