Friday, July 31, 2015

How to have a Successful Outlet Shopping Trip

I don't even try to deny that I love me some outlet mall shopping. Always have, since the first time I experienced the glory and majesty that is outlet shopping. I think part of it is due to what Kev calls, my "seemingly endless ability to walk around and look at stuff".

I don't deny it, I really can look at stuff forever.

Last week while Kev was away I opened the mailbox and saw this....

Well, well, well, I knew what I was doing on Saturday. Since I love outlet shopping so much, I thought I would share some of my favorite shopping tips.

 - Wear some comfy shoes. I can walk endlessly in sandals, so I'm good either way, but there's nothing worse than smooshed toes when you still have a lot of shopping to do! But not too comfy. Anything with laces is a no-go. I hate having to take off my shoes and re-lace them each time I try something on. Don't get me started on shopping in boots either. 

 - Be smart when you choose your outfit for the day. I saw ladies in maxi dresses and gladiator sandals on Saturday. Poor choice.... Again with the having to take everything off.

 - Stay hydrated! I stopped and got a beverage on the way there. Really though, you need to drink, unless there aren't many bathrooms at your outlet mall, or they;re far apart. In that case, drink next to nothing.

- Look for gems in unexpected places. I found these awesome shooties at the Gap outlet and they were an additional 20% off, plus my coupon. They're perfect for the fall. I'd never expect to find cute shoes at the Gap, but I've had pretty decent luck there.

- Sign up for coupons. I know. we all hate the endless sale emails, but you want those coupons when you go to the outlet. I send all those types of e-mails to my yahoo. That way I can filter out the things I care about and the junk. That weekend I had a coupon from the Gap outlet for an extra 15% off all sale and clearance. Yes please!

- For $10 Tanger Outlets will sell you a lifetime membership into their "savings club". Each time you visit you van get a coupon book that has an extra % off. I did that last year when we got my MK purse and the extra 20% off the bag more than made up the cost of the program. And they send you extra coupons. 

- Plan to visit around holiday weekends. The outlets are more crowded then, but the Labor Day / Memorial Day / Columbus Day sales are usually pretty good!

- Get something for Kev (or your Kev) when you go. It helps deflect the number of bags you bring home. :)

Those are a few tips for a successful outlet shopping trip! So, what did I get?

At the Hanes outlet I got 2 pairs of clearance crops and 2 sport bras. They were 75% off and $8 apiece. NICE! Oh, and a pair of Zella crops from Nordstrom.

I so love this waterfall / kimono / cardigan sweater from the Loft. I wore it on Monday with a black dress underneath and it was super cute. It's going to be even cuter with tights and booties in the Fall. 

Not from the outlet but one of my folks had on this sweater the other day and I fell in love with it. She got it at Target and no lie, I went and got it at lunch that day. It's so soft and perfect for the fall, or now in a cold office. 

I KNOW... I have a small cardigan problem. Really though, this one is super lightweight AND it matches the stripes in a dress I've had for a while. A white cardigan looked dumb with it but it was all I had. Until now. :) This one is from the Gap

And I totally got the gray shooties from the Gap.

All in all, a pretty successful trip! 

What re your favorite outlet shopping tips?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Things I Learned While Kev was gone

The last week Kev has been away at a convention. You may think by the collage that it was a bacon convention, sadly, it was not. But by the number of pictures of bacon he sent me, you would have thought it was.

I didn't post him being gone, I wasn't terribly concerned about anyone coming to my house and touching my butt. I was more worried that Cleo would mess someone up.

We've had various things to attend in the past and have spent a few days apart but when either of us have big conferences to attend, one usually joins the other for a few days. Since I just got back from Orlando and we're heading to Europe at the end of the year, I needed to say home and save my days. This might be the longest we've been apart since we've been married. Crazy!

Well, since Kev was gone for almost an entire week, I realized a few things would happen if I were home alone more often.

