Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Frivolity Ensues (A Shopping Ban Update)

Hi everyone. How's everyone doing? Well, I hope. I find myself a little blue tonight...just "a pale shade of azure," as my overly-romantic adolescent self what have said. Today's Anthro sale included two chemises - the Brume Chemise (which Kathryn reviewed here) and the Chantilly Chemise, which I've been keeping an eye for a few weeks.

I asked my husband, earlier this evening, "So...would buying a $30 sale item at Anthro that I've been wanting for a while be breaking my shopping ban?"

He didn't even look up from his computer,where he was working, to reply, "Would you be shopping?"

Mulish silence from me, then, "Yes...."

"Then yes, that'd be breaking the shopping ban."

Damn that man and his truth-speaking!

*GASP* No, I didn't mean that! (bad, bad Carol! Behave!!!)

It's been a rough day for me. The past week, I felt like I was doing okay - as though I'd hit my stride in this whole abstaining-from-shopping thing. But then, this morning...oh, it was a special kind of horrible to be looking at those chemises, now marked down to a totally reasonable price and so darn cute and easily styled and not be able to pull the trigger on them! And they weren't the only things by which I was tempted. I also received an email, featuring this Twenty8Twelve (and I LOVE Twenty8Twelve!) dress at 70% off retail:

And it doesn't stop there! Look! Look at these shoes (oh, the humanity!...of my feet?) from J. Crew:

I can't even look too long at the picture of them, because my heart climbs up into my throat for wanting them, and I have a hard time breathing. 

So what did I do in the face of such awful temptation, and even worse, grief at the loss of these pretties?

I baked cookies. Cookies with Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips and Heath Toffee Bar chips all in one! That's right, when the going gets tough, the tough eat cookies. (What? You've never heard this before?) On a slightly more serious note, though, I want to thank everyone for your support and encouragement during this time of trial for me (I know, I'm pathetic. This is my trial?) I read every one of your comments and emails, and while I don't always have time to respond to them as I'd like to, I appreciate them all. And believe me, thinking of you has stopped me, more than once in the last couple of weeks, from breaking my shopping ban. I just don't want to let you down, after all the faith you've placed in me.

As for today, at least I was wearing my beloved Rushing Ruffles dress through it all. I was reminded of its existence in my closet when I saw Anjali wearing it here, and pulled it out this morning. This, dear friends, is a hard working dress. It's a Grieving-for-lost-pretty-things/Volunteering-in-Rowan's-classroom/Going-to-work/Coming-home-and-making-dinner-and-hanging-out-with-kids/Baking-then-eating-cookies-day dress. 

Sweater: Halogen Pleat-Shoulder Cardigan, Nordstrom (on sale here)
Dress: Rushing Ruffles Dress, Anthropologie
Shoes: Gap City Flats with home-added embellishments (see details here)

Nanny Returns: A Novel

So, for all of you wonderful moms out there, working or SAHM, or future-moms-to-be, I wanted to remind everyone that really, no matter how bad we think we are, how inadequate a job we may feel we're doing when it comes to parenting, we're nowhere near as bad as the parents described in this sequel to The Nanny Diaries: A Novel. (Um...unless of course, you are. And if that's the case, please stop. Please.) This is as engaging a story as the first, though in it we see Nan's return to NYC, now a married woman, confronting the question of whether or not she'll ever be ready to have children of her own. Again, reinforces the message that bad parents really really suck, and a lot of the misery on this planet can be cast at the feet of bad parenting. (But, uh, no pressure, everyone. Happy smiles! Don't forget to breathe!)

Thanks for reading!


  1. Carol, I'm so inspired by your ability to stick to your guns and resist those two sale pretties. I'm not sure I could have been quite so diligent. And my apartment doesn't have an oven, so I couldn't even bake myself cookies as a consolation : ). But I will look at your delicious cookies whenever I feel the need to shop, or bake : )

    Once again, congrats on sticking to your no-shopping goals. You should be proud!!!

  2. Woman, you have more strength than I. Good for you. I think Gigi commented on one of her last two posts on Gigi's Gone Shopping that there will ALWAYS be another white cardigan for spring, another pretty patterned dress, etc...and that's so true. While the deals may seem too good to be true in this moment, I am willing to bet another good deal will be right along behind it. It was kind of a light bulb moment for me. Seriously, like, "yeah, there WILL be another pretty dress or pretty chemise that will inevitably go on sale".

    You're coookies look so good right now, as I'm drinking my morning coffee. I bet they would taste great together!

