Monday, July 26, 2010

Spent - A Review

On one of the morning shows a few months back I saw a segment about a memoir called Spent: Memoirs of a Shopping Addict by a woman named Avis Cardella. (Please note that her first name is an anagram for "Visa," which actually caused me to question her credibility, but I suppose natural coincidences do occur.)

Naturally anything about shopping intrigues me, and I've often wondered about my own reliance on retail therapy, so I bought it. Honestly I wasn't expecting anything more than a "real life" version of Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, but I was pleasantly surprised to find Cardella's tale was definitely more serious and read as extremely sincere.

She spoke of shopping as a distraction and as an action to be completed as a release. Her addiction got so bad that after her shopping trips she didn't even enjoy her purchases, she just hid them due to the shame. It may sound silly, but that is a nightmare to me, for something you enjoy and love so much to become a cold transaction, something you feel compelled to do and then immediately regret.

Regardless of my own interest in shopping and fears of retail dependency, I think I would have enjoyed the book anyway. Cardella opens with a few anecdotes of famous shoppers and brings the reader in with her concise prose. She appeals to our emotions with stories of shopping with her family and, while she doesn't dwell on it, how shopping changed for her as she came of age and then developed as an adult.

Throughout the book, no matter how dire her circumstances, she never seems to succumb to self pity and her tale never comes across as one of woe, but of precaution.

All in all it is an extremely well-researched, well-thought-out memoir and I would definitely recommend picking it up on your next shopping trip.

GOALS Update:

- Located the book, didn't get back into reading it yet.
- Have 2 checks ready for deposit in Savings.
- Applied to 4 jobs for the 4 days last week (it wasn't one per day, but I applied to as many jobs as there were days in my work week).

Not too shabby, hoping to keep it up.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Back from vacation for just one day and I'm feeling motivated. In the past couple of years I've seen that I'm capable of really positive change and I want to keep that going. Plus I recently got back to running and I'm already seeing results, which always gets me motivated, so I'm setting some goals for myself.

Ranging in size and significance, here they are:

- Finish "The Devil in The White City" by Erik Larson. The book is is based on actual events from the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893 but, while the information is interesting, I just lost interest. After a friend informed me that she'd struggled similarly with the book, but finished, I decided it's time to see how this story ends. DEADLINE: 7/31.

- Meet my next savings goal. Last month I met a big one, but I don't want to just rest on my laurels, so I want to keep the money momentum going. While this deposit will be smaller than my last one, it will still be sizable and I'm confident that if I exhibit a bit of restraint when it comes to shopping I can do it. DEADLINE: 9/10.

- A Job a Day. This is the big one; I want to apply to a job a day (weekdays only, weekend postings are infrequent at best and shady at worst) until I figure out the next step in my career. This is a lofty goal, I'm aware, but whatever I'm doing right now clearly isn't working, so I need to be more aggressive and more creative. Maybe I'll come across the perfect job I never knew I was looking for. DEADLINE: N/A

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rush, Rush

"No Time! There's Never Any Time!" - Jessie Spano

I am notoriously waiting til the last minute to do things and today is no exception. Tomorrow morning we leave for Vegas for the wedding (doesn't it seem like I've been talking about this forever) and tonight I have to perform several beauty-related tasks, see my friend's newborn baby (congrats Karen and Phil!) and actually pack (because I only fake-packed last night, which means I retrieved some of the items already on my packing list from my closet).

So tonight I'm sure I'll be up til 1am or so and tomorrow I'll be exhausted as I drive to Queens (probably running late again) so we can get a ride the rest of the way to the airport.

On the plus side, we are flying Virgin America and I can't wait to report back on how it goes. I've wanted to fly them since they launched in August of '07. Until my cousin launches his kid-free airline I'm sure that this will be favorite (or so I hope).

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Regulating Rompers

Last night on my train ride from Long Island to NYC two girls got on one stop after me and both of them were in rompers. The first girl, who was more petite and wore the style better, had on a purple and white patterned strapless romper in a dressier fabric (perhaps charmeuse?). The second girl, who really wasn't built to be wearing a romper in the first place, let alone a cheap ill-fitting, wore a black romper with a floral print in a decidedly more casual fabric (pretty sure it was cotton).

For starters, did they not call each other to discuss what they were wearing? It's not like they were both wearing dresses, rompers are far more distinguishable. Granted they were different patterns and color schemes, but the cut and lengths were extremely similar.

