Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Tonight will be night number one without The Dictators soother.

I would be such a big fat liar if I said I was fine with this; but the truth be told I am so not fine with it. For one it means my little boy is officially a big kid, and more importantly I have lost the ability to plug him to get him to calm down. The soother was a big tool  the only quiet inducing tool in my parenting arsenal you know?

What finally brought me to this decision?

This week I had a few people over from my Mom Group for lunch and a playdate and my friend DogMama was telling me how Mayson has been without her soother for a week now and it wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be. This made me think that maybe it was fine time to ditch our soothers, because like DogMama said “do you really think it is going to get any easier”? Hell to the no it wasn’t going to get easier, I was just hoping he would grow out of them and decide he didn’t need them anymore.

Heh. I much prefer when my child takes care of his own parenting needs…

Knowing in my heart that this was never going to happen I decided that today was the day.

After nap-time I piled all the soothers I could find into the soother jar and hauled The Dictator off to Toys ‘R Us (first we picked up Grandma Danielle). The deal was that he was supposed to hand his jar of soothers over to the cashier to pay for his new toy that he picked out. First my darling son picked out two annoying and loud toys (a talking Mater from Cars and a fire station) and second he was much too distracted by the giant gumball machine at the checkout to even care about giving up the soothers.

To top it off AFTER I explained the situation to the idiot casher she was so confused she gave The Dictator back his soothers. What about the following conversation is so hard to understand?:

Me: My son is going to give you a jar of soothers as payment for his new toy – please put that jar in this non see-through green bag and hand it back to me after OK?

Her: OK. That will be 35$ please.

Me: Whip out debit card – have The Dictator cermoniously hand over the soothers in the jar….

Her: Oh you want to buy this jar of assorted soothers too?

Me: Um no, he is paying you with the soothers that go in the green bag right?… wink wink.

Her: Oh.

Her: Hands the jar of soothers back to The Dictator, who is thankfully distracted by the gumball machine.

Me: Do me a favor, make sure you don’t tell the kids there is no Santa Claus at Christmas OK? That would be a total deal breaker….

This was not a smart girl.

When we got to the car we made a fuss over how big The Dictator was and how all the little babies would like to have his soothers that he left at the store. He seemed pretty OK with it but MY chest felt tight and I was breathing funny and tearing up at the same time. I seriously was freaking out on the inside.

Edited to add:

WTF was I so concerned about? The kid asked for it a few times before bedtime and then went to sleep last night with no issues whatsoever.

Obviously I was the one with the issues.


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I am as blind as a bat.

I am also somewhat cheap.

Each year I need to have the prescription updated in my glasses or I face the wrath of constant headaches and nausea. The problem with this is the outright expense and the fact that I get sick of my glasses after a year and want new frames. Usually this costs me $400 – $500 a shot with all the scratch and UV coatings added in. I do not necessarily purchase designer frames nor do I go to a ridiculous ’boutique’ optical store – so really my cost is quite normal.

Now that we have The Dictator and The Deuce is fast approaching I have come to realize that children are very hard on my glasses. They are always dirty from sticky little hands and more then once I have outright thrown an old pair out because someone broke them. I have also always wanted prescription sunglasses (because I break the clip-on or lose them almost immediately) but the cost of such an item has been prohibitive.

I have been looking online for a while at glasses, and one day Googled Cheap Prescription Eyeglasses and was taken to at least 6 different sites offering wicked deals on glasses. After doing some research online and reading reviews I decided to go with Zenni Optical for my first foray into the cheap eyeglasses world.

Zenni Optical is a company that is registered in the USA, but your glasses will come from Hong Kong. This made me a little nervous at first but the overall reviews were favorable so I decided to go for it and order 3 pairs of glasses.

I have always wanted a completely rimless frame but with my high prescription I needed to upgrade to such a high index lens that they just were not a financially viable option (considering I may hate them). At Zenni Optical you can pick the color of the metal and the actual lens shape and size, the ones below are the exact ones I purchased. They showed up with beautifully polished lenses and my prescription was bang-on. Maybe even better then what I got for $500 here in Hickville City. I like them, but I am pleased I never paid $800 here for them, because they really are not worth it.

Rimless Frames with Upgraded Super High Index Lens/UVA and UVB coatings/ Anti Scratch $40.95

Next I picked something a little more sassy then I would normally choose, since they have almost a full frame on them I decided to go for the regular lenses. I am very very pleased with these glasses.

Burgundy fashion frame with regular lenses with UVA and UVB coatings/ Anti Scratch $34.95

Finally I picked a funky frame to turn into sunglasses (upgrading to sunglasses lenses is under $8 extra, unlike other places who want to charge a $150 for tinting on top of the prescription). These are great and I love them, but next time I will choose a larger frame for sunglasses to get more coverage.

Prescription Sunglasses with regular lenses and with 80% Grey tint and scratch coating $35.85

In every pair my prescription was bang on and the quality of the lenses seemed perfectly fine to me. The lenses were all nicely polished on the outside edges (note my last pair of $500 glasses did not polish the lens edge leaving them looking dull and cheap – a big deal if you have coke bottle lenses like me). They were well assembled and all fit pretty well right out of the box with minimal tinkering.

A few tips if you do go this route:

  • Get a copy of your prescription from the eye doctor. By law they have to give it to you. Maybe go for a whole new eye exam and start fresh.
  • Make them also measure your pupillary distance and give you those values. Often they will try to tell you whoever sells you your glasses will do it for you but I told them I needed them to order custom made goggles through work.
  • Have some patience. It took a week to get my glasses made and then another 1.5 weeks to get to Canada. I have heard of much longer time-lines, but at under $40 a pair I was OK with waiting.
  • Take a good look at your glasses. Measure the width, lens height, temple arm length and bridge so you get an idea of what will fit similar online. I also took into account that I am usually drawn to rectangular glasses with the hinges close to the top and not in the middle. These things all come into play when choosing a frame online.
  • Don’t be too set on the color that appears on your monitor; it will likely be a bit different when you get them since not all computer display colors the same.
  • If you are squeemish depending on online glasses initially, remember they are cheap online and maybe try ordering your “backup” pair or get some sunglasses to see how it all goes.
  • They have children’s frames too, and you know how expensive those can be and how often they need replacing.

Also keep in mind: Total invoice including shipping, eyeglasses cases and nice microfibre cleaning cloths for each pair: $118.65 (American funds). For. Three. Pairs. Of. Glasses

Totally worth it.

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In the last week I have spent 3 nights in Las Vegas with my Mom and Stewart on a “Girls Only but Stewart Can Come too Shopping Holiday”. Although it was a real treat to get away I do have a little ranting and raving to do about the holiday.

United Airlines/Ted has to be the second worst carrier I have ever flown (Worst? America West! Hands down biggest goat-fucks ever!). Although the staff in Hickville City and Denver were fine (totally excellent in Denver) and Flight Crews were great;  the airline staff in Las Vegas had to be the slowest, laziest and worst we have ever encountered (funny how my issue with America West was Las Vegas based…. hmmmm).

The Las Vegas ticket agent was likely the slowest person I have met in my life. It played out like this:

Scene: get to the counter and produce the online printed tickets for 3 people – 2 flights each; so 6 tickets total. Nita puts her suitcase (which is the largest of all 3 suitcases) on the weigh-scale.

Ticket agent takes tickets and decides that the tickets need to be ripped apart from the paper they were printed on so that they will be standard ticket size. One by one he fold the paper 8 times slowly over and over to create a crease to rip on. He then picks the paper UP and rips it – not smart enough to hold the damn ticket against the counter after folding one time and RIP…… seriously it took close to 10 minutes for him to shoddily rip 6 pieces of paper. In the meantime for the full 10 minutes my suitcase is on the scale and he is looking at it.

ticket agent: Your bag is too heavy. 58 pounds the limit is 50 pounds.

Nita: the other two bags are way underweight – can’t we just call it even?

ticket agent: Nope

Nita: how much to add the 8 pounds?

ticket agent: $100

Nita falls over throwing a fit (not really).

ticket agent: Just put 8 pounds of stuff in your Moms bag then it is all even. (like my Mom wants my dirty panties in her bag – yuck).

The fucker agent made me take the bag off the scale to transfer the items (previously the airlines would let you pull out the 8 pounds and transfer it instead of guessing like we did) and put them in my Mom’s bag. So once we guessed mine down to 50 pounds he tossed it on the convayer belt without even letting me lock the damn thing up. There was a 700$ purse in there with no lock on it! Ugh.

Now, I totally understand the weight restrictions (my father busted his back as a baggage guy all his life) but seriously this was a medium suitcase (not large) with nothing heavy in it. Way too many airlines have dropped the 75 pound baggage down to 50 pounds (YAY WestJet – still 60 pounds). What really irked me is he kicked us out of line so he could help other people. Hey asshole? You spent 10 minutes ripping 6 tickets – I don’t think customer service is your forte, so quit faking it. Oh and you could of told me that the bag was overweight since it sat on your scale for 10 minutes while you ripped the 6 tickets.

We finally get to the gate to see out flight is delayed 30 minutes. Not too big of a deal but we have under an hour in Denver to make our connection to HickVille City – and the ground crews in Denver are not exactly known for getting your plane to the gate on time either. It is already starting to look like we will miss our connecting flight.

Stewart (being an Air Traffic Controller) stands in line for the gate agent to find out what is going on and if we can rebook out connecting flight for a later time that night (or the next morning). After standing behind another customer (who is slightly stupid, fakes not knowing English and is rude as well) from HickVille City who needs to get the same flight info; the staff gets fed up with him and closes the wicket right in front of Stewart. During this time Stewart hears them blaming the delays on Air Traffic Control. This royally pisses Stewart off since he knows better. ATC does not delay aircraft; over-scheduled Airlines in over-scheduled Airports cause flight delays. By blaming delays on Air Traffic Control airlines do not have to be responsible for providing you compensation (or hotels overnight) if your flight is screwed up. Convenient hey?

Finally we board the plane. I am sitting in row 12. The cabinet that houses the drop down oxygen mask over my head has opened and the man beside me is trying to close it. We all know that this will cause further delays if a flight attendant notices it. They notice it. Now we have a mechanical delay (25 minutes) which now makes the airline liable for our hotels in Denver that night. Small YAY!

A mechanic shows up with no tools to fix it, and we joke with him to duct tape it closed. He says he can not do that and goes to get “clearance” to do a repair. Guess what the repair was? Tape. Didn’t stick but whatever – I got moved to upgraded seating. After that we sat on the runway for some time for the “paperwork” to show up so the plane can take off.

When we got to Denver we electronically got our tickets for the next flight that was available (the next morning) and headed to United Customer Service to see what if any compensation was being offered for the night.

The staff was awesome and pretty organized considering almost 100 people missed their connections. We were sent to a pretty nice hotel in Denver and given vouchers for breakfast the next morning. Since we would not get our luggage back (it was going to take 4 hours to get it) they provided toiletry kits with everything you need to not smell funky the next day. Needless to say we had to sleep naked that night (which seriously I do not do naked) but overall it was pretty good (except for the pussy ass cab driver to the hotel).

So what did I learn?

  • Flying out of Las Vegas on any American airline is a gong show.
  • Denver seems to be a nice city – I think Stewart and I will do a mini holiday there soon.
  • Flying when pregnant and still fighting morning sickness = not too fun.
  • I need to wear more comfortable shoes in Vegas.

Next Post: about the shoes…..

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American Apparel.

I applaud your company’s employment standards. Paying a living wage in L.A. (as well as having a meal subsidy program for your staff) and having Americans make your clothing and not farming the work out to China is awesome.

I love your sustainable edition (organic) line for my son. They are delicate and soft, yet stand up to multiple washings.

I enjoy going to your stores, which are well stocked. When I walk in I am awed by the array of colors and amazed by the brightness and cleanliness of the store. The staff is always fantastic. I find your retro-kitch aesthetic approach to clothing refreshing.

I do not however enjoy purchasing pants made of the cheapest feeling cotton available (yet I do because buying a North American made product makes me feel better about stuff) and promptly having the hems on them fall apart after 2 washings. Jersey – my ass. These lose their shape, twist, shrink, and fall apart much too quickly; even for $35.

I also do not enjoy visiting your website and the two times I refresh the main pages this is what I see:



Now I know I am getting a little older and more conservative but these also are not shorts:


I thought they were underwear until I read the description.

I know sex sells.

I would however like to go to a site to look for kids items and not be assaulted by photos of people who are barely clothed and appear filthy and stoned in most photos. Frankly it makes me feel like I should go take another bath.


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Bumpy Red Annoying Skin has taken over my body. For all of my adult life.

I have these hideous red bumps on my arms, and sometimes my jawline. It is called Keratosis Pilaris and can affect any part of the human body. I have been medicated and lubricated (sounds dirty) by Doctors and Dermatologists but never have found any relief from these ugly bumps other then a tanning bed (which I hate doing because my gawd the aging and Cancer!).

Keratosis Pilaris

This makes me very self conscious about wearing short sleeves, and when it spreads to my face I get really self conscious and wear my hair down all the time (to cover my jawline). I also get these lovely bumps on my back and on my ass. Lovely hey? Who wouldn’t want to smack that red bumpy ass?

Today when I was digging online I found many reviews for this lotion that you can buy at Sephora, and I am going to order it and try it out because I am dreaming of a summer of smooth arms and a non-bumpy ass. Once I try it for a week (and maybe even do before and after photos) I will post a review of it.

KP Duty by Dermadoctor

Now if someone would just make a magic cream for my cellulite.

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I must confess. I have an addiction (and no Dad! not just to gin, tequila, Cadbury Fruit and Nut bars and all thing fattening and unhealthy). I like to shop sales and stock up closets for the next few seasons, especially when it comes to Rito’s wardrobe.

We are lucky enough to have a The Children’s Place Outlet (yes Outlet, not just the regular store or the online shopping – I think even Swistle would be jealous) in our city, now sometimes the deals still suck but this weekend I scored, and I scored big. It was like the Game 7 Play-Off hat-trick in regulation overtime of shopping scores (I am from hockey country give me a break). 
Yesterday (when LoudGranny had Rito so I could get my haircut) I popped into the store since it is beside my salon and saw racks and racks of kids clothing for prices like $9.99 and then another 30% off. I thought to myself $6.99? Not a bad price for pants I should check it out. Not being the smartest girl in the world I failed to notice the 30 people in line to pay for stuff, and no $6.99 sale generates that kind of craziness. 
I moved to the back of the store and that when I saw it. Five (5!) large racks of clothing in the little boys area for 0.99. Yeah 99 cents…. not joking, and it wasn’t the crap stuff either. Since I was going to be late for my haircut and the lines were stupid, I decided to be back at the store for opening the next day (this morning) to beat the crowds. 
So today, LoudGranny and I hit Hell-Mart for cheap laundry detergent and then went to The Palace (what my little cousin calls it, as in “You know that Palace store? They gots good stuff there you know” what a funny guy…) for door opening. We bought Rito a stack of stuff in larger sizes, one of my little girl cousins a few things for her birthday next summer and a whole ton of stuff for a 21 year old cousin who is a single Mom expecting her second boy in a few weeks. 
For Rito
3 Pique Polo shirts (red, orange and yellow) 99 cents each 
4 t-shirts (love these so soft! grey,navy, orange and yellow) 99 cents each
4 pairs of flip-flops for next summer (2 green, 2 navy) 2 pairs for a $1.00 
4 pairs of sunglasses (3 navy, one green) 2 for a $1.00
1 pair track pants (camo) $6.99
1 long sleeve layered looking t-shirt (beige with brown stripes) $6.99
4 baseball caps (in two different size ranges navy, green, beige and yellow) 2 for a $1.00
Basics in two size ranges (18 and 24 months) that can be layered with long sleeve onesies for inter yet my kid looks like a little Izod Lacoste ad (25$ including the two “expensive” items) – priceless.
For My Cousins Girl:

2 Tank tops (white and purple) 99 cents each
1 T- shirt (white with a pink layered one under it) 99 cents
1 Fancy tank top (white)  – 99 cents
1 Shrug (purple) 99 cents 
2 pairs of shorts (purple and blue) 99 cents each 
Birthday gift that all coordinates and looks so cute and like I spent a ton ($7 so far) – priceless
For My Cousins new Baby Boy: 

4 Pique Polos (blue, white, orange and yellow) 99 cents each
3 pairs shorts (camo, beige and khaki) 99 cents each
2 t-shirts (cute little graphic ones) 99 cents each
1 t-shirt (grey) 99 cents 
1 matching pair cotton shorts (grey) 99 cents 
2 hats – 2 for a $1.00 
2 pairs of sunglasses – 2 for a $1.00 
Rocking baby gift that looks like I spent a ton ( 13$ total) -priceless. 
Photos of my steals (kinda; it was all this stuff in different colors and some others that are not online)

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 Like any yoga uniform wearing mom out there I am obsessed with  Lululemon pants  (honey you read this, wanna buy me a present or many presents?) but realize that the visible panty-line was becoming an issue. When you buy pants specifically designed to make your sagging derriere look nice you shouldn’t be putting a big old panty-line picture frame around it. So now comes my issue, and remarkably a solution. 

I hate thong underwear. I hate things shoved up my ass. I hate visible panty-lines. Dilemma much? 

I have tried “seamless” boy cut underwear from many sources  and have never found a truly invisible pair, seamless my arse. Last month I went to laSenza and bought a stack of these hoping that maybe finally I would have a solution to my problem. 

Wonder of wonders, no more visible panty-lines, and nothing shoved up my ass. At the time they were on a super special of 5 for 25$ and I bought 2 thongs in the same material as a last ditch effort to hide the lines. Although a thong up my ass looks much like a 747 landing in the Grand Canyon, I admit this material is comfortable and seems to make Dad! happy. And yes the regular cut underwear is virtually invisible under my pants too.

For us humble Canadians they ship for free with orders over 69$ (who comes up with that number, 69$ free shipping at a lingerie store? dirty buggers), so you don’t have to dig through the mess of piles in the store (you all know what I am talking about).

Now if they could just make a bra that fits a woman (not a jiggle-boobed teenager)  I would be set.

I went to the website, where there is a crazy ass sale and then googled some coupon codes. So if you want stuff you get free shipping if the total is over 69$ BUT if you add VISA2007B as a coupon code you get an ADDITIONAL 15% off. It adds up fast since I bought more underwear (5 pairs), a lightweight robe, a pair of Yoga pants, a pair of cargo pants and a nice t-shirt (total with free shipping and coupon code used 89$) BARGAIN!!!!!

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