Tag Archives: shopping

Day 96: when life gives you a lulu lemon

5 Apr

I can shop! 
I made my promise and I kept it. I went all 365 days of last year with no purchase of clothes, shoes or frivolous items.

And, it was so worth it!

But, now, as I begin to exercise that shopping muscle again, I seem to have forgotten how to use it, or maybe it just does not want to be stretched.

Especially at Lulu Lemon.
Today was attempt number THREE at trying to buy at Lulu Le-mone (I like pronouncing lemon as “le-mone” with a hard “o” — similar to how I prefer to say Target as “tar-jay”).

The first attempt was while shopping with Holly Getty a few weeks ago.  Holly rounded up a fantastic outfit for me, both comfortable, stylish and fun. It was perfect for my days working at home, walking the dogs or even (gasp!) doing yoga.

The only problem?
It was my FIRST stop, my FIRST try-on of any item of clothing in over a year.  So I didn’t want to rush to the check-out counter and buy the first item of clothing I placed on my body.

“No problem!” Holly said, and we decided to hold the items at Lulu Le-mone and come back later for them.

Just as we placed the fabulous items on hold and prepared to leave the store, the fit young woman manning the front door looked us up and down, pointed to her watch and said in her best kindergarten teacher voice, “So …we agree to hold these items for ONE HOUR.”

She nodded her head up and down trying to get our heads to move in the same motion as hers while she pronounced the words “one hour” very SLOWLY and very LOUDLY, as if we were not only 5-years old but also hard of hearing.

We nodded our heads back, left the store and I promptly announced to Holly that I didn’t want to buy from someone so rude.

So, at the end of the day, I didn’t.

But, then, after a few weeks of contemplation, Holly sent me a follow-up email suggesting I consider the amazing cropped yoga pants, relaxed T-shirt and wrap.

I agreed.
They were a great fit.

But, I still didn’t want to go back into that dreadful store and be greeted by Miss Tight-Sassy-Pants and her time keeping watch. Instead, I decided to exercise my online shopping dexterity.

Just as I loaded up my shopping cart and clicked the check-out button on lululemon.com an image flashed across my computer screen.

“ADDRESS NOT VALID” it read in bright red letters.

“That’s odd,” I thought and assumed it was my own user error.  I back tracked, checked my data entry and confirmed it was indeed the address where I dwell, with proper street numbers and zip code.

So I hit the check-out button again.
“ADDRESS NOT VALID,” my computer screamed back

Alright-y then, I sighed and gave up.

Until today, when I found myself back in the vicinity of Lulu Le-mone. I was so close. Just around the corner. I decided to try again.

I quickly found all the items Holly picked out for me and entered the dressing room.

They fit!  They were still fabulous!  I loved them all!

As I approached the check-out counter I realized there was a problem.  I left my card at home (since I didn’t plan on a shopping trip). I asked the woman behind the counter if I could write a check, which I did have with me.

Her face turned sour and she squinted her downward dog eyes at me.

“Oh, noooooo,” she gasped rolling her eyes at her co-worker. “We can’t take a check, we don’t have anything to process that with.”  Emphasis on the word “that” as if I was carrying an alligator in my purse.

So I placed all my items back on the shelf and left the store again empty-handed.

As I walked through the glass doors, into the open air mall with smell of salt water and palm trees, I couldn’t stop thinking this was just not meant to be.

Third strike you’re out.
And, I’m really okay with it.

In the past, I would have hopped in my car, gone home, grabbed my card or made a mad dash to the ATM. I would not have been able to live without my precious items.

But now, after my journey of 365 shop-less days, I know I can live without my precious items — even more so, I realize that maybe I am supposed to live without them.

Because, one thing I have learned, is this:  when something is hard, not easy, or not in the flow, it means there is probably something even better waiting around the corner.

What seems like a Lulu Lemon today, will turn into sweet lemonade —someday.

Who knows what I’ll find in place of those fabulous items?
But, I’m sure it will be even more precious than I can imagine.

Day 360: the day after christmas

26 Dec

It’s the day after Christmas and all through the house there were games being played, some on iPads, some on Kindles and some on boards.

One thing was surely missing: the day after Christmas shopping spree.

On one hand I miss it and on the other I can do without.

No matter what, I do know this:
The sales will go on. With or without me.
But who would take my turn on the Sorry board?

Day 352: holly getty to the rescue

18 Dec

Holly Getty where are you?

