crayons in the bathroom

August 29, 2018

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I like to do my thinking in the shower, as many do. I like it so much that I bought bathtub crayons so I can write lists and do some quick math on my shower walls. They're from Crayola and they're basically just colored bar soap in stick form.

Most recently, I had scribbled "stop spending $$" in an effort to well, stop spending $$. Ha. I ended up with some extra funds so I went on a shopping spree over the weekend and now not only does my shower tell me stop spending in lime green and purple lettering it also bears the list of what I've bought. In no order:

Adidas AlphaBounce sneakers: these were a genuine need. Since I bought them from they were under $50. Also? The CloudBoost (CloudBounce?) are nowhere near as good as the AlphaBounce.
Anthropologie Florilla quilt and shams: You heard it hear first: lavender is the new millennial pink. I already had this planned out in my budget as my birthday gift to myself in October. But it was on sale and had free shipping. The free shipping alone saved me $20. And holy shit I just found out there's a matching shower curtain. I know what's happening next pay day.
Pioneer Woman flatware: my previous set of Room Essentials from Target were actually rusting. WTF. So yeah, another need.
Pioneer Woman knife set: Don't judge. I have a former friend--we're still friends on Facebook but really, we haven't talked since Obama's first term--who works for Anthropologie. Since she comes from Snobriety she typically doesn't step foot in Walmart until her car blows a tire on a road trip and she's stuck there for two hours. She posted multiple pictures of the Pioneer Woman line while she was waiting along with a caption along the lines of "We could easily sell this at Anthro."
Tory Birch key chain: On one hand I can't believe I spent $20 on a fucking key chain. On the other I nearly spent $38 on one from Lilly Pulitzer so really I'm saving myself here.
Doormat: Long story short my living room colors are no longer in vogue (that's another post for another day) so I've been searching for two years for a matching rug. Finally found one on Amazon and finally bought the matching doormat. It was only $15.

Then there's been a lot of pointless shit from Target. Thankfully I'm at the point where I no longer really need or want anything. I know for a fact a lot of the shopping comes from poor coping skills RE: my depression BUT the side effects are hella better than the ones from SSRIs. It's also the tail end of the hardest month for me work-wise. College football starts up this Saturday and hockey season is just around the corner. That will help keep the shopping compulsion to a minimum, as well as upcoming holidays, a road trip to Minniesoda, and the fact I can't stay awake past 5 pm come November.

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sweet lemon

August 18, 2018

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My younger sister didn't quite get why I bought the domain. Simple, I said. Millennial woman brand recognition. Well, okay, she said. But won't people think you're just copying the previous website?

Nah, I replied. Rebranding can work wonders. It wasn't even going to be the same thing.

Well, whatever. She shrugged. Have fun.

And I did have plans for the site but ultimately I decided to focus on other things. When I decided I wanted to scream into the void online via blog I thought about branding, what to name it, etc. I decided to stick with the Sweet Lemon since I already had it set up the branding, social media accounts (I really don't plan on using them), and all that jazz. Looking back on it the branding was a little much with bright tropical colors, flowers, and yes, some lemons. Yeah, I need to totally rework the branding or at least get rid of the some of the colors because the more I look at it the more my retinas burn.

One of my favorite times in my life was when I ran a very small personal blog in my early to mid-20s. I would spy on my neighbors and write of their comings and goings as if they were Soviet embassy employees. I wrote about the excitement of finding an Anthropologie quilt for a mere $20 at a discount store. Looking back it's hysterical to see how naive I was about life or what simple things brought me joy.

So Sweet Lemon: without the tart, life just ain't as sweet. 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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August 16, 2018

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The beginning of August is the busiest time for my job. This week was made extra hard due to schedule constraints, people underfoot, and people simply not listening. It's frustrating but thankfully the light is on at the end of the tunnel.

I'm spending my weekend finishing a powerpoint presentation for work. It isn't needed but at the same time I think it will make my life so much easier I think the hours will be worth it.

I'm also going to work on reorganizing my bedroom. I hate folding clothes so there are clothes everywhere in my room. Since my apartment is small and my closet is huge, it pulls double duty as storage for more than just my sweaters and jeans. I had thought about hanging my everyday shirts/jeans/yoga pants and putting the other stuff in my dresser. I got about halfway through that project before realizing it wasn't going to work out quite like I thought. So, now I'm going to rearrange some furniture. I don't think it will help with organization that much (the massive clean out of clothes I did Monday will help with that) but I think it will be easier for me to function in the space.

I've been eyeing some storage bins at Target but earlier this week I found some similar ones at Aldi's for half-price plus it was a set of two. I went back earlier today and bought a second set because I love them so much. So, I have plenty to do this weekend. That includes making this incredible-looking Bruschetta Chicken recipe.

God, I could go for a grilled cheese right now.

The Younkers at the local mall is closing. In case you're not in the Midwest, it's the Bon-Ton and I think they're all closing. There's only a week left of their closing sale so and friend and I went to see what they had left. There wasn't much in the way of clothes or other merchandise left but there were tons of store fixtures. There were also piles of perfume gift set boxes you could purchase or  GWP cosmetic bags. They were even selling used binders, one of which was marked "Christmas 2007." A box I peered into contained what looked to be the contents of someone's desk: a stapler, erasers, various pens and Sharpies, a half-used roll of Scotch tape.

