Perhaps I’m A Smidge Over-Attached

So yesterday I totally forgot to email the winners of Friday’s impromptu iTunes gift card giveaway because, well, I’m lame. And also because I got all wrapped up in an episode of Guiliana & Bill even though? Seriously? I think that whole show is scripted. I mean, I’m certainly not saying that I’ll no longer watch because they seem to be following some sort of general outline as they make their way through each episode, but last night I was thinking They totally made this up the whole way through the show. I’m not so sure that their house isn’t on a backlot at Universal Studios, either. But, you know, whatever. Guiliana’s hair is fab so KEEP THAT ENTERTAINMENT COMING.

Also, this has nothing to do with the giveaway winners, but Friday night I realized that at some point during the day I’d lost one of my beloved (AND I DO MEAN “BELOVED”) multi-color beaded hoop earrings. I think I’m on my third or fourth pair of them; I started wearing them about four years ago and have not been without a pair since because THEY GO WITH EVERYTHING. Plus, I adore a hoop.

So Friday night, when it came to my attention that one of my earrings had gone missing (apparently the earring was British, otherwise it would have just been regular ole missing), I went into Earring Recovery Mode like nothing you’ve ever seen. It’s a good thing, too, because I think I paid upwards of 7 American dollars for those earrings about a year and a half ago, and you have to be super-proactive when attempting to recover jewelry that valuable. I even contemplated alerting the authorities about the fact that my earring had GONE MISSING and then offering some sort of reward.

You know, something along the lines of a pack of Orbit gum or maybe even one of my most treasured Sharpie pens.

I called a store I’d visited earlier in the day to see if anyone had turned in a lone hoop earring, but alas, no luck. I finally accepted that the earring was gone forever (perhaps it decided to return to its homeland in England), and I figured that I’d run over to the shop where I bought them Saturday morning and see if they had a spare pair. Since I searched the internet for the earrings to no avail, the shop was my only hope.

This is starting to sound just a little bit like a Lifetime movie, isn’t it? Just a wee bit? Just a smidge overboard in the drama department, maybe?

Anyway.

Saturday morning I was UP AND AT’EM bright and early, and by 9:40 I was out the door so that I could be at the store when they opened at 10. When I got there I headed straight for the jewelry section, and at first the prospects did not look good at all. There were tons of hoops but not a multi-colored bead in sight. Just when I was starting to contemplate what my future would look like without a multi-colored hoop earring as a part of my daily routine, I spied a bracelet that matched my beloved earrings. So I handed the bracelet to one of the sales clerks, and I very quickly said something like, “ArethematchingearringsinthebacksomewherepleaseIdon’tknowwhatI’lldowithoutthem?”

She asked another clerk, who pointed her in the direction of a storage cabinet, and do you know that within two minutes that sweet sales clerk was handing me these?

MADE MY WHOLE DAY.

But I’m sad to report that they’ve gone up to 8 dollars a pair.

Quality comes at a price, my friends.

Anyway, I’ve enjoyed welcoming my new earrings into the family, and I hope that they’ll stick around for awhile. And I also think that I’m going to go back to the store where I got them and buy one more pair just so I’ll have some insurance in the event that one of the newbies decides to GO MISSING at some point in the near or not-so-near future.

I’ll be out 8 more dollars, of course, but the peace of mind will be priceless.

And even though I got a bit off-track with the whole giveaway update part of this post, I did want to tell you that I’m totally going to email the winners of the iTunes gift cards today.

So see? It all worked out.

My new earrings and I just couldn’t be happier about that.
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– Last week I wrote about my new OnStar FMV mirror (which I love, by the way). Here’s the review if you’re interested.

I Need A Title For This Post

If June was the month of Tending To My Teeth, then July has been the month of Caring For My Car. Today I had a new rearview mirror installed (it’s part of a campaign that I’m doing with BlogHer); I had an appointment at 9:30 this morning at a place that mostly does stereo installations, I think, and as soon as the little man and I walked in the shop, I knew that we were going to have to find something, ANYTHING to do besides waiting there.

Because it was hot.

And there were some big ole fans.

And sometimes big ole fans just feel like they’re recirculating all the hot.

