It’s All About the Jeans, People!

So a couple of weeks ago something amazing happened.

I found The Perfect Pair of Jeans.

I know, monumental, right? Any woman out there knows what I mean. It’s virtually impossible. But I found them. For me, that’s no small feat. My measurements just don’t conform to whatever freakishly-proportioned mannequins that most brands use to size jeans. They just don’t. I’ve dealt with this for YEARS. I’m sure that the stylishly cute J Brand jeans that Duchess Kate always wears would fit perfectly on me.

Trouble is, I’ve got a budget. I just can’t afford jeans that rival the price of monthly rent. So I’ve made do. For years Old Navy was my standby. $19 for a pair of jeans? Yes please. But after several pairs I noticed that you get what you pay for. They shrink. And not just the around-the-butt shrinkage. They actually get SHORTER. That’s a problem. So I nixed Old Navy as an option.

For a while I had a love affair with Lucky Brand. And if you catch the sales just right, you can end up with a great pair of jeans for 50% off of 50% off. Which basically amounts to an average-priced pair of jeans. Not bad. But then – of course – Lucky discontinued my go-to fit and didn’t replace it with anything decent. Bye bye Lucky Brand.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I keep up with two blogs religiously. One of them is the Big Mama Blog. No, she’s not really Big Mama. There’s a story behind the name. Big Mama, aka Melanie Shankel, is hi-larious. Seriously. She’s just the perfect start to my day.

The other blog is written by a ‘self-employed businesswoman-wife-stay-at-home-mom’ who shall remain nameless. While I enjoy her blog, it’s sometimes hard to read about how busy her days are, what with going to the gym, meeting friends for lunch at the mall and shopping at Nordstrom. Multiple times a week.

BUT – after reading for the umpteenth time about how she ‘loves loves loves’ her Always Skinny jeans from The Gap – I had to check them out.

They fit. Perfectly. Soft fabric with just enough stretch that the rear doesn’t start to sag like a diaper after a few hours.

Heaven.

I know, call me shallow. But I challenge you to find ANY woman who doesn’t know what I’m talking about.

Normally, jeans from The Gap are out of my budget. But on this particular day, the stars aligned and they were 40% off. 40%!! That’s huge! I snapped them up immediately. (The anonymous superwoman blogger would have ‘love love loved them and bought three pair.’ I can’t do that. I’m on a budget.

I wore my Perfect Jeans three or four times. It was wonderful.

And then The Spouse decided to help me finish the laundry. Cause he’s thoughtful that way.

Yep. You guessed it.

He put them in the dryer. THE DRYER.

Guess what? Now the only way I can wear my Perfect Jeans is to go retro-80s by laying down and using a coat hanger to zip them up. Talk about an ego boost. And they look like capris. Yep. That short.

Now, The Spouse has agreed that he owes me a pair of my Perfect Jeans.

Guess what? They’re out of stock.

Seriously.

Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.

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It’s a Nordstrom Giveaway, Folks!!

So I’m doing something new today. I have NEVER tried this with the blog, since I normally hate it when people ram advertising/suggestive selling down my throat. But this time I can’t resist! Shay over at Mix and Match Family is hosting an awesome giveaway. And, get this:

YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO HAVE FACEBOOK TO ENTER!! YOU CAN JUST USE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!!

Are you ready? You should be. Just click on the pic below to check out Shay’s blog and enter for $500 of Nordstrom goodness.

Shay and Sheaffer 12 Days of Christmas Gift Card Graphic

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Thank You, Jenn!

I can’t say it much better than Jenn does today:

http://www.peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.com/2013/11/i-am-worlds-okayest-mom.html

Thanks, sista!!

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Working Mom Needs Problem-Solving Skills!!

Newsflash – I’ve got issues. Don’t we all?

And here’s the deal: a friend gave me some advice a while back in regards to blogging. I need to be less despondent. Good point. So today I’m not despondent.

I’m frustrated. Really frustrated. About a few things.

See, a couple of weeks ago I wrote about my conversations with certain people and their comments towards my ‘lifestyle.’ I’m still mad about that. Mad because one of those people a) obviously hasn’t read what I wrote or b) didn’t recognize themselves in the writing. If they had they would have told me, right? Too bad other people don’t think and act the way I want them to!

Well, I’m caught between a rock and a hard place at the moment. I’m tired. Really tired. I need a mental health day. But there’s no time for that. And for once, I’m also motivated to get some stuff done around the house and for the fam. But there’s no time for that while I’m sitting at an office computer for nine hours a day. By the time I finish the hour-plus commute home I have about two hours to get anything done before I just drop.

And there’s actually stuff I want to get done!!

Wait, here’s where that person needs to insert his comment about ‘the lifestyle I chose’ when I was 20. How I knew this is how it would be and should just suck it up. Seriously. I wouldn’t put it past him.

And no, I’m NOT trying to pull the ‘poor me’ card. Sorry if it seems that way, but I’m not. I’m really frustrated. Because after I take care of any errands during my commute (since some of them just can’t get done at lunch), get home, put on my pj’s (yes, that comes first), eat dinner, spend some time with the minions and get them into bed – it’s after 9:00 and I can’t stay awake any more.

When am I supposed to do anything creative? Bake my mom’s pumpkin bread? Zumba? Yoga? Read a book? Journal? Heck, just watch a movie? The problem is I’m most energetic and motivated to do this stuff during the day. And my lifestyle trumps that. Which reminds me…

About a year ago, I mentioned a particular person and their smug-lifestyle-I’ve-got-it-better-than-you blog. I’m sure they didn’t read what I wrote either – or if they did, they didn’t recognize themselves. See, this person wrote a detailed blow-by-blow description of their day. It went something like this (keep in mind she’s talking about a weekday):

Today was the first really cold day of fall! I loved it! My day was spent:

Cooking and eating yummy pancakes for breakfast

Reading by a warm fire

Putting dinner in the crock pot

Cuddling in warm blankets

Eating yummy snacks

Unpacking Christmas decorations

Listening to Christmas music on my iPod

Knitting

Eating more yummy snacks and drinking hot cocoa

Taking a nap by the warm fire

That wasn’t even the end of the list, y’all! Really! And she was smugly humble-bragging about it! AND supposedly homeschooling her kids. Guess it was a homeschool holiday or something, since kids and teaching weren’t mentioned once. I really wanted to smack her upside the head.

Why does this make me mad? Because it was such an in-your-face ‘I’ve got it better than everyone else’ attitude. Dang. I wish I could have ONE day like that. I sure wouldn’t spend all of it eating.

What would I do if I got a day like that? Let’s see… Zumba or a long walk/run outside. Dinner in crockpot. Quiet time to read/study. Paint. Clean out the fridge, pantry and the minions’ closets (since trying to do that when anyone is home is a nightmare – they hoard). Errands. Lunch with minions at school. Chick flick or LMN and maybe a nap. Journal. Scour the bathrooms the way I can’t when anyone else is home (because as soon as I start, someone’s gotta go). Bake cookies so the boys can come home to that fresh-baked-cookie smell. Help them with homework. Family dinner time.

And THAT’s why I’m frustrated, folks. How can I find the time to do any of it?? Like I said, this is NOT a despondent post. I’m seriously looking for help here!! I know plenty of working moms who are able to actually function at home. How do you do it?? Advice please!

 

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Whole 30 – Day 1

So, I gave in. Most of my office is totally into the paleo-Whole 30 thing. Since I’ve known for quite a while that my diet includes WAYY too many carbs ( and by that I mean that’s unfortunately most of what I eat), I decided to give it a go. Disclaimer – I’m doing a MODIFIED version of the Whole 30, because there’s no way I could go 30 days without coffee. Just. No. Way. It’s an essential nutrient. And, let’s face it, technically coffee comes from a seed, right? Which makes it a plant. So it should be ok.

How am I doing so far? Not great.

Let’s see… Breakfast was scrambled eggs. Without butter, which – to me – is part of the point of scrambled eggs. They’re supposed to taste buttery, dangit! But at least I got some protein.

7:30 AM – Got to work for early training just as the headache set in. One of those nasty headaches that burns and feels like you’ve been punched in the face. Hoping it’s just a mental reaction to skipping my usual gluten-filled toast breakfast.

8:15 AM – Nope. No luck. Headache is still growing and I’ve finished my one cup of coffee that I’m allowing myself. Switching to green tea. Oh, and early training was cancelled.

9:00 AM – Now I’m getting grouchy. Not just irritable. Downright hostile. And wouldn’t ya know – someone put out fresh pumpkin bagels in the kitchen. And leftover Halloween candy. Really? Seriously? They had to do it today? Unfortunately, yes.

10:00 AM – The bagels are calling my name. Loudly. Begging me to put them into the toaster oven and top them with butter. Yes, in case you were wondering, bagels really can beg. They’re good at it.

11:25 AM – Caving. Have to eat something. Grudgingly heat up the oh-so-tempting bag o’ brussels sprouts that I brought for lunch. Honestly they weren’t bad salted and peppered – until one of the office guys came in and told me exactly what he thinks brussels sprouts smell like. Lunch in garbage.

So right now I’m lightheaded and hungry but still kind of determined to stick it out. Any of you peeps out there who have done this Whole 30 thing – does it get any better? Is it really worth it?? Cause right now I just want to go and put all of those pumpkin bagels out of their misery!

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Having a Moment

I’m still simmering over the conversations I blogged about on Monday. Notice I said simmering, not steamed. So I guess the silver lining is that I must be calming down a bit. But I’m calm enough now that instead of shouty-capitals-Aim, I’m sittin’ on the pity pot.

And that’s bad.

Doesn’t help that our realtor’s timeline just doesn’t match with mine. Dangit, I want this house sold NOW! (insert whiny toddler voice for that last word)

And (a really big) part of me wants to confront the person who thinks I should be living in a shack with a dirt floor and happily scrubbing laundry by hand.

So my first instinct is to spend my lunch time in retail therapy. At Nordstrom Rack. But that’s not really gonna help either.

Sorry, y’all. Just having a moment today. Ladies, you know we all do.

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Risin’ Above My Station, Mum…

Downton-Abbey-2

It’s Monday, and I’m a bit steamed. But not because it’s Monday.

I’m steamed because apparently – as the Dowager Countess would say – I ‘aspire beyond my station.’

WHAAT?

That’s right, folks. I wasn’t really aware of it until now, but a couple of conversations over the last few weeks have let me in on the fact that there are people out there who think I belong Downstairs. Not just random people out there. People I know. Here’s what I mean:

I was chatting with a colleague a while back. This colleague happens to be in the planning-the-family stage, so what they consider a ‘busy’ day comes with a big grain of salt. Anyhoo, I’ll go ahead and remind y’all that I work in the world of Sales. No, I don’t sell anything. But this colleague is one of the Sales Guys. Meaning Big Commissions (that may or may not actually come to pass) and job security based on bringing in the Big Commissions. Basically it’s feast or famine. Which will be relevant in a couple of sentences, I promise.

So, like I said, this guy and I were chatting and the talk wound around to kids, babies, timing, etc. I asked what his wife (a career gal in her own right) was planning to do after they had a baby. His response? “Oh, she’s gonna pop the kid out and never work another day outside the home in her life.”

Let’s skip the whole ‘SAHM’s vs. Working Moms debate’ for now and just go with his response as meaning that she plans to be a fulltime mom for the rest of her life, OK? Ok.

My natural response was, ‘Wow, good for her. That would be nice. I’d love that!’ Which is exactly what I said. Keeping in mind that, at this point in the conversation, I was four days into a 40-hour work week with a three-hour (give or take) round trip commute, two minions involved in scouts and soccer, grocery shopping from hell, and a stalled home renovation. Not to mention my loving cat who occasionally forgets where to pee and chooses the couch instead.

And then he dropped the axe. The bomb. Napalm. Wanna know what he said??? I’m sure that all two of you are dying to hear… Wait for it…

“Yeah, but you married a teacher. A teacher. You live a completely different lifestyle and can’t expect to be able to do that. You knew that when you got married.”

EXCUSE ME???!! REALLY?? Because I married a TEACHER I have to accept my lot in life as the poor red-headed stepchild forever doomed to work fulltime?? Because I married a TEACHER I will never have access to a home in ‘your’ kind of neighborhood? Because I married a TEACHER I should have known (when I was TWENTY-ONE YEARS OLD) that I was choosing a life of ‘poor but happy ‘drudgery?

No, he didn’t say all that. But it was implied. And you know what?

I’m pissed. NOT because what he said was true, but that anyone would pigeonhole me that way.

So let me get this straight. Because I married a TEACHER, we are incapable of making a financial plan. Because I married a TEACHER, I should not aspire to go out to trendy restaurants with friends, shop in non-big box stores, travel abroad, or aspire to stay home with my kids.

In other words, I’m supposed to hang with the staff and not Upstairs. Know what made me even angrier? A repeat of almost the same conversation, verbatim – with someone I know really well.

And yes, I know that ‘other people’s opinions of me are none of my business.’ But this hit home. It hurts to know that (apparently) this is not an uncommon opinion.

I’m sorry, but we are not ‘poor.’ Do we live on a budget? Yes. But my TEACHER spouse has job security. And insurance. AND we don’t use credit cards. My minions are well-fed and clothed. I know how to put together a pretty stylin’ ensemble – even if most of it does come from Targé, Old Navy and the local outlet mall. I know the difference between a salad fork and a dinner fork. Yes, the Spouse mows our lawn himself. Yes, our cleaning lady looks just like me. My kids think a luxury vacation is to San Antonio, not to a fully-staffed villa in Belize. We DO actually go out to eat as a family – and not just to Taco Bell. For the record, I hate Taco Bell and haven’t eaten there in about ten years.

I guess my main point here is this: (shouty capitals alert…)

DON’T YOU DARE TELL ME WHAT MY ‘LIFESTYLE’ IS OR SHOULD BE BASED ON MONEY. OR A JOB. OR WHAT YOU CHOOSE TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE.

How dare they??

For the record, I smiled, turned away and ended both conversations. Filter full-on. That’s a first – but here I am venting about it…

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