  3. I can completely empathize with your struggle Carol - I went on a browsing ban lately (complete shopping ban is just impossible for me) but keep getting blindsided by all these good sales that I read about on blogs. I have stayed somewhat strong in spite of the temptation but thank you for being an inspiration and resisting all the beautiful things that you must come across everyday.

  4. I am feeling a rush of relief that you already own the De Chelly Dress - find comfort in that, along with the cookies ;) And I totally watch Super Nanny just to feel better about my parenting - one episode and I'm all "at least we're not *that* crazy"

  5. Men. What do they know about lust for clothes? :)

    I'm just teasing... That dress is really pretty though. And your husband did speak the truth....

  6. Carol, I feel your pain. I'm in a self-imposed shopping ban and the only thing that's keeping me sane is the fact that I have to do an exchange on a pair of boots I purchased with a giftcard. So...that's not really shopping. Life is so hard for the fashionable and not independently wealthy!

    On the other hand, can you send some cookies to the East Coast please? Thanks! :)

  7. My mantra is "There will always be more clothes." And truthfully, most of them will eventually go on sale for $50 or less. Gets me through the sales, no problem.

  8. Oooh! Those cookies look yummy. The thought of curling up with a good read and munching on some warm, freshly-baked cookies sounds absolutely enticing!

    As for your shopping ban, I am pretty impressed. I actually love seeing you re-wear your favorite items in new ways.

  9. Way to go with the shopping ban! Those cookies look delicious!

  10. Oh my goodness, I feel your pain Carol. Congrats on your self-restraint--- it is not easy. And your husband sounds exactly like mine :) And those cookies look delicious; I think you need to share the recipe :) I need some shopping ban comfort too.

  11. Fresh baked cookies always make me feel better, you're too cute. :)
    Kudos to you for passing up the sale too!
    I supposedly went on a shopping ban (I too love Anthro, I used to work there and have been hooked to buying stuff there ever since,) right before the holidays, but it's so hard! Especially when there is Anthro right across from me at work! Le sigh.

  12. I love your green cardigan! Looks like Nordstrom doesn't have it in green anymore... or is your cardigan actually teal?

  13. Carol, you are hilarious. I'm proud of you for staying strong though! I am also trying to RESIST and not buy anything (well, except for the Delicate Drafts and Hiking Ruffles cardis...go on sale PLEASE). The cookies you made look SCRUMPTIOUS!

  14. Carol, you're a trooper, I know you can do it! U
    I'll be right there, with a dressing room packed with lovely things when the ban is over!

  15. Stay strong Carol! I admire your restraint, but I know it must be so hard. I've been "shopping light" this month, which is do-able for me and rewarding (it's a big rush to see that I'm currently several hundred dollars below my "actual" budget), but even then, still a little difficult -- it's so hard to break out of one's normal behavior! And it must be even harder while still maintaining a fashion blog and reading tons of fashion blogs. So bravo to you on your fortitude!

  16. i know what you must be going through, Carol!! whenever i'm tempted to buy something and can't, i just clean the house. and actually lately, i just go back to wedding planning. i find that distracting myself really works. :)

    i really love the green cardi you're wearing with the dress today! it's a beautiful color and those cookies look yummm!!

    cute and little
    come join the Color Brigade!

  17. Today I am 28 days sober (is that what you call it when you've gone X number of days without shopping at Anthro?). I did buy that one J.Crew Jackie Cardigan last week, but that doesn't count (for some reason that I don't know now but will make up later). We can do it!

  18. Congrats on staying strong Carol! You are doing great! Inspiring!
    I'm now going to hold back on the Chantilly Chemise (which I really really wanted) and the Floral Frappe Top in lilac (which I kind of really wanted and then really really wanted when I saw it with my sale goggles on). Thank you!

    Also, you look amazing in that dress! (*kicking myself for not getting it*)

  19. I've been wanting to bake those cookies again, too! I have all the ingredients I just need to muster up the energy.

  20. Carol, good on you for sticking to your shopping ban. It's not easy to do especially when faced with so many temptations. Maybe you you should bake more often eh! - those cookies look yum.
    I saw the Nannie Diaries in the bookstores the other and was contemplating on getting it. I might give it a go one day.

  21. I am so envious of your restraint. I shop for so many reasons (because I have a home office and get frustrated with my work and no co-workers to talk with and shopping helps perk me up; my kids are home sick and I *deserve* something cute after cleaning up vomit for the 5th time in as many hours; etc). I should cut back and know that I need to on an intellectual level, but on an emotional level, I need the shopping more. Sad, but true. I am proud of you though for staying the course.