What We Did: Procrastinated Hardcore

This is not a shopping-assistance post – this is solely a “Lindsey has a funny story and she wants to tell it” post.

So I did a majority of my Christmas shopping for Dan this evening after work, with the exception of the LifeCharge battery charger I wrote about earlier. I went to REI right after work to get the 64-ounce water bottle and the BugLit flashlight. REI’s website told me both were in-stock at a location about 15-20 minutes away. So I got in my vehicle and drove in the barely above zero temps. When I pulled into the parking lot, I saw a crazy long line of cars trying to leave (this location has a horrible exit setup onto a very busy street — making a left turn during peak hours is nearly impossible). I joked to myself, “Wow, it would sure suck if you ended up spending more time trying to leave REI than you do in the store!”

I was in the store longer, but didn’t walk out with either of the items I wanted. Neither was in stock. An employee told me that sometimes they scan the wrong label on products so the system THINKS they have that particular item when the store doesn’t physically have it. “That is super helpful,” I said. I ended up buying two things that I hope will work, but I’m not optimistic.

Fast-forward to later tonight. I was in bed, doing my last check of Facebook (because so much had probably happened since I looked at it 10 minutes ago). Dan came upstairs and said that he wasn’t going to have my Christmas present on time because no store had it in stock and he was going to have to order it online. I admitted that all my shopping had fallen through as well, and suggested that maybe we postpone our gift exchange. I secretly liked this idea for another reason: it means I can leave our Christmas tree up longer.

Anyway, Dan agreed to a postponed exchange date. As he left the room to return to his computer, he said, “I can’t believe no department store in a 100-mile radius has this item!”

After he left, I started thinking about what he could possibly be trying to buy. Then I remembered that he knew about a purse I had wanted, but I didn’t buy it because it was too expensive. I also remembered that it was completely sold out in every Macy’s store in Minnesota. This same purse just went on mega sale yesterday. I know this because I ordered it for myself yesterday afternoon 🙂 so I ran to the top of the stairs and yelled, “Wait! Is the gift a purse?”

Long pause.

“Maybe…why?”

“Is it that black and white purse from Macy’s?”

“It very well could be…”

“Don’t buy it!”

And then I had to tell him that I had just bought it yesterday after seeing that it went on sale to an acceptable price. And it had already shipped (seriously, shipping has gotten wildly fast the last few months — I feel spoiled!).

So now Dan is just going to give me cash, and I’m going to give him second-place gifts on Christmas Day. With a cardboard cutout of the LifeCharger battery since it won’t arrive until Friday.

Seriously, next year will be different! Gifts and holiday cards will be completed in a timely manner!

What I Need: Last-minute Stocking Stuffers

So Dan and I agreed that we weren’t getting each other gifts, but that we would get stocking stuffers. I have pretty much put this off until the absolute last-minute. While there are plenty of small things I could fit in the stocking, my goal is to spend well under $100. The point of opting for stocking stuffers was to save money.

Here are my top picks.

Ontrion LifeCharge iPhone Battery Case (Best Buy, $99)

battery

Dan likes hunting and fishing. Some of those trips keep him away from electrical outlets for the majority of the day, which means his iPhone has a good chance of dying. This battery extender was one of Best Buy’s “Deal of the Day” specials (75% off!) late last week. It’s supposed to extend the life of your cell phone battery by six to 10 hours.

I ordered it through Best Buy’s website and opted to risk the chance of it arriving after Christmas, just because I didn’t want to pay any extra shipping charges (it will arrive Friday, which means I’ll have to get creative in how to present it to him on Wednesday). I had no idea these things even existed until a recent dinner with a friend. She had the Mophie (Juice Pack Plus Charging Case or Juice Pack Air Charging Case). I felt so old when I had no idea what she was talking about. I feel even older because I still don’t know how to pronounce Mophie. Anyway, I read positive reviews for both the LifeCharge and Mophie. The Mophie products are on sale at Best Buy right now (and appear to be in stock at my nearby stores). The LifeCharge is full price now ($99) and I’m not sure about the in-store availability. Best Buy’s website says that it’ll be available in most of my nearby stores in about three to five days. I plan to stop by my local Best Buy store just to see if the sales person has any insights about which product (LifeCharge v. Mophie) is better. The only reviews I could find for the LifeCharge (other than on Best Buy’s website) were for the Samsung Galaxy S4 (Android Guys and Digital Journal). Since I got such a good deal on the price for the LifeCharge, the sales person would have to be pretty convincing in order to get me to shell out the extra dough for the Mophie.

Nite Ize BugLit LED Mirco Flashlight (REI, $13)

lightDan loves flashlights. He actually loves light bulbs too. Not sure what that says about him. Anyway, he has quite a few flashlights, but not a one has these bendable legs for adjusting in place. And at $13, it’s within my budget.

