shopping – akaemi.com
 

Category: shopping

spending money & acquiring stuff

I had entirely too much trouble locating the appliance accessories I needed. Thankfully, the delivery and installation process went much more smoothly.

The delivery guys called before hand, and they showed up right at the beginning of their delivery window. They were a little concerned that they had the wrong washer and dryer, as we didn’t buy a matching set. I assured them that we did that on purpose, as we picked out the Consumer Reports recommended machines, and those typically don’t come in a matching pair.

I showed the installer guy all the parts I had bought the day before, and he pointed out that I had purchased a 4-prong RANGE power cord. Not a dryer power cord. WTH?! (To the dad: that means ‘what the heck.’) What’s with appliances not coming with, oh, um power cords? Ranges, too? I had been so excited to finally find a 4-prong power cord (there were 3-prong guys everywhere), that I grabbed the first one I saw. Which apparently was for a range.

Luckily, as the husband likes to point out, I’m purty. So the installer guy had pity on me and threw in the right power cord. For free! Yay! Being a girl doesn’t always suck!

They had the machines installed in no time, and gave me the quick run-down on how the new-fangled machines worked. They set them both to do a short cycle, then told me they’d be good to go once they finished.

So I did what anybody would do if they had just bought a new washer and dryer: I ran out and bought something to wash and dry!!

I found the nearest Kohl’s, as they carry my favoritest towels. And I made sure they were on sale – there’s no reason to buy those towels at full price when they go 40% or 50% off every other week.

There was a Sears on the way, so I returned the extra washer hoses. And also a Best Buy, so I returned the range power cord.

I bought the towels to, um, you know, furnish the guest bathroom? Since we’ll soon be having regular guests! And then some jeans. Because I live in the land of the deep fried butter now!

I ran a load of towels, followed by a comforter, a load of jeans, and a load of darks. Everything seemed to work! I kept forgetting to close the detergent tray in the washer, but there’s a pause button on the washer that halts the load and unlocks the door, so I was able to remedy the situation. I’m not sure what happens if you don’t notice that you forget – I hope that it figures it out for you and halts the load. I am pretty sure that I will find out at some point. 🙂

The best part is, the washer and dryer both play a happy little tune when the load is done! So you can pretend that laundry is a joy and not a drudgery. We’ll see how long that trick works.

I dropped the sister off at the airport in the morning, giving her plenty of time to make it through any amped up 9/11 security. And then I had the day to myself, to accomplish one thing: buy hoses, a vent, and a power cord for the washer and dryer that were being delivered the next day.

The first Best Buy I stopped at had none of the things I needed, but they directed me to a store that would have them. I put in a major shopping effort at the Target next door (I bought at least one of everything), and unloaded it all at home before venturing out again.

I found the next Best Buy, but all they had was the dryer vent. So I bought that. And then they directed me to another Best Buy.

I had asked the husband to research me a microwave, and he found one. I passed a Sears before I found the next Best Buy, so I stopped in and picked up the microwave. And also washing machine hoses, since they had them in stock.

I found the Best Buy, and they had 4-prong power cords, so I picked one up. And also washer hoses, just to be on the safe side. In case Best Buy hoses are different than Sears hoses.

Mission accomplished! Or so I thought …

The husband and I have been planning a trip to Phoenix for months. We’ve carefully planned out our itinerary: a Star Trek Convention, an Easter Pageant, some theater (Nine), a Cowboy show, the Grand Canyon, the Phoenix Zoo,  the Arizona Science Center, and the Pueblo Grande Museum.  Do we know how to party or what?

We purchased the Star Trek tickets ages ago (priorities!), but I hadn’t booked the theater tickets or the cowboy dinner.  It was on the to-do list, but I just kept putting it off.

I signed up for the Phoenix Groupon and Living Social emails when I knew we were going to be in the area, as that strategy paid off for our trip to Vegas last year.  (Half-price Gameworks day passes and Atomic Museum tickets!)

So, what should appear in my email inbox but a Groupon for the Cowboy show!  Followed shortly by a Nine deal.  I’m still holding out for Grand Canyon, Zoo and Science center deals.  Here’s hoping I get lucky!

5’10”, baby!

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oooh, strappyI’ve always been wary of heels.  There is the discomfort part.  And then there is the wobbly-walking part.  I manage to trip over my own feet when I’m walking in sensible flats; better for me to stay away from extravagant heelage.

The husband’s company party is coming up this weekend, and in an effort to not embarrass him again*, I thought it best to invest in some appropriately flashy shoes.

I sent the husband a link to JC Penney’s ‘evening’ shoes, and asked him to pick out the ones he liked.  He was immediately drawn to a pair of 4″ heeled, 1″ platformed, super strappy, painful looking shoes.  I then asked him for a backup option.

Much to my surprise, however, I found that when I tried them on at the store, I could really walk in them.  Slow to regular speed, of course – there ain’t no obstacle-course running going on in these shoes.