 - I would eat Mexican food almost every day if it was just me. I love me some Mexican food and Kev just isn't a fan. I might have eaten it 3 of the the last 7 days...

 - All the plants would die, We really only have one plant, and it's a pot of basil. Thankfully I remembered to water it yesterday. I didn't want him to come home to a dead plant.

 - It's quite a bit cleaner around here..... No comment

 - I would go to the gym more. Last week I went 5 times. Because it was just me and the dog. Going to the gym filled the late hours. If it wasn't for Kev, I might have abs. lol

 - The garbage would never be emptied. As I'm typing this, he comes home tomorrow and the garbage can is at critical mass. I can shove like 3 more things in there before I have to get a new bag. I can make no garbage before he gets home. Garbage is gross.

 - I would know how many rolls of paper towels I had. Before Kev left  he told me we were out of paper towels. So I spent the next 4 days wiping my fingers on my pants. Sunday I bought paper towels and when I put them in the garage, what did I find? Paper towels...

 - The dog might actually start listening to me.

 - The bed covers are always neatly tucked in and it's made when I get out of the bed.

 - There's no one to tell me not to buy naughty food. I had golden Oreos and hot tamales while he was away. It's all delicious, but I don't need them. Thankfully I went to the gym 5 times.

 - It's also pretty lonely. I'm glad that he's finally home! Welcome back Kev!!

Linky Linky!

#Hashtaghumpday @ Life with Lolo

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My Love Affair with Ross

I think we all know that  I kinda love Ross, a lot. They have no idea who I am or that I'm writing a blog post about them. I've had a lot of shopping success there so I thought I'd share my secrets. I know some people love TX Maxx and others love Marshall's but Ross is my jam. 

One of the big reasons is that there aren't all that many racks of clothes to look at. I have a tendency to get overwhelmed when there are a lot of clothing choices. Forever 21? I can't even. There's no rhyme or reason to that store, the racks are too full and there are 17,000 different styles on one rack. Nope. 

If you're anything like me, I think you'll love Ross. So here are my tips to a successful Ross trip!

 - Not all Ross' are created equal. This might sound strange but it's true. I have friends who can't eve find anything when they go to Ross and I usually don't walk away empty handed.. There are several Ross in the area but I always go to the same one, and that's the one I send everyone to. 

If you're local, the Ross in Morrisville is my jam. I have a friend who has pretty good luck at the one in Durham on 15/510 too. Definitely skip the Brier Creek and Triangle Town Center locations, the one at Triangle looks like it was looted. 

If you don't find anything at one, try another location, don't write off the entire chain!

I may or may not have bought this dress in the short and long version...

 - Don't just look in "your size". When I go, I scour the medium rack as well as the larges, you never know what might be hiding in there. Since we don't have consistent sizing in the US, you have to try on a LOT of different styles to see what looks best on you. Honestly, though, I'm never going to buy an XL or anything over a size 10 because I'm vain. If it doesn't fit, I'll find something in my "size" that does. 
This dress was $8!!!

 - Ross is the BEST place for dresses, Hands down, love, love, love the dress selection. I think I bought a sweater there, once.... Everything else has been nothing but dresses. 

It's no secret that I love dresses, The more selfies I take, the more I realize that dresses look better than pants on me. I have a small-ish waist and big hips, so I need the definition of a waistline.

Two years ago I looked everywhere for a formal dress for convention and ended up spending more than I wanted. This year I got that blue dress for $14.99 and got SO many compliments on it. 

 - Think outside the box! Sometimes you'll see something that doesn't quite look like "you" but you never know until you try it on. I have one dress from Ross that was $24.99, everything else has been under $20.
This isn't outside the box, it's totally me, it's black and striped. $11.99 no brainer.

 - I love going to Ross during my lunch time, especially on days when I'm already wearing a skirt / dress and have my spanx on. That way I know how it's going to look. 