Fortunately there was a Walmart next to the installation place, so I got my laptop out of my car (when we left the house this morning, I fancied having lots of writing time while we waited), grabbed my child’s hand and set out across the pavement. It was almost like we were pioneers in search of a new land, only the new land had already been totally paved and boasted some pretty impressive outdoor lighting. Not to mention that it also offered a full-service pharmacy and portrait studio. And Subway.

Anyway, once we walked inside the Walmart and were smacked in the face by some blessedly frigid air conditioning, I grabbed a cart and started steering it in the general direction of oh, I don’t know, wherever. I could tell after a few minutes that the new Walmart was in some ways a flip-flop of the Walmart by our house, and the more I thought about the fact that I’d walked into some sort of Walmart Opposite Day, the more disoriented I was.

Seriously. I was like a cat in a room where all the furniture had just been re-arranged. I mean, I didn’t go quite so far as jumping up onto a non-existent table, but I was a little confused.

At some point in all our wanderings I found myself right next to an aisle of adorable storage baskets (I’m pretty sure that they were where the purses would have been in our Walmart), and I stopped for a second because MY WORD, storage stuff is so much cuter than it used to be. After I took a good look at all the colors and patterns that they had, I decided to move along to the health and beauty aids section because apparently I never tire of looking at shampoo and conditioner and hair spray.

Seriously. It never gets old.

Anyway, an hour or so later we picked up my car and drove home, and as soon as I walked in my bathroom, I thought, Dadgummit – why didn’t I buy some of those storage things when I was all turned around in the Walmart? Because here’s the thing: right now I’m fully convinced that my make-up and toiletries and whathaveyou are the most profoundly unorganized that they’ve ever been. I like for everything to be really accessible, and for that reason I’m not really successful with any organizational system that requires me to dig in the deep, dark recesses of drawers and cabinets.

The flip side, of course, is that my current organizational system involves a couple of plastic Lancome make-up bags and an assortment of moisturizers and hair products scattered all over my bathroom countertop. Along with my hair dryer. The hair dryer technically has a storage spot in a basket underneath my sink, but the basket has gotten filled up with make-up samples that Mama gives me whenever she gets a Lancome free gift (hence the make-up bags I mentioned earlier), and I’ve gotten in the (bad) habit of just leaving the hair dryer on the counter. The last time Mama was here she had the idea of using this wire serving piece as a catch-all for my make-up, but there’s so much space between each piece of wire that smaller items fall through and bigger items just look flat-out bulky.

SO, INTERNET: what sort of system do you use to store your toiletries? Do any of you have an on-the-countertop system that’s clutter-free? Have you figured out any way to categorize your products that makes sense? I’m so bad at this kind of thing, but THE STUFF IS DRIVING ME CUCKOO. So please advise.

(And if you want to tell me how you keep all your earrings organized, I’d be perfectly delighted about that, too. Because trying to figure out what to do with all of them is an ongoing challenge.)

(Notice how I said “challenge” all diplomatic-like.)

(I would hate for my earrings to read this and find out that they’ve been on my nerves a little bit.)

Oh – and just FYI. I have four small-ish drawers on my bathroom vanity – and then double doors underneath the sink. In case you need a visual.

And if you have any links to storage stuff that works for you, link away. I’m feeling a little desperate – but so happy that the internet is always kind enough to help.

The Fashion Crazies

A little over a year ago Melanie and I signed up or signed on or agreed or whatever you want to call it to be the emcees for a new women’s event called .MOM (pronounced “dot mom”). It’s September 23-24 here in Birmingham – and up until recently, it’s been far enough away that I haven’t had to think about it very much.

(If that last sentence sounds like I might be just a wee bit terrified about the whole thing, it should. Because I am.)

(And last summer I almost called our friend Paige – who’s coordinating .MOM – about 16 different times to tell her that I’d changed my mind and therefore would not be able to participate.)

(I thought that saying the word “therefore” in my excuse would make it sound very official.)

(But one day in the car, when I was *thisclose* to calling Paige, the little man piped up from the backseat and said, “Mama, did you know it’s a sin to shrink back?”)

(And I said, “What?”)

(And he said, “It’s a sin. To shrink back. It’s in this book I’m reading.”)

(And I said, “WELL, FINE.”)

(And then I said, “What are you reading back there? HEBREWS?)

Anyway, now it’s (almost) July, and .MOM is sort of right around the corner, and in just a couple of weeks Mel and I have to go to Nashville for some meetings and pow-wows and whathaveyous about the (FINGERS CROSSED) witty banter for which we are responsible. And we also have to film some video.

VIDEO.

VIDEO.

VIDEO.

Oh, I could type it A THOUSAND TIMES and that still wouldn’t equal the number of times that word echoed in my head yesterday.

Because listen: the prospect of VIDEO is a tough one for a girl whose preference for behind-the-scenes is STRONG.

STRONNNNNNNNNG.

So, given all of that, I spent a chunk of yesterday looking for clothes that might work for the video. Keep in mind that I don’t have the faintest idea what works for video, but I figured that if I could find something that made me feel sort of cute then that was probably a good sign. Since I already have a fairly decent assortment of Maude-type apparel, I feel good about my layering options, but I really wanted to find a couple of pretty, feminine tops, some new jeans and a cute pair of wedges.

NO PRESSURE.

Needless to say, Steinmart(s) was my first shopping stop. The first few things I tried on reminded me that there’s a fine line between embellished and Bedazzled, but in the end, Steinmart came through with some decidedly un-Bedazzled tops. I really do think that the Steinmart that’s closest to our house is the greatest Steinmart in all the land.

I also found a couple of things at Kohl’s, but sometimes shopping at Kohl’s stresses me out because there’s the “retail” price and then the sale price and then the Power Price and then the extra 10% off that you get if you stand in front of a cashier and do the hokey-pokey and turn yourself around. Our Kohl’s was advertising an extra $10 off a purchase of $50 or more, and after the check-out girl rang up my stuff, I kept waiting to see an additional $10 come off my total. But then she explained that the extra $10 was in the form of Kohl’s Cash, and I could use my Kohl’s Cash the next time I was in the store and, you know, buying more stuff.

This is an excellent illustration of D’s theory that people can spend a fortune trying to save money.

I tried on a few pairs of jeans, but I didn’t have much luck. I found a pair at Steinmart that fit pretty well in the legs but created a muffin top so magnificent that I was tempted to christen it with a name. Honestly, I would have been horrified if I hadn’t been so tickled. I should have known not to try them on; they were low-rise jeans, and low-rise jeans are the enemy of those of us who are shaped like apples. I’m a classic-rise girl. I need to embrace that.

The search for jeans will continue this weekend, I reckon. I’m ordering a couple of pairs that I found online, but since they won’t be here until next week, maybe I’ll discover Jeans Magic in the meantime.

Jeans Magic is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? So hard to find, but so glorious once you get there. And a good pair of jeans – well, I can’t help but think that they’ll make the whole VIDEO thing a little less daunting.

And now that I have my permanent crown, at least I no longer have to worry about my misplaced tooth.

This is, I feel, a step in the right direction.
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I just posted a new $100 Visa gift card giveaway. The $100 Best Buy gift card giveaway ends today at 3pm central time.

Today And I Have Had Quite Enough Of Each Other

I have been beside myself with the PMS today. BESIDE MYSELF. It’s been so bad that at one point, when I couldn’t help but overhear an absolutely absurd conversation at the library, what I wanted to do more than anything in the whole wide world was to stand on a table and scream, “CLEARLY I AM SURROUNDED BY A BUNCH OF CRAZY PEOPLE!!!”

Obviously I must have missed my refresher course on patience and charm this morning.

I always know when I’m in for a particularly rough run with the hormones when I start to have A LOT of opinions. And my PMS opinions aren’t just any ole opinions, mind you – they are VERY RIGHT opinions. The rightest of the right, in fact. You could seek advice from the wisest person on the planet, and after you asked your question, he or she would point at me and say, “Ask her. She has all the VERY RIGHT ANSWERS.”

That’s how right I am.

The last time the PMS was this bad, I remember telling a friend of mine that I wanted to add some verses to Proverbs 31. And I wanted those verses to say something like, “She speaks her mind with great authority; she bombards her husband with all of her VERY IMPORTANT THOUGHTS. Not even the smallest detail is beyond her control.”

You can probably see why everyone around me was somewhat relieved when that particular case of raging hormones was over. I was delightful company – oh yes I was.