It does take some, uh, serious finagling to get the shoes on.  If there had been anybody watching me try them on at the store, I’m sure they would have suggested I try a larger size.  But once they are on, they fit like a glove, and hence, no wobble.  My normal instinct is to buy my shoes half a size (or more too big) for, you know, comfort, but that has generally backfired for me on my past heel purchases.  Hence my tendency to stay away from them.

Now, these shoes are not comfortable by any stretch of the imagination.  I don’t know if I’ll really be able to wear them all night at his party – I may be saved by the fact that a large portion of the time I will be sitting down.  I did manage to wear them for about 30 minutes tonight, walking up and down two flights of stairs several times, without my feet complaining to me – but now that I have them off, my ankles are quite upset with me.

Better wear the ortholites tomorrow!

*I’ve never really embarrassed him.  What he doesn’t realize is that nobody even notices what I wear to his work parties.  I bet not a one of his coworkers (nor their wives) could tell him what I wore last year.

leavenworth

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Early this year, the dad and I plotted and schemed a vacation that would be a little more fun than just sitting around the hometown.  The husband and I only visit my family once a year (if that), so I wanted it to be, well, fun and exciting!  And the dad loves travel as much as I do, so he was easy to convince.  🙂

The dad suggested Leavenworth, a charming little Bavarian village 2 hours east of Seattle.  It’s all decorated in ‘ye olde’ Germanic style (even the McDonalds!), and it exists strictly for the sake of tourism.  Which means you should totally visit!  They need your money …

He found a house to rent, just outside of town.  With 4 bedrooms, a loft, and 3 bathrooms, it was perfect for our family-reunion needs.  There was no cell phone service and no GPS lock at the house due to the towering mountains on either side, but the location could not have been more gorgeous.  The lake and mountain view were amazing.  Having been out of the Pacific Northwest for the last 10 years, I now have a better appreciation for its beauty.

We saw wildlife, kayakers, and gondola-surfers glide by on the lake every day.  The department of fish and wildlife stopped by one morning with their scuba gear to check on things in the lake. I watched people scuba dive!  In a frigid mountain lake!

And the weather!  The weather was perfect.  I was a little wary, as we went in August, and Seattle had quite the heat wave right before we headed out.  But, once we arrived, the heat wave crashed and we had lovely 60-70 degree days.

Leavenworth is a ski village in the winter, but in the summer, they have a theater festival.  The mom got us all tickets to the three plays they put on this summer, so every evening, we had a show to see.

The first night was Singin’ in the Rain.  It was on a lovely outdoor stage – complete with rain effects (probably unneeded on many nights …) and a gently sloping hill for natural theater-seating for the audience.  We parked at a fish hatchery and walked through the fish hatchery grounds to get to it – so I suppose those are some very entertained fish.  Verdict: good play!  Liked all the leads.

The next night was Pirates of Penzance.  I was most excited about that play, because all I knew about it was the Ray Stevens’ song.  Unfortunately, the husband and I had skipped our afternoon nap that day (which is vital if you live on the east coast and are visiting the west coast), so the old, british, comic opera was a little lost on us.  The actors did their job, but watching a 130 year old commentary on 130 year old times meant, well, that we missed a lot. Verdict: meh, but mostly because I had no background on the play before going into it, and I was fighting sleep for the last 40 minutes.

The last night was their showcase play, Sound of Music.  They do it every year in a wonderful hilltop theater – so the hills are literally alive with the sound of music.  It’s quite a hike to get up to the amphitheater, but once you do, it’s well worth it.  They had some set changes that seemed unnecessary (2 minutes to change the set for a 3 minute scene), and there was a snafu where a nazi flag was left up after a set change.  Overall, though, it was their best play.  Verdict: if you only see one, see this one!  Oh, and be sure to bring a jacket.  Once the sun goes down, it gets cooooold up on that mountain, even in August.

So that’s the night-time review …

During the day, we took it easy with eating, b3 baked all manner of yumminess, and playing card games.  Oh, and the shopping in town!  They have toy stores, a crazy hat store, candy shops, ice cream shops, more candy shops, gift shops, tourist-souvenir shops, and a nutcracker store.  I bought a pound of fudge at the. best. fudge. place. EVER.  I’m thinking of joining their fudge of the month club … The sister bought a caramel apple at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  We are sooooo related.  🙂

I tried really hard to buy something from the yarn store, but every time I went, they were closed!  I tried first on Wednesday, which happens to be when they are normally closed.  So I headed back on Friday, just to find a note taped on the door to let me know they decided to close for the day.  After some pouting (on my part), the mom convinced me that the quilt store around the corner had a small yarn selection, so we headed that way.  I picked out some lovely (but expensive!) lorna’s laces sock yarn, that the sister said looked like ‘Jayne’s hat colors’.  And I’ve just finished her socks!  The heels turned out a little tight (it’s the first time I’ve done that particular kind of heel), but maybe some blocking will help.  I’ve never blocked socks before, so this could be an adventure …

I highly recommend a trip to Leavenworth for a laid-back touristy fun visit.  It is obvious that everything is done for the sake of tourism, but that doesn’t make it less fun.  The one downside is finding parking in town, but once you get parked, let the shopping begin!  (mmmmmm, fudge ….)