I am packing for Christmas vacation which will whisk us off to the Northwest in a few days and my wardrobe seems drab.  While pulling out all my winter clothes I realize they have one thing in common — the color  black.

With the exception of a red scarf.  And, I have to admit the scarf looks better on Pup in the warm Florida sun than it does on me!

As I look over my cold weather wardrobe I am intrigued by how environment influences colors, textures and the whole ensemble.

My Florida clothes look as if I stepped right off of Candy Cane Lane, with hues of pinks and greens and turquoise too.

And, my Massachusetts clothes look like a funeral procession of black on black.

Makes me wonder what I will choose when 2012 arrives and I can start shopping again.

I know I will never mindlessly shop again, but I do need to take into account my dual life between Martha’s Vineyard and Naples.

So …Holly Getty to the rescue!

Last summer, while in the middle of this promise, Holly promised to take me shopping when I could purchase again (YAY!).  Back then, Holly asked me what I wanted to look like next year — what did I wish for deep down inside?

At the time I was so deep into my promise I was puzzled about shopping in general — 2012 felt SO far away.

But here we are closing in on the New Year.
So, how do I feel?

For starters I need an underwear overhaul.  But, after that, I really want Holly to help me pair down my closet and define my authentic style before we really go shopping.

For inspiration, I have started a Pinterest board with images I love so Holly can get a sense of fashion I fall for.  Feel free to puruse here.

But, in the end, shopping will just be icing on the cake.
If there is anything I have learned over this year, it is I already have everything I need.

And, as we close in on these final weeks of 2012, I know in my heart that we can do anything (really!) — for an entire year.

Day 329: f*ing friday :: freaky friday

25 Nov

Today continues the weekly series, F*ing Fridays, which will coincidentally occur on Friday. I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Last week I dove into the word Few.

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the words:
Freaky Friday.

As in, freak out.

Today is officially Black Friday.
The biggest shopping day of the year.  Sales galore.

Did I want to be in malls, shopping centers and in the middle of a mecca of consumer sales madness?

Not really.
Because I have learned my lesson.

Mostly from this year of no shopping.  I know I don’t need it, even on the biggest boon of the sales year, I know deep inside I’m not missing anything.

I used to freak out on Black Friday, and the Day After Christmas too.  Waking early and rushing out into it all was my game.  Mama Sling was my accomplice.  Although, she was shopping for wrapping paper, bows and ribbons, and I was on the hunt for new shoes.

Even last year I joined my sister in a post Thanksgiving midnight madness jaunt through Walmart.  It was so not worth it.  I don’t think you could pay me for a repeat of it all.

Let me just put it this way — there were more police in the aisles of Walmart than on the snowy streets in my hometown.  Never a good ratio.  Not for rock concerts, picnics in the park, or even midnight sales at superstores.

Upon entering the store I picked up a Boise State Broncosfleece sweatshirt, and looked at the seam, you know, as a normal quality check inspection before deciding to purchase.I was just starting to think it could be a good gift for my little nephew, when out of nowhere a Walmart aisle cop told me to drop the merchandise.

“That is not to be touched until midnight.” she warned me with her beady eyes and official blue Walmart jacket.

I started to defend my actions, “But, I am just looking at it, beca…”

“No one touches the sales merchandise.  Not until midnight.”

I left empty handed.

There are some things you only have to do once in a lifetime, and, well, let me just say midnight at Walmart is one of them.

So this year, I stayed home from all of it.  Partly because of that terrible experience last year.  Why bother with the freak show of it all?  But, mostly because of The Promise 365.  Why put myself in temptations grasp?

So I stayed inside to avoid it.
Enter Freaky Friday.

This morning I went about my day as usual.  I had a few errands and arrived over at Debbie’s house in order to sign for a delivery while she is out of town.

As soon as I turned the key in the lock and opened the door a squirmy little creature with a long tail ran under the door and onto the tile …INSIDE the house.

I shrieked.
It ran even faster and then around the corner into the blinds.

I screamed at it from across the room.
“Go. Outside.”

It didn’t listen.
So I rummaged through the closets until I could find a broom.

Just as I held the broom in my shaking hands, standing next to the blinds about to thwart the slimy intruder, I heard Justin’s voice in my head:

“You can’t kill things just because you are afraid of them.”

Damn.  He’s right.
So I pleaded with the squirmy little thing and gently moved the broom in a sweeping motion as if trying to escort him to the door.

“Come on honey, go outside.  You want to go outside.  Just get out of the blinds and turn the corner and go OUTSIDE.”