Sunglasses case (Walmart, $4-$10). Sounds pretty boring, I get it. But Dan recently bought two pairs of cheap sunglasses from Walmart (less than 10 bucks each and they’re polarized — he said they were perfect for trips on the lake where if you drop them or break them, you don’t hate yourself). Being so cheap, they didn’t come with protective/storage cases. Dan threw one set in his truck’s glove compartment and the other set in my glove compartment. Would you trust a pair of cheap sunglasses in my glove box? Absolutely not.

I found a camo print hard case at Walmart, as well as a few softer sleeve-like versions.

Nalgene Space-Saver water bottle, 64 ounces (REI, $11.95). Just when you thought it couldn’t get more boring than a case for sunglasses, I went there. Let me explain: Last summer, Dan worked in the yard basically every single day from the moment he was done with work to the moment he had to collapse into bed. He always filled up his 48-ounce Nalgene bottle with cold water, sometimes mixing it with those Gatorade flavored powder things. Anyway, he’d get through one bottle fairly quickly, and would either call me or “holler” at me to refill his bottle. I was happy to do it since he was slaving away…but sometimes it was right in the middle of a very suspenseful episode of Real Housewives of Orange County. So I’m thinking that if I get him this 64-ounce bottle, he won’t need quite as many refills… A somewhat selfish gift? Maybe. Don’t act like you’ve never done it before!

Gift Cards. Since we just moved into the house somewhat recently and Dan is the project master, I think gift cards to Home Depot and Menards are a safe last resort. Dan is at each of these stores weekly.

Any other ideas? You have like 12 hours to get them to me 🙂

What I Want: Christmas Wishlist — Accessories

fossil-bag

What I want: Fossil Erin tote

What it costs: $218 (way too much! I’ll have to wait for the right sale)

I bought a lot of purses when I was in college, but didn’t spend hardly any money on them. I’m trying harder now to buy things that are more classic and somewhat professional. Or maybe just more mature as opposed to something I’d buy in college. Either way, I really like Fossil purses. While I do find them to be pretty expensive, that aren’t as deadly to your wallet as things from Tory Burch, Coach or Louis Vuitton.

While browsing Macy’s on Thanksgiving night, I came across this handbag. Lately I’ve been drawn to bags that I can haul notebooks or folders. My new job will entail a bit of offsite travel for partner meetings, which means I’ll have to have my notes and paperwork in tow. I believe that I’d look very professional walking in with this bag.

s4-cases

What I want: Samsung Galaxy S4 case (I’m linking to my S4 cases Pinterest board)

What it costs: $35-40

While the selection of Samsung phone cases is growing, it’s still nowhere near the options for iPhones. I love browsing through J. Crew’s clearance section on their website and checking out their phone cases, daydreaming that one day they’ll make them available for Samsung. There are a few stores (Best Buy, Amazon) that are starting to sell Samsung S4 cases, but most of them are very…utilitarian looking. Which isn’t what I’m going for. I rarely drop my phone (knock on wood!), so I really just want something pretty. Since J. Crew, Kate Spade, Nordstrom and Lilly Pulitzer only want to design for Apple, I had to search slightly less-known sources.

There are quite a few websites with designs provided by artists that can be printed on almost anything, including Samsung Galaxy S4 cases. The site I spent the most time on was Society 6. I found tons of prints I loved (and then Pinned all of them to my Pinterest board so I’d be able to find them again). I especially love anything with elephants, but I’m also a fan of anything chevron (although I feel like that trend is fading…am I wrong?).

puppia

What I want: Puppia dog harness in camo

What it costs: $15-25ish (Amazon.com)

While this isn’t exactly fashion I would wear, I’ve always considered my maltipoo, Digger, an accessory. When I first got Digger, I bought him this camo Puppia harness. Dan is into hunting, so I felt like it was sort of an homage to him. But it was also a play on Digger’s super small size (he was 5-7 pounds — adorable!!) with the tough print of camo. Plus camo print has been in for the last several years, so that didn’t hurt.

I loved this harness and we got so many compliments anytime we took Dig for a walk. Dig also loved the harness, but mostly as a chew toy. Dig was able to get his lower jaw under the neckline of the harness and begin his annihilating chew. It took him awhile, but eventually he tore all the way through where it was no longer usable. Dangit, Dig!

We’ve had a few harnesses from Target since then. They’re fully functional, but nowhere near as adorable as the camo harness from Puppia. I wish I had a pic of Digger in the harness, but alas, I do not. Since I think my dog is the cutest ever, I’m going to throw in a random pic of Dig for your viewing pleasure, even though it’s not related to the harness at all.

digger

Don’t you just want to cuddle with him?!

