Stuff You Didn’t Know You Needed from Target

I’ve been analyzing my buying habits lately, and I realized that not only do I buy a lot of stuff from Target, but I guy a LOT of stuff from their “Room Essentials” line (or “RE”) specifically. I think RE is targeted to college students and impoverished young adults living in their first apartments. What does it say about me that this matches my own aesthetic?

(By the way, I link to products in this post. I don’t derive any money or benefit from your clicks. I am WAY too lazy to set up some kind of affiliate situation with anyone.)

You Want To: Drink More Water

Everybody wants to drink more water, right? Stay hydrated, blah blah. I definitely feel better if I drink plenty of water, but I wasn’t drinking enough at work, even though there are multiple, filtered water dispensers available. So I examined my habits and I realized a couple of things: 1. I don’t like drinking out of the paper cups that are provided (too small, wasteful, and unpleasant-feeling). 2. I don’t like drinking out of a sports bottle, etc. (believe me, I’ve tried many different kinds and I found them all bleh). 3. I don’t like my water ice cold. 4. I DO like my water at about room temperature, or slightly colder. 5. I DO enjoy drinking water out of a glass.

So I bought this:

carafe and tumbler

That’s a plastic carafe that holds 1.3 liters of water and a 16-oz. tumbler which looks like glass but is actually made of indestructible acrylic. The carafe is on sale for like $8! The website only shows the tumbler in the 8-piece set, but I bought it all by its lonesome in my local store. This is a winning combination for me because I fill the carafe in the morning, it sits on my desk all day, the water stays clean thanks to the lid and it is the perfect temperature thanks to the air conditioning. And I get to drink out of a glass that has the perfect thickness to be comfortable and – bonus! – is a dark color that doesn’t show my lipstick as much.

You Want To: Have Soft Towels Without Using Dryer Sheets

Everybody wants soft towels, but when you use dryer sheets they leave a coating on the towels that makes them less absorbent. Or maybe you’re allergic to dryer sheets. Whatever. You need these:dryer-balls

Yes, you can find them everywhere, but I bought mine at Target, where they were really cheap. You throw these in with your towels in the dryer and they make them soft without using chemicals. Also great for putting in the dryer with pillows, puffy coats, or anything you want to be soft and lofty. Yes, you could use tennis balls, assuming you have clean, unused tennis balls just laying around for this purpose. Dryer balls are cheaper and you gotta love those little nubby things.

You Want To: Put Your Feet Up and Store Stuff at the Same Time

Check out this storage ottoman from Target: $16.99. That’s crazy! It’s not even one of those cheap-ass folding ones. Now, I wouldn’t stand on it, but it’s definitely sturdy enough to put my feet up on while also holding “stuff.” I bought the gray, because it matches the armchair in my office, but it comes in several colors (the turquoise is pretty). I bought this in my store last week. They had several models, including a slightly nicer/sturdier version starting around $24.99. But I’m all about that cheap so the under-twenty-bucks model came home with me.ottoman

You Want To: Reward Your Beloved Dog (i.e. Get Him to Chill Out for 15 F***ing Minutes)

Chandler loves these rawhide sticks wrapped in chicken skin. Sounds gross, but my goji berry that dog will do anything to get one. You can find these pretty much in any pet store, at various price points. I bought the big bag at Target forever, but lately they don’t seem to have them in stock, which makes me worry they’re not going to carry them anymore. I might have to start buying them somewhere else. rawhides

You Want To: Get a Good Night’s Sleep

I mean, who doesn’t, right? I don’t think I’ve really had a good night’s sleep in about 10 years. Starting from the time I was in late pregnancy until now, I’ve really only slept deeply when I was ill. My nights are a combination of weird dreams, hot flashes, tossing and turning, and my dog kicking me. Things that have helped: getting a new mattress, running my ceiling fan pretty high all night long, running a diffuser over night with doTERRA Serenity or OnGuard essential oil blends, and now this pillow.

pillow

Yes, these links are for Amazon, not Target. I couldn’t find a pillow I liked at Target, or Bed Bath & Beyond, for that matter. This pillow (which is on sale for a few bucks cheaper than I paid) is a great deal. I wish I’d bought it sooner! It’s memory foam, so it’s very firm, but it has that layer of cooling gel stuff on top. It also comes with its own zippered protector. Between that and the pillowcase, you can’t see the blue stuff, but you can definitely tell it’s there. It’s cool without needing to be refrigerated. It will warm up after a few hours, but basically I roll over and sleep on my other side and get a whole new cool section. Also, I never thought I’d like memory foam because it’s kind of unforgiving in a pillow. But my neck was hurting BAD, and I’m a side sleeper, so I gave it a try. The first night I slept on the pillow I wasn’t terribly impressed: the cool stuff was nice, but the pillow didn’t feel like some breakthrough in comfort or anything. BUT! The next morning, my neck pain was reduced more than half. I felt completely different. After a few nights my pain is gone! AMAZING. The memory foam is very supportive and keeps your spine aligned, I guess? I notice that I don’t sink down into it, which is nice because it prevents that feeling of suffocation that’s not conducive to sleeping anyway.