Anyway, tonight I’ve decided that I’m going to try to find a few positives in the midst of my current condition. Because if I don’t? Well, I’m a little afeared that I’m going to launch an all-out attack on the leaves in the driveway. Or I’m going to hit the washing machine with a hammer if it makes that “clicky” sound ONE MORE TIME. Or I’m going to get in my car and drive down the road and wind up confronting non-suspecting diners at a local restaurant simply because I don’t much care for the way that they CHEW THEIR FOOD.

OH IT COULD HAPPEN.

So. The positives.

1. Today I bought four bags of chocolate candy (two Hershey’s Kisses, Hershey’s Miniatures and bell-shaped Reese’s that are a REVELATION) at Walgreens and didn’t feel even a little bit guilty. Because the chocolate, IT UNDERSTANDS ME.

2. If there is any sort of snack food within a four foot radius of my person, I can smack it down WITH AUTHORITY.

3. Pringles Sour Cream & Onion chips have taken on a whole new dimension of flavor. This afternoon the little man was eating some chips for a snack, and I grabbed one (okay. FINE. four.) from his bowl. After I took a bite, I opened my eyes really wide and said, “WELL THESE ARE JUST DELICIOUS!” Apparently my hormones enable me to detect subtle nuances in all the artificial flavors. My senses are on FI-IRE.

4. My bangs wouldn’t cooperate for love or money this morning. They had this weird pouf thing going on, and no matter what I did, the pouf remained. Thanks to my hormonal state, however, I HAVE NOT LET THEM BEAT ME. My whole day has been a study in taming the bangs. Never you mind that they are still in a state of rebellion. THEY HAVE MET THEIR MATCH, AND THEIR MATCH IS ME.

5. It’s been a day when I have GREATLY ENJOYED the use of CAPITAL LETTERS because they help me EXPRESS MY OPINIONS with plenty of EMPHASIS in the APPROPRIATE PLACES.

So that is all.

And I’m going to bed now.

Or I guess I should say:

I AM GOING TO BED NOW.

After I eat a just a little bit more chocolate.

Priorities, you understand.

Pretend Troubles. I’ve Got ‘Em.

Last night I was watching The Rachel Zoe Project because on days when I feel somewhat overwhelmed by various and sundry stresses in my life, I find some small degree of comfort in watching Rachel talk about how, if she ever has a baby, it would be SO MAJOR if she could wear her black vintage Chanel cape in the hospital.

Why, yes. It certainly would be major. And also quite practical.

If you’ve watched the show, you know that Rachel is almost always worked into a mental and/or emotional frenzy over life’s most pressing issues. Like, for instance, whether Cameron Diaz will get to have “a white evening gown moment” on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. Or whether Demi Moore’s Oscar dress has feathers on it.

Because FEATHERS? ARE LITERALLY A NIGHTMARE.

(Rachel enjoys some inexact usage of “literally.”)

(And she LITERALLY DIES approximately 16 times per episode.)

The whole thing is bananas.

It cracks me up when I see Rachel’s obsession about completely trivial things ratchet so far off the charts that the chart becomes completely irrelevant, but part of the reason why Rachel fascinates me so is because I recognize just a teensy bit of myself in her.

I mean, first of all there’s the obvious similarity in that we both wear a size zero.

And second of all y’all know how much I love me a good beret.

But in all seriousness, I definitely have that same tendency to get worked up over what essentially amounts to nothing. You know this, of course, because you’ve read my blog. And you’ve witnessed firsthand the number of times that I’ve shared some overly dramatic thoughts about bacon.

Not to mention that Mississippi State football and basketball oftentimes LITERALLY KILL ME DEAD.

Well.

One day last week I ran into the Walgreens because I needed to pick up a couple of packs of Wintergreen Icebreakers (I DIE FOR THEM), and while I was there I thought about my dwindling supply of Mentholatum, a product that I have used religiously for chapped lips and other ailments since childhood. And just to be clear, you should know that if I could only use one health and beauty aid for the rest of my life, it would be Mentholatum HANDS-DOWN FOR THE WIN.

I actually looked for Mentholatum in Walgreens a few months ago and decided they were out of stock when I didn’t see it on the shelf. I didn’t think too much of it and just picked up some the next time I was in the Walmarts. Walmart can always be counted on to keep Mentholatum in stock for the whopping price of $2.12 a jar, NOT THAT I’VE MEMORIZED THE PRICE OR ANYTHING.