What I Want: Christmas Wishlist – Fashion

Disclaimer: OK, so some of these things are items I already own. That’s how good they are — I would put them on my wishlist again.

gap

What I want: Gap Shrunken Boyfriend shirts (in pink and purple, and basically any of the other colors)

What it costs: $49.95 (but do not ever pay full price at Gap, unless you need it immediately)

I became mildly obsessed with button-down (button-up?) shirts a couple years ago. All my favorite fashion bloggers were wearing their top picks from J. Crew. While I loved the patterns at J. Crew, I didn’t love the prices. I got lucky a few times and was able to pick up basic button-downs from J. Crew on mega sale (almost to the point where a shirt there was equal in price to what I would have paid at Kohl’s or Old Navy – score!). However, they weren’t the fun plaids and flannels I was hoping to get (although I did get a perfect chambray shirt that I’m still in love with). Luckily Gap also had great patterns, and their prices were more aligned with my budget. I bought a couple that season, but have taken a break…until this year. They have several adorable patterns in their shrunken boyfriend fit. I kinda/sorta already bought this one on Thanksgiving night (50% off).

pants

What I want: LOFT Marissa Black/Gold pants

What it costs: $89 (LOFT has sales all the time, so wait for 30-50% off)

I’m clearly on a kick with LOFT pants right now, so it’s no surprise that when I saw these festive pants, I had to add them to my wishlist. I’ve never had “fancy pants” — the kind you would wear specifically for a holiday party or something glam. I think these would be perfect pants for a New Years party. I’m not usually an overly flashy dresser, so these might be a way to dip my toe in the water.

While I think they’re perfect for party attire, I also think they’ll work well in the office, although I’m not sure they’ll be good beyond the winter months.

Target had a similar pair, although they were just embroidered with black felt rather than this gold. I thought they were beautiful too, but they fit me horribly. Shucks! My thighs and hips strike again!

on-pants

What I want: Old Navy sweat pants

What it costs: $20ish (like I’ve said…you should never pay full price for anything I write about – Old Navy has sales constantly)

From party pants to the laziest pants ever, I’m putting sweat pants on my wishlist. I already have two pairs of sweat pants from Old Navy and I love them. They are slightly fitted, so they don’t make me look 40 pounds heavier. But they still have all the key specs you’d want in sweat pants: elastic waist, soft cotton fabric that stretches with every move, and, oh, did I mention the elastic waist?

I went on a bit of a pajama pant-buying spree last winter. Think flannel from Gap and even a leopard print from Victoria’s Secret. However, as flattering as the pants looked on the Gap and VS models, they mostly just looked like regular, baggy pajama pants on me (imagine that!). While they were definitely comfortable, I worried that maybe they screamed “I’ve given up!” Although Dan and I have been together a long time and I don’t worry quite as much today as I did 6 years ago about trying super hard to look cute around him, I felt that the pajama pants might have taken it a step too far.

While the Old Navy pants are still comfortable, they’re also fitted, like I said, so they still give me a figure that is slightly more attractive than “blob.”

If you wanted to spend more money, I’m assuming you could buy yoga pants from the various athletic outfitters out there.

vs-hoodie

What I want: Victoria’s Secret Classic Fleece Hooded Tunic

What it costs: $48 (on sale now for $38)

This is a late-addition — if you read my post when I first posted it, you will have missed this!! I absolutely love these sweatshirts. They are mega soft, but my favorite feature is the length. I love wearing my cheap Target yoga pants around the house. On the days when I want to wear them out of the house, it is ESSENTIAL that I wear a top long enough to cover my bum. This sweatshirt does that perfectly.

If you knew me in college, you would remember that I wore hooded sweatshirts probably 80% of the time. All of those sweatshirts were big, baggy, shapeless things. There is no way they are actually flattering on anyone. This sweatshirt from Victoria’s Secret solves that problem. It’s slightly fitted, just enough to show you could be female. But it’s loose enough to be uber-comfortable. This is going on my actual Christmas list for sure.

What I Want: Christmas Wishlist – Jewelry

elephant

What I want: J. Crew Factory critter charm necklace

What it costs: $12-$14

OK, so I already have this. But I’m obsessed with elephants, so I had to include this for anyone else who might also be obsessed with elephants. This one is normally $24.50, but it’s almost always on sale at J. Crew’s Factory website. Apparently it’s back-ordered until mid-January — geez! I bought it about a year ago and I’m pretty confident I paid around $10  (combination of sales).

The chain is delicate/thin, and what I consider to be on the longer side, which is great for layering with other charm necklaces.

I also found a cute elephant charm necklace at Forever 21 for $1.80. Yes, less than 2 bucks.