It just stood there frozen, it’s tail moving back and forth.
Finally, the feet moved and he turned his body completely around and made a run for it.


He headed further into the house, under the TV stand and disappeared before my eyes.

I tried to call Justin.  
No dice.

I tried to call Debbie.  
Left a message.

So then, I sat on a chair with my feet up until Debbie called me back. She reassured me that it was okay, the little thing was more afraid of me than I was on him.  He would hide and ultimately dry up a sad and unfortunate demise.

“How sad,” I thought.  “And, I really did try to save it.”

A few minutes later Justin called back and I told him my saga.  He confirmed, it would hide.  It was more afraid of me.

So, I finally chilled out.
After a few minutes of breathing calmly my phone rang.  It was Justin again.

“You won’t believe what Pup just found crawling across the floor of our apartment.”

“No.” I said in disgust.

“A blue tailed skink.”

“What!” I screamed back into the phone.

Justin reassured me that he caught it and had it in a holding tank until I got home to see it.  Then we would release it together.  Oh.  Goodie.

I never found the lizard that hid under Debbie’s TV stand, and to be honest I didn’t look very hard either.

But, when I got home, this is what Pup showed me.

As Justin picked it up with his BARE HANDS and released it back into the wilderness I thought of another wild and unruly land where I could be — the mall.

Freaky Friday indeed.
I should have gone shopping.

Day 310: not real simple

6 Nov

Today I caught up on old magazines, of the Real Simple and Oprah sort. I holed up under a blanket with Laura’s stash of glossies on my lap while all the children took naps and I dove right into the pages of Consumer-Land.

Within the pages I found a few lovely options (like the photo above!).
It has me thinking about a question Laura asked me tonight:

“What will be your very first purchase in 2012?”

It’s hard to know at this point in time.

Will it be a necessity?
Like snow boots after a freak snow storm while we are visiting family in the Seattle area during the holiday?

Or will it be pure style?
Will I wait it out until Ms. Holly Getty takes me shopping in New York City?

I don’t know the answer yet.

But right now, I can say this:
The answer is not real simple.

Day 216: island temptation

4 Aug

Let me count the ways.

Today we welcomed family to the island, and when we dropped them off at the Harbor View Hotel to check into their room, at the island’s great dame of resorts, we had to stop and walk the streets of Edgartown.  Because who can resist the quaint streets, gorgeous shops and beautiful sights of Edgartown?  Certainly not me.

It has temptation written all over it.

There’s the shopping… check out these purses that line the wall of this beautiful boutique.  I LOVE the pink and brown print.

There’s the ice cream… and as Mad as Martha is, this ice cream is as cool as can be.

And, then, there is my favorite store: Island Company.
I love it for the island-y, breezy, and elegant resort clothing.  But, it will always hold a special place in my heart for their signature tee shirt, which reads:

Quit Your Job
Buy A Ticket
Get A Tan
Fall In Love
Never Return

I first spotted this tee shirt during our first island tour a few years ago.  It was so apropos that I bought it on the spot.

Quit Your Job – check! (well, technically I was laid off)
Buy A Ticket – check! (make that a ferry ticket)
Get A Tan – check! (well, as tan as I can get)
Fall In Love – check! (Justin and I moved to this tiny island after 15 years apart.)
Never Returncheck! (Still here.)

I may not be buying tee shirts this year, or eating ice cream, or purchasing cute little purses… but I’m still that girl, wearing her tee shirt, one that’s good for her heart and her head.

Because once you’ve seen the other side.
You can never return.

Day 199: to shop or not to shop, that is the question

18 Jul

I shopped today.  Not for me.
I was Justin’s shopping “wingman” as we popped in and out of stores to pick up a few items.  I haven’t put myself in the throws of department store finds for a while and I have to say it’s quite a shock to the system.

I shopped, but I didn’t buy.
Shopping, yet not shopping for myself, was a great feeling. It’s still a rush but without cheating on The Promise 365.  (I actually thought of you Holly Getty!  And what it must be like as you help others spot great fits and finds.)

I did get a little sidetracked.
Distracted by cool summer dresses, fun and fitted knit sweaters perfect for a wrap or cover-up.  The smell of new denim!  The array of summer sandals!  Ah …dreamland.

Back to reality.

Here’s a very realistic question that popped up today on Twitter.
How much have you saved this year?

The answer is this: I have saved much.
I have saved countless articles of clothing from the ultimate sentence of living out their days in the back of my closet, never to be worn, never to see the light of day, still wearing their tags.

I have saved strappy sandals and leather boots from decay in a storage shed.