But on this last trip to Walgreens, they still didn’t have Mentholatum. Didn’t even have a place for it on the shelves. I was discouraged, but I knew that Walmart would once again come to my rescue. After all, they have been my primary supplier of Mentholatum-related goodness for upwards of 20 years.

TWENTY YEARS.

So Sunday night after church I ran in the Walmarts to pick up some sliced turkey (want more meaningless details? FINE. I also bought sliced roast beef, whole wheat sandwich rounds, bacon, roasted almonds, and some Cajun-style pistachio nuts that have proven to be DELICIOUS), and before I walked up to the check out I decided to swing by the pharmacy and pick up some Mentholatum. Because, you know, THEY ALWAYS HAVE IT.

But they didn’t have it. And even though there was no space for it on the shelves, I held out hope that they just needed to do a little re-stocking at the Walmarts and it would be back on the shelves sometime Monday.

ETERNAL OPTIMIST, I AM.

I didn’t make it to Walmart on Monday, but yesterday afternoon it was Destination Numero Uno on our list-o-errands. And do you know what? They still didn’t have Mentholatum. BECAUSE APPARENTLY THEY NO LONGER CARRY IT.

It was all I could do not to fling myself to the floor right there in the middle of the Cold Care & Analgesics aisle. But I retained my composure, thought maybe someone was mistaken, then double-checked the lip care section just to make sure the Mentholatum hadn’t wandered over there. You never know, after all. Maybe the Vicks Vapor Rub said something unkind and the Mentholatum decided to move closer to the Carmex.

IT COULD HAPPEN.

But the Mentholatum was nowhere to be found.

I have since conducted an exhaustive search of nearby stores as well as the interweb and determined that from here on out I am going to have to 1) order Mentholatum from drugstore.com (out of stock, just FYI) 2) order Mentholatum from Amazon (it just seems wrong) or 3) order Mentholatum directly from The Mentholatum Company. I’ll keep you posted on what I decide since I’m sure you’ll lie awake at night until you’re aware of how I plan to handle this UNPRECEDENTED CRISIS in my life.

And in the meantime, if you happen to stop by a meeting of The Over-Dramatizers Club, look for Rachel and me. We’ll be wearing faux fur shrugs and sassy berets while we guzzle our venti Starbucks.

And we’ll be DYING.

LITERALLY.
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There’s a new Kellogg’s $100 gift card giveaway over on my giveaways page – click on over if you’d like to enter to win!

These

I have never been a candy / mint / gum person. It’s just never been my thing. I mean, I love me some chocolate and all, but I’ve never really made a habit of surrounding myself with all manner of Starburst and Altoids and Extra and whathaveyou.

Brownies? Yes.

Oatmeal cookies? Sure.

Sweet Tarts? Not so much.

However.

A couple of years ago I discovered the best gum with the worst name: Stride. And while I’m never going to be somebody who chews gum all day long, I developed a fondness for the dark blue Stride. It’s not anything I carry in my purse at all times, but it’s definitely my gum of choice.

Even still, I really didn’t understand why some people would leave the grocery store with 12 packs of gum or 4 bags of gummy worms or 14 tins of Altoids. The appeal of the candy aisle was sort of lost on me.

For the record, the appeal of the potato chips aisle was never, ever lost on me. Oh no ma’am. Not for one second.

Just rest in the peace of knowing that.

But one day this past fall – when I was in an airport, I think – an impulse purchase at a newspaper stand changed my life forever.

DO YOU HEAR ME?

FOR-EV-ER.

I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.

I don’t know what it is. I don’t know why the Icebreakers have a hold on me in a way that Altoids never did. I don’t know why I start to feel anxious when my stash runs low and WHAT IF I RUN OUT? I don’t know why their minty freshness delights me. I don’t know what “flavor crystals” are.

But one thing I know for sure: the Icebreakers and I are in this thing for the long haul. Apparently there was a mint-sized hole in my heart that only they could fill. And now – AND NOW – my life is complete. At least as far as candy is concerned. Which, granted, is probably the least important area of personal fulfillment. But still.

So, people of the interweb – what’s your “long haul” candy? Do you have a favorite?