Basically, I just love necklaces. My Fashion Things Pinterest board probably has the best examples of what would be on my wishlist. Almost anything from J. Crew, LOFT, Ann Taylor and Banana Republic would make my list. Tip: Wait until those stores have one of their “X% off your entire purchase!” sales, then browse their sale/clearance jewelry so you can get discounts on top of discounts. I’ve been super lucky the last few months at LOFT and Banana Republic — quite a few of the pieces I’ve found have been at Forever 21 prices. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with that! I’ve had good luck at Forever 21 as well, but mostly for fun things as opposed to classic, professional pieces. But you just can’t beat those prices.

infinityWhat I want: Infinity/knot ring

What it costs: Depends where you buy it

I’m not really a ring person, but sometimes I like to pretend I could be. I love these rings because they’re simple, but also interesting (ha, at least to me). This one is from the Etsy shop IndulgentDesigns and costs $34. This design is two knot rings combined, but I also love the single versions.

I’ve never purchased anything from Etsy before — I have no good reason for that. It’s probably because I return 60% of the stuff I buy, and I think it would be easier to drive 5-10 miles to make a return than ship something back.

fossil-watches

What I want: Fossil watches Stella Tortoise Resin, 37 mm; Riley Two-Tone Stainless Steel 38 mm; Stella White Resin, 37 mm

What it costs: These range in price from $95-$125 at Macy’s, but be sure to check out sales (like Friends & Family happening now)

OK, so I already have the Riley Two-Tone watch…and I LOVE it. It was an early Christmas gift from my mom during our Black Friday shopping frenzy. For whatever reason, I used to think the only watches I should wear were really small-faced watches because I have very small wrists. Turns out large-faced watches look great! I think of it more like a bracelet than a watch. I love the way the Riley Two-Tone looks.

One complaint! The gold links in the band are definitely painted — if you look at the section that usually isn’t visible, you an see the paint lines. Seems a little cheap for Fossil to have done that…

If you’re looking to spend more money on a watch, I highly recommend anything from Michael Kors or the uber-feminine Kate Spade. The Kate Spade watches are super fun, but in a very adult way, if that makes sense. The Michael Kors watches, to me, scream stylish.

If you want to spend a little bit less, I like quite a few of the Anne Klein watches too. They seem to be on sale more often than most of the other brands, and you can typically get a pretty good deal.

What I Bought: One Coat Too Many

crew1

What I bought: J. Crew colorblock funnelneck coat

full-length-tahari

What I bought: Tahari double-breasted wool-blend faux-leather coat

I need your help. I bought two winter coats this weekend in my Black Friday frenzy, but I can only keep one. Which one should I keep?

I’ve wanted the colorblock coat from J. Crew for two months now. I love how bright and fun it is. However, I don’t love the price. When J. Crew had its storewide sale over the weekend, I decided this was my chance (other than waiting until the end of the season).

In an attempt to get the J. Crew coat off my mind, I tried on nearly every coat at Macy’s. I found this Tahari, and really liked it. I also liked the price: It was already on sale, plus an additional sale on top of that.

Let’s compare.

Price: The J. Crew coat, even with the Black Friday sale, is still more expensive than I’d like it to be. The Tahari was a reasonable price — it’s a little more than $100 cheaper than the J. Crew jacket.

Color: I love the red, navy and heather grey in the J. Crew coat, and I love colorblocking. In the pictures I took, the red isn’t as vibrant as it is in person — think bright tomato red (not orange tomato; really red tomato). I think it’s really eye-catching and fun. When I showed it to Dan, all he said was, “Well, it’s….patriotic.” I think that’s a thumbs down from him.

crew3

The Tahari coat is described as “mink.” It’s definitely more understated than the J. Crew. Since I’m pretty pale, I’m not sure mink is the best color for my skin tone.

Special details: The Tahari’s sleeves are like a faux leather fabric. I haven’t decided if I like that or not. It’s something different, I guess.

sleeve

I also love the collar.

collar

It’s kind of folded over and adds some visual interest. I have the option to unbutton it, which creates a more asymmetrical look. Not sure anyone else would like that look, but I do.

The collar on the J. Crew coat is actually really annoying if I zip it all the way up — it’s really stiff and hits my chin/throat. I don’t think I’d ever wear it all the way zipped anyway, so maybe that’s not a real concern. Here’s a pic from J. Crew’s site — doesn’t that collar look annoying?

jcrew-neck

This pic does a better job of showing the vibrancy of the red color, at least.

Warmth: I haven’t tested either jacket, but the Tahari feels heavier, so I’m assuming it would be warmer.

I like how both look — I think the J. Crew jacket is more fun, but the Tahari is more professional (but not in a stuffy way). Any thoughts?