I’ve been dreaming about a spa retreat for months now, and I’ve been saving my allowance.  (No, seriously, the husband and I get an ‘allowance’ – that way we don’t feel guilty when we buy silly little – or big – things that are purely for our own enjoyment.  It works pretty well for us.)

After doing some research, I finally booked a trip to Berkeley Springs, WV.  It is less than 2 hours away, and it is, well, pretty cheap.  I expect it to be a ‘quaint’ and ‘rustic’ trip – not quite the 5-star pampering I first imagined in a spa retreat – but I think it’ll be a nice break.  You know, from my hectic life of … working 8 hours a day.  With no kids.  And minimal housework (that’s what cleaning ladies are for!)  And plenty of free time to knit and stuff.  But, whatever.  Even the spoiled deserve some, uh, spoiling …

The 4th of July holiday is soon arriving, and that is when my solo adventure starts.  I’ve booked a ‘charming’ room in a B&B, complete with ‘gourmet’ breakfasts and an ‘opulent’ dinner.  And don’t forget the claw-foot tub!  I’ve booked a mani/pedi at tripadvisor‘s second rated Berkeley Springs spa.  And I’ve booked a half spa day at tripadvisor’s highest rated spa.

All for the same price as a day at a spa in northern Virginia.  Plus, I get several blocks of cute shops to spend (what remains of my) allowance in!

Happy 4th, everyone!

retail therapy

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Sitting at work this morning, I stared at the hibernate crap that’s been driving me nuts for the last week and a half, and realized that I didn’t want to be there.  At all.

So I sent out an email (this place sucks, I’m leaving, kthxbai) to let my coworkers know I was bailing for the day, got in my car, and drove to the outlet mall.

Did you know that there is nobody at the outlet mall on a Tuesday morning at 10 am during a recession?  It was great, I had the place to myself for the first hour, and it never really got crowded.

Four and a half hours, $319, 3 pairs of jeans, 8 shirts, 2 sweaters, 6 scrunchies, a belt, a set of pajamas and a vending machine Twix later, I was all set.  And my arms were killing me.  Carrying around shopping bags is a killer on the elbows.

Now it’s time to clear some space in the closet!  I think the husband has some things that need to go …

still alive!

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No less than TWO of my family members were starting to worry about me since I haven’t posted in awhile.  So yeah, here I am, still alive!

So, just to recap, in my time away from blogging, I:

got summoned for Jury Duty

had Christmas in Texas

decided to write another murder mystery

knitted two Jayne hats

knitted a pirate sock and a half

decided to host a candle party

bought some new sweaters in 75% off January

got pretty and went to the husband’s company party

bought travel books for Italy!

and, talked to a financial planner.

Except for my time in Texas, I have been freeeeezing the entire time.  The butt-cold does NOT agree with me.

And I am exhausted.  I know I just had a holiday with New Years and all, but I am so ready for this upcoming 3-day weekend.  So very ready.

a little bit luxe

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So while on my Kohling adventures, I took a stroll through the towels to try to find something suitable for my new bathroom.

With sage-green walls and light-taupe tile, I was leaning toward an orangey-rusty accent color, but the husband nixed that idea.  He hates red, orange, and everything in that color family, so that was a no-go.  Seeing that the master bath is where he starts the day, I figure he should get some say in how it’s decorated.

So we decided on purple.  But purple is kind of on the outs in bath colors at the moment, so it’s been hard to find a shade + texture that met my standards.  Every kind of green is available, as are neutrals (white, ivory, taupe, brown, chocolate, it’s all in your local bath store).  But purple is a more elusive find.

But I found the towels!  By none other than Vera Wang.  They are thick and luxurious, and they come in a lovely plum that accents my sage bathroom nicely.

And the husband approves.  So now I have wonderfully luxurious plum and taupe towels for my new bathroom.  Now all I need is bathroom shelves (or maybe a bench?), and my new room will be complete.

want, volume 2

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vera wang bagToday at Kohls on my quest for jeans that fit (yay for curvy Levis!), I saw something that made me stop and take a look:  Vera Wang hand bags.

I love purses.  At any given time, I try to keep my collection to less than ten, but it’s hard.  I have to admit, I can’t tell the difference between a vuitton or a or a spade, and I will likely never own a ‘real’ purse.  My vera wang green bagpurses all come from Target, Penneys or Kohls.

But back to the purses!  They are a little larger than I’m used to, but they are oh-so pretty.  I’m considering saving up my allowance to buy my first over-$50 purse.  Or maybe I’ll just wait for a crazy-sale day …

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