Monday, September 1, 2014

Crap you could buy

Consumerism: the great American hobby! The magazine Financial Times has a website called "How to Spend It," which I think is hilarious, because yes, there are people so rich they literally need help finding ways to spend all their money. Anyway, I haven't blogged in a month, or written a poem or anything like that, because I guess August is not a time for deep thoughts. So instead I'll show you some stuff that I've bought lately and recommend, in case you have no idea what to do with your paychecks (because you bought your house and cars and everything in cash, natch).

Let's start with fashion stuff.

Pilcro Superscript High-Rise Jeans

I bought these at Anthropologie when I was in Seattle for a few days this summer (#mozcon). I actually just grabbed them so I'd have something to try on with a top, but I liked them so much I bought them at full price ($128, not bad for jeans these days). They have a little bit of a "mom jeans" vibe so I'm surprised I like them so much, but they're like sexy '70s MILF mom jeans. They're also so, so comfortable, really soft and stretchy, but they don't lose their shape, which is key, because I literally never wash my jeans. And I feel like they make me look very skinny and long-legged, which is also key, because the trend in my 30s is that I tend to be a little chubbier during the summer months, which is backwards and wrong. Now that it's getting cooler I think I'm pretty much back to normal.

Dansko clog sandals

In the spring I picked up this pair of Dansko clog sandals at Nordstrom Rack, and they have been my best footwear purchase in a while. They're so comfortable! I love that the platform gives me a couple of inches in height, but I can still walk around in these all day. I wore them all summer and took them on all my trips, and they should last me another couple of years at least. (I view red as a neutral so yes, I wore these with everything, though I don't particularly like how they look when I'm wearing red.) Again, these are a little bit like mom sandals .. whatever. I'm 34, people, and not for long.

Madewell jewelry

I really like the jewelry at Madewell. It's more basic than the stuff they have at J. Crew and also actually seems to be "made well." Several jewelry items I've purchased from J. Crew have fallen apart after a few wears, but I've been wearing this stuff a lot and it feels pretty indestructible. Also I love this kind of brassy off-gold shade.

Now for some beauty stuff.

Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter

I am very picky about coconut scents. I love coconut, but it can go wrong easily. Most commonly, it's either too buttery and ends up smelling like old movie theater popcorn, or there's too much vanilla and it's sickly-sweet. This body butter smells awesome (like an ice cream shop somehow) and also feels really rich and nice. I always have two or three of the Body Shop body butters around, but this is much cheaper ($4.99!). Look how luscious! It looks like frosting.

e.l.f. Long-Lasting Lustrous Shadow

I don't know what this shade is called; the container doesn't say, but it's like a bronzey gold. I found this at TJ Maxx, so it must have been like a dollar because e.l.f products are usually only $2.99 to start with. (Aside: I always feel like it's real redundant when someplace like H&M has a sale. I can't be bothered with those sale racks. If it didn't sell at $11.99, that's a sign.) Despite the name, this doesn't work as a base/primer on its own; I need to layer it over a long-lasting base like the Maybelline Color Tattoos or Benefit creaseless shadows. Then you can tap it over the top and it lasts a long time without creasing. Super shimmery and pretty, but not over-the-top glitzy like you can only wear it to the disco and feel appropriate. It has a cool, soft gel-like consistency, similar to the Dream Bouncy blush I mentioned here, still one of my day-to-day favorites. Also, speaking of Color Tattoos, I just bought two of the new matte "leather" shades at Target; one is a really nice taupe-y lavender, one of my favorite eye shadow shades.

Boots No 7 by Poppy King lipstick in History

This is from a collaboration that Poppy King did with Boots exclusively (I think?) for Target. This is one of my all-time favorite red lipsticks, and I recently repurchased after a disastrous parking mishap where John opened my car door and my bag tumbled out onto a sewer grate. I'm lucky that nothing super-valuable like my phone or keys fell down the grate, but I did have to watch like 5 lipsticks fall down there irretrievably (sob!). So far I think this is the only one I've repurchased, because I was afraid it would be discontinued. I haven't even worn it yet, though, because it's more of a fall/winter shade. These have such a nice, creamy formula and are a little sheer. They don't carry this in my store anymore, but you can order it online.

Everyday Coconut salt spray

I just can't bring myself to spend $20 or whatever on the Bumble & Bumble surf spray. It's mostly water and salt, right? And yet, I'm too lazy to make my own. I got this stuff on sale at Whole Foods (I think it was $5.99?) and I really like it. The below (heavily filtered) pic, which demonstrates its wave-ifying properties in action, is from before I cut my hair; now it's back to collarbone length. I kind of liked having it super-long and glamorous for a while, but it also felt semi-unnecessary and at times borderline ridiculous.