- Ross is a GREAT way to try out some trends that you might not be sure about. If you drop $20 on it and only wear it that season, no biggie. I like to spend more on staple pieces that I'll wear year after year, like shoes and jackets. My tastes change all the time and something I loved 4 years ago, sits unworn in my closet.
I NEVER thought I'd wear a jumpsuit but I LOVE this one!

Everything in this post was bought at Ross, and let's be honest, it's not everything I've ever gotten there. If you have a Ross in your area, head on over and check them out! You won't be disappointed.

Ross, TJ Maxx or Marshalls?

Do you have a Ross nearby??

Linking up!

I do deClaire
Monday, July 27, 2015

Scenes from the Weekend

Is it really the end of the weekend?? Oy, I need a vacation, or something. Maybe I need to work from home more but really, I don't get much done when that happens. lol.

Since I do this every Monday, it's time to talk about the weekend! Friday after work, I headed home and took Cleo for a walk and tried to figure out what to eat for dinner. I couldn't decide what I wanted so instead I went to get my nails done. My old nail salon moved to a new location that's further away, and while I really like them, the last few times I went, it took forever.  Now I'm auditioning new salons. 

One just opened by my house and they were having 20% off, so there I went. I don't know how else to say it, but all they guys looked like they came off the Jersey Shore. Asian Jersey Shore. So much hair gel and tattoos. Awesome.

The guy who did my nails was the grandpa of the shop and he had a mole that had 3 long ass hairs growing out of it. They were 5 INCHES LONG. I couldn't stop staring. How does he not know they were there?!?!? I am so paranoid about face hairs and I'm constantly touching my face to see if any errant hairs are creeping out. Please friends, if I have a random hair on my face, TELL ME. Don't be embarrassed, I will love you forever if you just tell me.

They did a decent job and I'll give them a second chance. The salon is super nice but their gel manicure is $2 more expensive than the other place I go. 

On my way out I grabbed this and took a gamble on a butter popcorn sucker. It was bacon, and gross.

I ended up getting Outback to go and ate the whole damn thing, I was starving.

I slept in like it was my job Saturday and I when I woke up, I had one thing on my mind...

I had coupons, and I got an email from the Gap Outlet with an extra 15% off everything. Yea, we all know what was happening. 

Before I did, I had to stop for a beverage.

Mmmmm. Iced Passion tea, unsweetened.

I had a pretty successful trip, I'll post my finds later this week along with some outlet shopping tips. I was there most of the day and on my way home stopped at the regular mall. I have a few things I'm looking for the fall but I think it's just too early right now, all he summer stuff is still out. I don't know about you, but I'm over summer fashion. I know I still have many more months to go, especially here in NC, but I'm ready for some cooler temps, scarves and shooties. 

After a long day of shopping, I stopped to get some groceries. The rest of the night it was just me and the dog.

Sunday morning I was up bright and early and Cleo and I headed out for a walk. After she pooped 2x and peed 3x we made our way home. Really, why doesn't my dog pee at 10pm before bed but on a walk, I need two bags? My dog is strange.

Later I headed to Omega Sports to get a swim kick board. If I have any hope of doing a triathlon, I HAVE to get into the pool and my form sucks. 

While I was there, I was talking to the shoe lady about how my hips have been hurting after my runs. Not one hip, but both, which is strange and a new ailment. I'm kinda paranoid that I'm just getting old and need a hip transplant but I was hoping it might be my shoes instead. 

I've been wearing Saucony Rides for the last few years with an insert. The inserts give the neutral shoe a little bit of stability that the shoe people think I might not need any more. She told me to take out my inserts and give that a go. I've been wearing my running shoes and inserts to Pump and it might be pushing my hips out during my squats which is no bueno,

I also tried on some different shoes, ran on the treadmill and found some new friends.

I've heard a lot of good things about Hokas, I'm going to give them a whirl and see how it goes!

I needed to get paper towels and vitamins, at Target, because where else would you get those things? At Target I saw these... Please no. No no no no..I'm having flashbacks to fraternity parties where we thought wearing overalls was the coolest thing ever. They weren't.