So now that I’m hydrated, well-rested, and my towels are soft and fluffy, what other problems could I possibly have?

Please Don’t Think of This as Christmas Creep

I don’t like to start talking about Christmas stuff until much, much closer to Christmas. At least around Thanksgiving. I mean, I do start my Christmas shopping some time around August, but I keep mum about it! I hate Christmas Creep!!

However, here’s something you need to think about early, well before it feels comfortable, and that is photo Christmas cards. I’ve always felt kind of envious of the people who their shit together enough to plan, stage, and produce a photo; then have it imprinted on custom cards; all in time to send out before holidays. Are these people Superfamilies? Whatever. This year I have PROMISED myself to do the same, with the help of Shutterfly!

I’ve used Shutterfly before, thanks to a coupon code I got once when Veronica had her picture taken with Santa. I got a calendar printed and it was awesome! I loved looking at different, goofy pictures of her all year, and the quality of the calendar itself was really nice. This year, Shutterfly is doing a nice promotion through BlogHer, and I’m definitely going to get holiday cards. I’m on top of it, for realz! Read on to find out how you can win a coupon code for some free cards!

Of course if cards aren’t your thing, they also offer a nice series of photo books. I made one of these for the hubz for Father’s Day one year. It was beautiful, and we still enjoy paging through it. Veronica especially likes looking at the pictures of her as a baby!  Or maybe you need birthday cards, invitations, birth announcements, or any kind of photo-imprinted greeting card you can think of. Shutterfly has you covered there too. They’ll even mail the cards for you, in case you just can’t stand licking stamps. 😉

So this weekend is my big photo shoot weekend – the trouble with little kids is, they grow so fast! So even though I have adorable winter-themed photos of Veronica like the one below, it’s at least two years old and she doesn’t really look like that anymore:

Winter 4

Anyway, I’ll be trying to take that PERFECT picture this weekend. And, as it turns out, we might have actual snow (crazy!) which would make the job a little easier, I guess. Other suggestions welcome. I’m leaning towards a black and white photo on this card (ooh! artistic!).

If you would like a code good for 25 FREE cards from Shutterfly, leave a comment here. On November 6, I’ll choose three random winners (note that you must leave your email address with your comment to qualify). Thanks for reading!

Kids Today!

When I was a kid, one of my favorite toys was a punching bag. Not a REAL punching bag, a thing filled with air that had sand in the bottom and my sister and I would knock it around. It looked like this:

Now my daughter has a similar toy that looks like this:

Today on the Woot-Off (www.woot.com), they were just selling this (click for bigger image):

Uh…what? Is this a novelty item? Are you supposed to actually punch him, or just pretend to play basketball around him? I’m honestly confused by this item. I like his ‘fro though.

Disturbing Marketing

OMG! I just got an email from MAC promoting their new “Surf, Baby” collection, and I had to post about it. The collection itself looks OK, full of bronzers and powders and colorful shades, and you can check it out right here if you’re so inclined. But I need to talk about the image they included in the email BECAUSE IT IS SO CREEPY (and you will definitely want to click on this thumbnail image to see the full-size monstrosity):

Click for full size

1. That guy on the left is naked, yo. Not wearing a Speedo or very low-slung trunks, NAKED. (He also looks a LOT like Heath Ledger.)

2. What is it about the girl in the center that says “surf?” Is it the COMPLETE LACK OF EYEBROWS? Because that look has never just screamed “easy beach living” to me.

3. Furthermore, the dark vampy lips? Also not a terribly beachy look.

4. And could they have found her a more unflattering, ill-fitting, fugly swimsuit?

5. Mr. Hipster on the right is not only wearing a Speedo, but he’s wearing some kind of leather thong-type headband. Around his head. Like a boho doofus.

So maybe there’s some kind of irony at play here, like “Let’s promote a surf-inspired collection with a makeup look that looks nothing like surf-inspired, and let’s throw in a naked hipster.” I guess I’m old, because I’m not getting it, I just feel creeped out.

Favorites

In response to Berlin Hair Baby’s tag, here’s my quick list of favorites:

favorite city: Las Vegas, baby!
favorite song: The song I want played at my funeral, “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve
favorite food: Sushi
favorite shop: Amazon.com (is that cheating?)
favorite book: Total trash, I know, but it’s The Stand by Stephen King.
favorite Champagne: I like just about any of them. 🙂
favorite color: Purple in the abstract, but black for clothing.
favorite time of day: Mid-morning, if it’s sunny.
favorite season: Summer.
favorite guilty pleasure: World of Warcraft. Yay, Alliance!
favorite mode of communication: Email has saved my life, because I hate talking on the phone.
favorite childhood toy: My teddy bear was the best.
favorite hair care line: I love the Aveda rip-off line (Aura?) at Sally Beauty Supply, but I think it’s been discontinued.