I have saved hundreds of hours of time not searching on Gilt or Rue La La or Overstock or Nomorerack for the perfect something-something to match my already something-else.

So far, I know this: my experience has been more of a shift.
I have shifted my time and my money once spent on cover-ups to support the best ways to uncover my head (books, countless internet searches for the best organic foods, what to eat, what to avoid, what causes what, what you never wanted to know in the first place and why you wish you didn’t already know it) and my body (yoga, massage) and my heart (vacation!) and I’m still sorting out that soul thing.

So, today, while my wondering eyes did appear — looking all over the store at the new jeans, the new dresses, the new shoes, seeing them sit on a shelf just waiting for a new owner to scoop them up and take them home — I felt at peace.

Because if there is one thing I have learned so far, it is this:
Home, I am, already.

107: glee! shopping spree!

17 Apr

This year I made a promise.
Not to anyone else, just to me. I have tendency to lean toward pleasing and making people happy. So this is a big deal, you know, making me happy.

I started The Promise 365 to spend an entire year investing in my head, heart, body & soul ~ and not spend it on clothes, shoes, trinkets and magical moments otherwise known as shoppers high.

About a month ago it occurred to me that this year will eventually end, and I will go back to shopping. So I asked Holly Getty if she would be my guide when I return to the land of apparel.

Imagine my delight when I received this note from Holly:

“I had an idea about your project.
I am so honored to be the lucky girl to take you shopping when your year is up.
Thank you for that.
Would you take a little time each month to envision how you want to look next year?
What you see yourself wearing.
How do you look? How do you feel?
Remember, there is no limit. Money is not a factor.
I want you to tap into your ideal, your dream.
Sound good?”

Sound good?

Let’s flashback:
The Promise 365 came to me while I was at the spa with Debbie Phillips (we were working, promise).

And, that’s when it hit me.
Have you ever had an experience that completely opened your eyes?  Changed how you looked at everything from that day forward?

For me, it was the spa.
There I was, feeling pampered every day, waking up to yoga and Pilate classes, meditation workshops, trying new massage techniques (hello, hot rocks!) and facial treatments. And, I can’t forget ending the day  with a starry, starry night massage.

Here’s the life changing piece:
Between relaxing by the sky blue pool and eating super fresh, well-portioned meals, I thought:
Why don’t I do this more often?

Looking over the price list of each treatment, it occurred to me that most were the price of a dress, or new pair of shoes.  And, I would buy that!

Talk about paradigm shift.
It’s like looking at those terrible little miniature photo posters at the mall and trying to see “the image” ~ once you see it, your eye can’t focus on anything else.

Little did I know where this promise would take me.

Last night may have been my worst experience yet. I won’t go into the dramatic details, but it was the climax of a cleanse involving castor oil. I think I spent half the night in the bathroom.

I won’t drone on about it, it’s over.
The point is, not everyday has been easy.

Sure, it is easy enough not to go to the mall. I just avoid the temptation.
And, it is also pretty simple not to shop online. I can look, just can’t click.
At times, it has been pretty hard to write.  But I power through, spelling errors and typos included.

But now I have an end goal, a celebration of sorts.
Today, when I was drained of energy and spirit, Holly’s offer had me pouring over Vogue Magazines (thank you for sending them to me Mary Ellen Jones) to start that process of figuring out just how I want to look and feel next year.

It felt wrong to tear pages out of the beautiful magazines, ripping some poor woman’s legs from her shoes on the other side of the spread. But I did it. With verve!

I tore pages. Carolina Herrera.
I gathered looks. Marc Jacobs and Yves Saint Laurent.
I collected shoes and jackets and bags. Tods.

Here’s the kicker:
While I spent the afternoon on a paper shopping spree, when I really thought about what I really want next year, this is what I came up with.

Health. Vibrancy. Love.

Oh, I DO want a signature look —- and I am SO DELIGHTED and feel so LUCKY to have THE HOLLY GETTY by my side next year when my shopping debut arrives.  I will keep taking notes about my feelings and goals, and will rip out those pages from glossy magazines so Holly can work her magic.

Until then, I am also going to keep investing in this head, heart, body & soul.

And that, brings me to this:
What if Holly posed her questions to you?

When you think of yourself next year…
What you see yourself wearing?
How do you look? How do you feel?
Remember, there is no limit. Money is not a factor.
I want you to tap into your ideal, your dream.

With love, (and thanks to Holly)

Day 103: spring flings and other things

13 Apr

Maybe it’s just Spring…

Or maybe I’m going a tad bit nuts with this 2 week cleanse.

Whatever is going on I know this: I see life bursting into action all around me.

This morning I witnessed two male ducks toppling all over each other in some sort of aggressive territorial dance. It ended with one chasing the other on foot (webbed foot) into the man-made lake/pond/body-o-water that hugs our apartment complex.

Yesterday, a family of baby ducks strolled right by my office window. The fuzzy little yellow chicks were beyond adorable as they fluttered behind their Mama and appeared ready for action, as if practicing for their Cadbury Chocolate television commercial debut.

Butterflies, blue jays, squirrels, ibis, and some other bird with red markings have been following me around all day.  It feels like I entered a 1930’s colorized cartoon from Disney himself. If little dwarfs show up then I know I’m hallucinating.

Seriously, though, it is Spring all around.

IF I were shopping, I would be wooed to purchase a few new items to boldly declare that Spring has definitely, unarguably, absolutely arrived, even if the weather acts differently.

And, I think this is precisely where my love affair with seasonal clothes begins.

First, it is the THE REQUIRED NEW EASTER DRESS, which progresses into NEW SHOES TO MATCH, which leads to spotting THE FIRST PAIR OF SHORTS OF THE SEASON and finally eclipses somewhere around I’VE GOT TO HAVE THAT BATHING SUIT.

A seasonal permission slip to reinvent myself ~ through my closet.

And who can argue with the ecstasy of new clothes!?
Let’s face it, it’s invigorating to throw on a new tank top and test out some bright colors after schlepping around in woolly, dark, heavy, layered outfits all winter.

But not this year.
No shopping.
Not for me.

True, I have mostly been in warm weather places so no need to strip layers of wool and mittens, but The Promise 365 has me sorting through other sorts of “closets” this Spring.

First, there is the Colorado Cleanse program — which I am proud to say I actually enjoy at Day 8. My body has got with the program. I feel new energy and less weight.

Then, there is the emotional layers of the cleanse at work, which include addressing deep emotions, and writing letters to myself and others. It’s detoxifying-ly painful at times, but it’s working. I feel lighter.

And, that makes me think:
Maybe the birds and the butterflies and the baby animals have been there all along. Maybe it was me who was too blurry to fully see.

As far as clothes go, I will miss the new additions that won’t be procured for my closet this Spring. While I may be a few strappy sandals short of a spring fling, I do know this:

It’s a new season, with new life.

Whether you’re buying or not, I hope you see all the wonders of your world.
Maybe they are right outside your window?


Day 86: se vende?

27 Mar

It feels like summertime and the shopping is easy.
Here in Mexico one can’t escape the local vendors.

They come to you.
Whether sitting at a restaurant or sitting on the beach.

Se vende?
Want a new silver bracelet?
Want a bright pink strapless beach dress?
Want a kabob with shrimp and papaya?

It’s so not easy not to shop!

Today we popped into Hotel Hafa just for a second.
The bright red wall beckoned me with an embrace.
“Come inside!” she whispered. “Just for a quick visit!”

Inside I found this amazing mirror.
The borders were bunches of roses made out of metal.
It was beautiful. It was so well crafted.
And, it was just the sort of thing I would take home …if I were shopping.

I would show you a photo but when I asked the shopkeeper if it was okay to snap a quick pic, she said, “the owners prefer you don’t.”

Clearly, they get the question frequently.

I told her about this blog, and begged for a little snap of the camera.
But, she declined. Good employee!

But, she did tell me this:
She has lived 6 years away from her Canadian homeland.
She traveled from South America to Mexico over these years.

Unfortunately she had to return home to Canada to visit an ill family member, and she described it as culture shock …because of the shopping.

When she returned to Canada, she observed this:
Consumerism runs rampant with her Northern sisters.

If they don’t have the right boots in the right color, they will just go out and buy new ones.

Yes. I know!
She could have been describing someone I know (me 87 days ago!).

Being here, makes me want to buy.
Because I want to remember the trip.

I want to remember the roosters crowing in the morning (why not buy that hand painted rooster pottery?).

I want to remember the beach and surf and long afternoons sipping margaritas sitting on the sand (how about those totally adorable Reef sandals?).

I want to hold onto the memory of Hotel Hafa’s welcoming boutique with the red walls and the silver sculpture adorning each wall (why not get that mirror?)

I want the feeling of vacation.
I want to take it all home.

And I will.
On my camera.

Se, vende?
No, gracias!

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