But allow me to get to my real argument: Rompers are not for everyone and they're not for every activity. Just because they're on trend right now does not mean that they're appropriate for a night out.

You still need to consider fabrics, patterns, and accessories. A silk romper, by say Geren Ford or Haute Hippie, could certainly be worn with heels for a night out in the city, but save the cotton for the beer gardens, block parties, and other activities of the like and, please, wear them with flats. Maybe you can get away with heels with a more polished cotton, but there are exceptions to every rule.

Now for the second part of my argument: the logistics of wearing a romper on a night out drinking. Every time you go to the bathroom you have to totally disrobe and, I'm guessing, the fine establishments these, seemingly under-aged, girls were headed to were not going to have the most pristine restrooms. So now you're drunk and getting almost totally undressed and you're outfit is hitting the nasty bathroom floor. That's just not a chance I'd be willing to take.

So it's not that I'm anti-romper, I'm actually quite pro-romper when worn correctly. But that's how I feel about any item of clothing. So I guess my point is more about appropriate dressing in general rather than rompers specifically. I just think the recent popularity of rompers is highlighting how one a trend hits the mainstream there is always the possibility of it being abused.

Friday, July 9, 2010

F21: The Preggers Edition?

When I think of Forever 21, I think of college and sparkly "going out tops," or a store that's great when shopping for costumes, even a fallback option when I've failed to find a little something at H&M. What I do not think of is maternity clothes.

But apparently all that's about to change, as NYMag informed me via Tweet, because F21 is branching out to start a maternity line.


I mean, is this serious? I feel like there should be a little star under the "Love 21 Maternity" header on the website that says, "Brought to you by MTV's 16 and Pregnant."

Perhaps I'm over-reacting, probably because on a recent trip to the store I came to the harsh realization that I will NOT be forever 21 myself, but this just seems like the oddest brand extension I've heard of in awhile.

Upon closer examination I found that it's mostly solid tops and leggings with a few handbags thrown in the mix (handbags, not diaper bags, so I'm guessing they were just there to bulk up the slim - er, limited, selection).

Even so, I'm going to need some time to let this develop, you know, like a fetus. [shakes head, so weird]

For Hire

So by now, if you're reading this blog semi-regularly, you know a couple of things about me; I'm into fashion, I'm looking for a job, I love to write, I always appreciate a good sale and I value a dollar, and I'm passionate about all of these things. If I could find a job that combines all of them it would make me extremely happy.

Unfortunately I haven't had much luck on the job search front and right now I am extremely frustrated.

Each day I come into work and check my job search e-mail, then I check's Whisper Jobs, then I check, and I usually check Craigslist and too.

As I apply to these positions I try not to be pessimistic and think how they're probably just posting the position because they have to legally, but they're really planning on promoting from within.

I also try not to get my hopes up about a job I feel I would be perfect for because, while I may know it in my head, maybe I didn't tweak my resume just right so it shows up on paper that I would be the best fit.

When I don't hear anything I try to cheer myself up by thinking positively; Sure, I've been out of the game for awhile, but hopefully someone who was unemployed and was more qualified and needed it more than me got the position.

But to be honest, I'm just disheartened. I'm a hard worker. I've tried writing 'out of the box' cover letters, I've tried using my connections, I've been applying to jobs in various fields consistently, so when is someone going to call me for an interview?!

Oftentimes I find myself thinking that I am not where I thought I'd be, where I'm supposed to be, but I'm still not entirely sure of where that is exactly. Maybe it's just 'anywhere but here' syndrome, but whatever it is, this whole job search process is draining me. Clearly, since this is entry is a little more Debbie Downer, a little less "rant." *Womp, womp.

Not that I'm going to let this keep me down, I'll be back up for another round, but at the moment I'm beaten down.

(For the record: the rhyming was unintentional, rapping is surely not one of my passions.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

AllSaints Sale!

This morning I opened my AOL mail, where I have all of my shopping and junk mail sent, to find a lovely surprise: an e-mail from AllSaints announcing a sale of up to 50% off!

Naturally I went on the website immediately and began perusing the sale selection. At most I had 4 items in my cart, but whittled it down to 1, very beautiful and quite unique, top.

After completing my purchase I began to daydream about the different ways in which I will wear my new "Draconis" top, so here's one 'brought to life' in a Polyvore set: