* with apologies to Mindy Kaling (aka Kelly Kapoor, on The Office)
The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her.
— Marcelene Cox
Ok, here’s a brief list of things I’ve bought recently that I adore, and want to share with you in the hopes that you might love them too:
- Gap Essential cut jeans: I’ve had to find new places to shop since losing weight, because I sized out of the places I relied on for years. That’s a great feeling, to be sure, but it’s also been kind of a pain in the ass, because before, I could walk into a store, pick my preferred style of jeans in the size I’d worn forever, pay for them and be done in under 10 minutes. Now I actually have to try stuff on, and I have to take three sizes of everything into the dressing room because I don’t know how the sizes run in “normal” stores. Anyway, when I was in Houston with Aimee, we went to the Gap at the Galleria and she patiently waited while I tried on about 20 different pairs of jeans – different sizes in different cuts and different washes (shopping is hard) – but it was worth it, because these are the jeans I was meant to wear.
- Naturalizer Leisure Plus knee-high boots: I have been on a quest to find knee-high black boots for I don’t know how long. Apparently I have freakishly large calves, because I could never find a pair that I could zip up. I tried everywhere, even Zappos, the online shoe mecca. Everything I bought, I had to return, and I was convinced I just was not meant to wear knee-high boots. But then one day, I was perusing Zappos again, convinced it was hopeless, sure I’d tried every boot they had to offer, and lo, I came upon this pair. I ordered them without much confidence (but with great security – Zappos offers free overnight shipping and returns, so I wouldn’t be out any money if they didn’t fit), and they arrived the next day. I opened the box with trepidation, slid them on, and then, the heavens opened up, the sun shined down, and angels started singing – they fit! I wish they were leather, but hey – beggars can’t be choosers, huh? Now I just need to find a brown pair and my life will be complete.
- Canon Powershot A720 IS: This was my birthday present to myself, as you may know, and I love it. 8 megapixels, 6x zoom, video capability, and a ton of other stuff I don’t even know how to use yet.
- Cadbury Creme Eggs: Maybe this one’s a little silly, but I know Spring is just around the corner when I see these at CVS (who, luckily – or not – sells them for the low, low price of 2 for a dollar). I know some people are repulsed by them, but I love them better than any other Easter candy (except maybe jelly beans, but you can get jelly beans all year round). In case you’re not familiar with these, Wiki helpfully explains: “The egg has a thick milk chocolate ‘shell’, with a white and yellow fondant filling designed to resemble the yolk and albumen of an egg.” Sounds gross, tastes great!
- Trader Joe’s Organic Jasmine Rice: This is genius. It’s a box of three bags of frozen rice – no additives or preservatives or anything. All you have to do is cut a small hole in the bag, pop it in the microwave for three minutes, and next thing you know, you have perfectly cooked rice for two! They also have brown rice, which I love as well – the brown rice I cook from a box does not turn out like that – but they never have both at the same time. The guy said it had something to do with customs, I don’t really know.
- Simply Enjoy Thai Peanut Asian Sauce: I think this is the store brand from Stop & Shop, but I bought it at Giant, and I think it’s available at Safeway as well. It’s delicious – it’s the only store-bought dressing I’ve found that comes anywhere close to the peanut dressing on my favorite salad in the world, the Santa Fe Chicken Salad at the Cheesecake Factory (I have them leave off the cilantro dressing and just bring me the peanut dressing). I’ve not actually used it on salad myself (but now that you mention it, I think I might try to recreate that one at home), but I dip pot stickers (another Trader Joe’s favorite) and egg rolls in it, and I add it to chicken stir frys. It is delicious, and not bad calorie-wise (70 cal, 4g fat – no saturated or trans fat – per 2 tablespoons, which is more than enough).
- Cover Girl LipSlicks: This isn’t a new find, but it’s really the only lip stick/gloss I’ve worn for 5 years (I remember that I bought it for the first time to wear in Nate’s wedding) so I thought I’d spread the gospel. I wear Daring, which is a wine/red/burgundy color, but there are lots of others to choose from. It’s sheer, not sticky, and gives plenty of color and shine. It’s the perfect lip color, in my opinion; I keep one in every bag.
That’s it for now. But tell me: do you love any of these products, too? Or is there something else you’ve loved forever or just discovered you can’t live without? I want to know!