Friends don't let friends buy overalls. Especially when said friends wore overalls together back in the day and thought we looked awesome and now realized we didn't

After all the shopping I headed to the pool for a few hours with my kick board. Now some blogging and bed.

How was your weekend??

Linking up with BLoved Boston!AND

Thursday, July 23, 2015

How to class up yo' table

Sometimes I see blog posts and think, dang, is that really a blog topic? But heck, I guess that's the beauty of blogging, you can post whatever you want because it's the internet. heck, if a cat playing the piano can get 4 million views, my BS can too.

When I had the choir brunch a few weeks ago, I fancied up my napkins and while I was doing it, I thought, let me take some pictures of this in case I need a blog post one day. Then I sat on it for a while and wondered if anyone would really care. But heck, I write about things that only 3 people care about all the time, why should this be any different?

So here it is, how to class up your table when you have guests. 

Let's say you have a large group of people coming over and you need to set out napkins. Cause you're fancy and stuff and instead of setting a roll of paper towels out on the table, you bought some of the "premium" napkins. While they're nice, it's hard to separate them and a plain ole stack of white napkins isn't exactly "stylin".  Now you can fancy this -ish up!

1. Take 'yo stack of plain ass white napkins.

2. Make a fist and punch it in the center of the boring napkin pile.

3. Start twisting your fist while pressing into the pile of napkins. Look at them start to spread!

Keep pressing and twisting.

Until your pile looks like this!

You can also use a glass for the same effect, but then I'd have to get a glass and put it away. All about efficiency folks!

And that's how you can class up yo' table.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Things I Wore Recently- GYPO Week 2ish

If you remember, a few weeks ago I posted about the GYPO Summer Challenge. I posted the first week, then in the middle of the second week I went to convention. After I got back, I never really finished the challenge, I was only back to work for one day, then the rest of the week it was a long weekend. Ooops. 

I did take some awkward bathroom selfies for the first few days and I have a few other outfits to share.

GYPO challenge day 8, I wore a black polka dot skirt from Target (last year), white graphic tee from, and Gap outlet cardigan (old)

My tee says "stay classy". heh heh...

Day 9 - Eyelet skirt: Steinmart (recent), Green tee: Jane,com (last year), Jean Jacket (no idea when or where I bought it)

Day 11 (I think) - Maxi Dress from Kohls (recent), Black Cardigan: Target (old)

I love this maxi, a lot. It's super flattering and comfy. Really though, for all the people who say maxis are too long for them, I'm 5'3", you can pull it off if I can!

The week after I got back from Convention, I had 3 days of training to facilitate. I wore this dress the first day, which I also wore the first day of convention. I got it at the Banana Republic outlet in Orlando. Looking at the pictures, I look a little bloated from my trip. Hmmmm. I do love this dress though.

I left my phone at home on day 2 of training but I had it on day 3. I was head to toe Limited this day. The shirt is a recent clearance find and the pants are old, they're the exact stretch pants. Love them.

And finally, yesterday. I was all about Target yesterday. The shirt, skirt and vest are all fairly recent. I haven't owned or wore a vest since the 90s. It's really been that long, but I really kinda love this one. It's a great extra layer that isn't too hot, and it has pockets. 

I'm still trying to get used to my new shorted hair. I'm pretty sure I don't like it. I wish it was like an inch longer. Ugh... well, wait a few weeks and it'll be better. In the meantime, I'll figure out something to do with it. :)

What's your favorite thing to wear this summer?

Linking up!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Scenes From The Weekend

I know that the weekend starts on Friday evening but some interesting things happened during the day. Well, maybe not that interesting but hey, why not?

I spent the morning catching up on some much needed reports and paperwork... is anything really "paperwork" anymore? There's no paper...

