|(photo from Target.com)|
For years, I have been looking for boots. The '90s were a good time for me: I am a work boots, jeans, and flannel-shirt-over-t-shirt kind of girl, as it turns out. But after that style went out of fashion, I had a ton of trouble replacing my excellent Skechers boots with anything similar.
I saw these at Target, and they were leather, and they were the right style and the right height, and they were $13.48 down from $44.99, and they had brown laces with optional wine-colored laces in a little packet. (I see on the website photo they have woven the two colors together. I just put in the wine ones.)
FURTHERMORE, they had them in my size, which is usually 10-1/2 or 11, which is usually hard to find in women's sizes. I put them on---and they were way, way too big. That's when I realized they were men's boots. But here is the thing: I think they were on clearance because all the men looked at them and thought they were women's boots. I showed them to Paul and when I got to the part about how they were men's boots, he looked at them with one nostril bunched and said, "Those are not men's boots."
I am wearing them right now and they are WARM, but without being HOT. (And it's fun to be wearing something that says size 9.) My feet have been so cold in the maryjanes I've been wearing since boots went out after the '90s, and I'd been thinking, "If only there was some way to, in chilly weather, wear a shoe that didn't have a huge cut-out in the top!"
Next! I found this dress for Elizabeth, $7.48 down from $24.99, also at Target:
|(photo from Target.com)|
I hesitated because it's black---but Elizabeth LOVES black. And I think it looks less goth-glamor-funeral in person. And if it IS too black, she can wear it over a pale pink shirt and pale pink tights with sparkly pale-pink shoes or something.
Next! I bought this backpack at TJ Maxx:
A group in our town does this thing every summer where they collect donated backpacks and fill them with donated school supplies and clothing to give to families in financial trouble who have schoolkids. The first time I heard of the project, I thought, "Wow, that's great, but this is the VERY WORST time of year to buy a backpack!" So the following January, I bought a pile of Lands' End backpacks that had been marked from $40 down to $11 and then had an additional 30% off, and tucked them into a bin in the basement; that summer when the project requested donations, I donated them. This year I'm doing the same. My rule of thumb is that I only buy a backpack I would buy for my own kids---so, for example, today I bought this backpack marked down to $5.00 at TJ Maxx; if Elizabeth had wanted it, I would have bought it for her. But I left behind the half-dozen that seemed like they were on clearance because they were ugly and cheap and no one would want them. My favorite, though, is to get the Lands' End ones (I just bought a few at $15 plus an additional 30% off), because they're durable and good quality; I'd rather get three of those each year than ten of the kind that will only last until the next year's donation. It's a very satisfying project, and I recommend it if you enjoy bargain-shopping and you're looking around for a Nice Thing To Do For Other People. (And if your community does something similar. Obvs.)
Next! Wrapping paper:
I realized the last time Paul had a birthday that all our wrapping paper was (1) girly or (2) little-boyish. These may have leapt right across from little-boy to old-man, but I liked the look of them. And Paul likes (1) clocks and (2) vintage maps, so, score. Not on clearance or anything, but $2.99 each at TJ Maxx.
Next! Eye shadow from TJ Maxx:
Eye shadow makes my eyes irritated, so I never wear it. But sometimes I WANT to wear it. So I bought a pack of Physician's Formula eye shadow, to see if that will be better. (Not really MATHEMATICIANS at Physician's Formula, are they?)
Next! Earrings from Target:
They seemed like the right color to just go right home with me.