Surprisingly I don't really have any other makeup finds to share. I've bought plenty of stuff, but nothing I like better than stuff I already had. Oh wells.

And finally moving on to food.

Cucina Antica ketchup

Holy moly, this is some of the best ketchup I've ever had, and certainly the best packaged ketchup that normal people can actually afford. Homemade ketchup is one of my favorite things, and this really tastes homemade. I stock up when it goes on sale at Whole Foods (for a while it was 2 for $6). Amazing on breakfast potatoes.

Secco "vino frizzante"

A Trader Joe's opened up near us probably six months or so ago but for a while it was way too crowded to actually go. It's calmed way down, and I go every few weeks or so to buy wine and the funny little snacky foods they only sell there. It always makes me feel weird because I used to shop at TJ's in Boston all the time, and all the stuff is the same; it gives me those same kind of sad flashbacks as smelling the perfume that someone you used to know wore. Anyway, they carry this cheap prosecco (like the body butter above, $4.99!) and it's quite delightful and "quaffable." I just bought two bottles to bring to a picnic in the park, along with a liter of orange juice. NB: the boxed wine they carry is also totally decent. I think it's $11.99 and I like the white one more than some $30 boxes we've tried.

Unexpected Cheddar

Another TJ's find. This cheddar reminds me of aged gouda; it has that slightly grainy texture and hints of caramel. This would be great with sliced apples. (Boston people: Have you had the Farmer's Lunch sandwich from City Feed? Cheddar, green apples, grainy mustard, and pickled green tomatoes on a roll. So good.)

How have YOU supported capitalism lately?


  1. I had no idea they had cheap prosecco! V. useful to know. The TJs on memorial drive is always too crowded for one to feel much like _exploring_.

    1. It's much better (IMO) than the cheap "champagne" one finds at a normal liquor store.

  2. Good man! Morbo is pro-war and pro-Secco.

    1. By the way, another tip for beer-drinkers (sorry Elisa!) is that several of Trader Joe's beers are contract-brewed by excellent breweries. Unfortunately I don't think Firestone Walker brews for TJ's anymore, but Unibroue does, and apparently it's possible to get some really good beer at unbeatable prices. Look for beers that were brewed in Canada (and experiment with the other ones - they are cheap enough that it makes sense to give them a shot).

    2. I used to buy Unibroue beers at TJ's in Boston, back when I could drink beer. I loved that Belgian-style shit.

  3. All hail the high-waisted jean! After my birthday last week, I have been feeling ridiculous in my low-rise jeans. The Pilcro ones you picked out look great. I should drop into Anthro and try them out.

    I should also try out the Poppy King lipsticks at Target. So much less expensive than her Lipstick Queen ones! Sorry to hear about the five lipsticks falling down the drain too. That is tragic!

    1. It's so nice to be able to wear them with slightly shorter tops and not feel like my underwear is going to be showing under any circumstances!

      I am pretty cheap when it comes to lipsticks...I like to buy new ones frequently and I never use a whole tube so I don't like to spend more than $10-15 on them. Accordingly, I've never tried the *real* Poppy Kings! But these ones are great quality.

    2. Not sure if south Florida has T Joes, but if so--hello prosecco; I like sparkling wine a lot, grins; do you like Cava? If only vintage champagne weren't expensive: years ago I took my mom two/too to dinner and we each had a glass--the restaurant had a rather nifty champagne cart, and the occasion called for not worrying about price--and, well, it was really superb: so much yummier than any sparkling wine I've ever had. It'd be kind of nice if this champagne was a rip-off; it's a bit too bad for expensive things to actually be so duh excellent. MM, but in SF in June I had a sparkler from Alsace that was not expensive--not expensive for a chic restaurant in SF that is--and wonderful!

    3. Yes, I love cava too. I think there's a sweet spot with real champagne -- $40-60/bottle is great. I've had $100 Dom Perignon (after my college graduation) and it was so dead-dry as to be unpleasant.

  4. The jeans! I just bought a pair & they're great. Thanks for the tip.

    1. Yay! Aren't they comfy and nice? People have told me they've bought the cheese and body butter too. I love telling people what to buy. I want this to be my job.

    2. So nice. I wore them last night just to make sure they really wouldn't stretch out & get too saggy, but they stayed perfectly intact. Great recommendation. This SHOULD be your job!

    3. At the very least, I'll do these posts more regularly.