Alright, after all my paperwork, I needed a mind afternoon pick-me-up so I headed to Ross (more on that later) and to get an iced coffee. It's coconut coffee season at Breuggers and it is delicious iced. Well, next to the Breuggers by my office is a Jake's Wayback Burger. I've never eaten there but I heard it was good. My impression of the place changed drastically when I saw this.

I tried to move the table to get a better picture but people were staring at me. There's a reason why they hid it. That is a SLIM JIM MILKSHAKE!!! Who thought this was a good idea?? Really? Have they run out of things to put in milkshakes? If you want to protein pack your shakes, just add some protein powder, NOT hunks of smoked meat. Vom,,,,, 

Unbelievably, the chocolate cricket protein powder wasn't the most disgusting thing on the advertisement.

I got back with my coffee and headed over to the empty office on our floor to see how my interns were coming along with their decorating. 

Last week, my boss was sitting on his back porch with a beer and thought it would be awesome to have a haunted house to educate the staff on the new software features we were debuting this week. It's a "Creature Feature". We have 5 rooms decorated like different horror movies.

I worked on the Mummy Room.
Some days I leave work and think, nope, I can't put that on my resume. Nope.... This is what my interns do, decorate empty offices and dress up as creatures. I thought my internship at the Andy Warhol museum was pretty cool, I got to play with his time capsules and catalogue the contents but yeah, they get paid to do this, My internship was $0.

Friday night Kev and I went to Bolt Bistro for dinner. My cocktail was yum but my food not so much. I also left my phone in the car so no pix.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early for Pump class, Well, 10am early. It's the perfect Saturday morning class time. Sleep in and still get a morning workout? Perfect.

I got home and had a hair appointment to get my roots touched up at 130. Kev wanted breakfast and we "thought" we could get to Briggs for breakfast and still get to my appointment. Nope. We called and the wait was 10 minutes. We got there 5 minutes later and the wait was 20-25 minutes. Grrrr.... It was too late to go anywhere else so we just decided to wait. 

My food was gross. Everything tasted like plastic. I told my hairdresser and she said that Briggs went downhill and tastes like old people. I don't know, my food was gross but the server was messy and that was a huge turn off for me. She splashed water and coffee all over the table, the coffee pot she left on the table was wet, it was just messy... and plastic-y.

Saturday night we wanted to see Trainwreck but sadly it was sold out and we went to Ant Man instead. Dang this weekend sounds depressing. It really wasn't that bad, I swear. 

Sunday morning is groceries and laundry. As i was leaving, I saw this in my cul du sac. That's a family of 7 asshole deer. I hate them. They have no people fear. They run in front of cars, eat our flowers, just are a general nuisance. They were back when I was walking Cleo and she really, really wants to chase them. If I thought she would come back, I'd let her but Cleo chasing dear equals a half hour of me chasing Cleo.

The Big Spoon lady was sampling all their nut butters. Since I have 0 self control when it comes to nut butter I walked out with this one and a belly full of samples. Nom....

A few weeks ago we had a work happy hour and I discovered this deliciousness. 

Today I found it at Trader Joe's. Yay.... It's in my fridge now. 

I also found this, much to Kev's delight. 

Then we took Cleo to the pet store for a wash. I take her to Unleashed and for $15 you can use their facilities, supplies and they clean up your mess. I think it's a great deal. Clean dog and I don't have to clean the bathroom. Win win.

She's never happy to get a bath and at Unleashed there's a wall of what I refer to as "awful animal parts". You can get beef trachea, dried duck feet, moose knuckles, you name it, they dry it and dogs eat it. I let her pick out something and she went with what might be an elephant ear.

That thing is huge. Now she's lording over it. Because the cat will take it. The cat never takes anything...She doesn't want your dumb elephant ear. At least she smells good now.

After bath, I went to the gym, folded laundry any ended the day with some blogging. Not terribly exciting this weekend but I have a clean dog, which is an accomplishment.

Tell me you did something awesome.

Linking up with BLoved Boston!