The woman ahead of me in line knew the two cashiers at the service desk. She asked them what the future held. The older cashier said at the moment she wasn't really looking to do anything else; this had just been a fun part-time job during retirement. The younger cashier said she had picked up a holiday position at Penney's. Neither seemed concerned at all.

Despite the low selection of junk I found a marvelous phone case:
It's a Vera Bradley phone case from last Christmas and I got it for slightly over $10. It has suspended glitter and snowflake confetti giving it a snow globe appearance. I have it at my desk right now and I simply can't stop playing with it. It's very soothing, maybe I should throw a bird songs playlist on Spotify and just play with this case. Ohhhhhhhhh sparrrrrrrkles.

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STORIES | sephora, 2009

August 11, 2018

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the following is a true story | identifying details have been changed

Jackie shrugged. "Seriously, we really don't care." She knelt down in her all-black uniform and opened a drawer. She took out a handful of tiny, empty clear tubs and handed them to me. Standing back up, she gestured towards the mostly empty store. 

"Take whatever you want. I mean you can even get the sample jars yourself," she pointed to the drawer, "I mean, we've had women smash lipsticks in them, or crumble up powder eye shadows into them." She chuckled. 

"I think that's taking a bit too far," I responded. 

"Well, yes and no." Jackie shrugged again. "We're supposed to make a sample of anything in the store if asked."

"At least they're not stealing the tester."

"That's true. Be right back." Jackie stepped away to go greet an older woman whose immediate demeanor screamed high maintenance. She was cross of Bea Arthur and Anna Wintour; there was no resting about her bitch face. The outfit was the latest Ralph Lauren from the Macy's across the food court. Jackie clearly knew this woman because I could see the brave face that she put on upon approach.

Godspeed Jackie, I thought. My attention turned to the colorful bottles in front of me. What did I want? A cleanser? A moisturizer? I wandered down a few aisles to the Philosophy display and picked up a bottle of their moisturizer Miracle in a Bottle. Squirt, squirt, squirt. I filled about five of the tiny tubs which would last me about a week. My next stop was the Fresh display for a few more squirts of their soy face wash. A few more squirts of this & that and the tubs went into my purse. With a wave and a smile I said goodbye to Jackie and caught the bus to my job at Lowe's.

Despite working at Lowe's and basically living on slightly higher than minimum wage pay, I often had designer skincare and cosmetics thanks in part to friends like Jackie. Well, her and the other slightly higher than minimum wage cosmetic counter employees at the Capital City Mall. In nice weather, I would read in the park or by the river. In bad weather, I would head to the library or the mall. As a result, I learned quite a bit of Russian and when stuff would go on sale at the mall.

I really had nothing to offer the folks at the mall except the occasional discount at Lowe's but I like to think they valued me for the friendship. I also helped them out as best I could. I'd give fake names and addresses to the girl at Orgins in exchange for free mini facials. I did that a lot, actually, to various cosmetic counters. I'd fill out credit card offers with more fake was somehow approved at I think Old Navy and it scared both me and the cashier (a drinking buddy). Yes, we canceled the card.

The one thing we all had in common was that we were stuck in the recession with college degrees and zero job prospects. We were pissed and Jackie's small, meager way of trying to spite the forces that be was to overlook my shoving most of the Fresh balm tester into a sample tub. I would routinely mark down plants for Jackie and the others at Lowe's. Roses that would be marked at $19.99 would magically get slashed to 9.99 with a few keystrokes. Markdowns in the Lowe's nursery are constant so it was hardly unusual. I remember we'd get mums in a Monday and they'd be marked half down by Wednesday because another order of mums was coming in and we didn't have the space.

Were we abusing our (lowly) positions? Of course. Did any of us get caught? Not that I'm aware of. Does it matter?

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on the agenda: agendas

August 10, 2018

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Like every other basic girl in this country, I am mildly obsessed with finding the "perfect" planner. Usually this just means getting the latest Lilly Pulitzer planner two months before I can even use it. I picked out the turtle pattern this year. I've been using a Lilly planner since college and while I've tried others I always go back to my old colorful faithful.

In the past few years there's been all sorts of shit floating around like bullet journals or the scrapbooks that parade as agendas. I don't hate either idea but neither are my cup of tea. I do a little bit of color coding but that's the extent of my decorating. Red for Caps games, Green for the local hockey team. Black/Blue is for work stuff, pink is personal. I mean, I already have a Lilly so I don't need much more color in my schedule.

What really grinds my gears are the planners themselves. Not the formats, some people have a much more scheduled day than I so they'll need something closer to an appointment book than a Lilly. It's the extras that planners are now featuring. Water intake. Exercise minutes. Meals. GRATITUDE. "Inspirational" quotes. Tracking your money. I don't need all that shit but every damn planner is starting to include it.

Folks, I just want to track my meetings for work and when the Caps play the Habs. Because I think mindfulness is a fucking joke, I don't give a shit about daily gratitude. I don't need to track my water. Is this maybe why planners are getting so damn expensive? You used to be able to buy a nice simple one a Target for like ten bucks. But ever since the exercise and water trackers were added they're now $20.

I rue the day that Lilly ever succumbs to that gratitude devil.
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