Shopping for anything but food and tp simply hasn't happened much this semester. My cup runneth over at Christmastime, so I wanted for nothing, then things got busy. I also resolved to lighten our load in the "things" department.
I simply couldn't resist, however, when Manda was offering a shop special. I ordered one of her wrap bracelets and a single bracelet (the yellow one). They arrived on Friday, just hours before my honors convocation. It was love at first sight and I wore them to the ceremony. I have man wrists (i.e. thick), so I was a bit concerned, but they fit perfectly and relaxed a bit with subsequent wearings. These will be my go-to accessories for summer.
Note: I ordered and paid for these on my own. Manda didn't even know I had a blog until I asked if I could feature them. I simply love her jewelry. And her blog. I've read it since I started this here blog.
Last Thursday, my aunts, grandma and I hit up a great new outlet mall. My lovely Aunt Pam bought me a Fossil watch (my favorite!) but thought it was too similar to my current watch. Instead, she gave me some graduation money and told me to buy something fun and just for me. I believe it sounded something like "no buying groceries with this!". She's awesome.
I sprung for this bag which instantly caught my eye. It was marked at $98, but on a sale rack (I'm way too frugal for full price Fossil bags)... and it rang up at $30. Score! It has that shiny finish on the outside that keeps the material from staining and the cross-body strap makes it perfect for this summer's travels.
Aunt Pam did gift me with this watch . I'm a big fan of Bungalow 360 and other eco friendly accessory companies, but had never heard of iSprout. Darling! I've worn it every day since.
Mario's family was still in town on Monday, so I suggested we take them out for a bit of shopping. I had a Sephora gift card burning a hole in my pocket courtesy of my lovely friend Molly, so the trip was a bit self serving.
I received a deluxe sample of this powder foundation with a Sephora order a couple months ago and finally got around to trying it. I love it! I have fairly light skin and was so surprised that the sample color matched my skin tone perfectly. I have never been one for powder-based products, but this is the exception. It has physical sunscreens (a MUST for me), glides over my base products (serum, sunscreen) without balling up, and lasts all day. My skin looks natural and retains moisture like crazy. It literally takes seconds to apply to my whole face. Good stuff.
Although I love Anthropologie and want to live in their stores, I don't get there often. I decided to stop in and scored some sweet swag. I'm a fan of this type of super soft headband and had to scoop up these pretty colors. They are the perfect shades for me... and they won't dent my fine hair.
I also couldn't walk away from this bronze owl doorstop. Our bedroom has a sliding glass door which creates a cross-breeze that leads to loud door slams as our bedroom door is blown shut. This little (but heavy) guy is the perfect remedy.
If I'm honest, I have no idea where to put this rabbit hook. Jared saw it and was instantly smitten (as he is with most animal-themed things) and the $7 price tag convinced me to take it home. He was just too funky and cute to pass up. I'm sure we will find the perfect place for him.
I received so many sweet gifts from family. Although I'm certainly not a traditional college student, they rallied around me and showed so much love. All those wonderful treasures were unexpected but appreciated. So much.
My other aunt, Cindy, is an amazing photographer. She and my grandma gave me a tripod and remote system for my camera. I can't wait to put them to use!
The most profound gift, perhaps, was this:
A brand new stethoscope. I hadn't even thought about the fact that I will need one for PA school and it reminded me how close I am to my dream career. It is an acknowledgement of the hard work I've done. In the moment I opened that box, I realized how much the people around me believe in me. Mario's mom, dad, and grandma came together to give this to me. My eyes well up just thinking about it. I have so much to be grateful for!
Now it's back to frugality until our month-long summer vacation. I am fortunate to have been sought out for summer research. Not only is it exciting, and will look great on my grad school applications, but it will keep me busy during the post-semester period that usually leaves me prone to restlessness. And it's paid. I will have my own paycheck for the first time in years! It won't cover our mortgage, sure, but isn't intended to. It's about the feeling that comes from doing. Plus, the few extra nickels will leave us feeling less squeezed come vacation time.
Update (3/17/14): It bums me out to do this, but I can no longer, in good conscience, recommend the above jewelry shop. While I still love those bracelets, and will continue to wear them, I had a terrible experience with my second order; an ordeal that dragged on for over 8 months and resulted in no product. (I'm still disappointed, after everything, that I didn't get them. I'm hoping to find another person that makes a similar style. I'll let you know if I do.) You can read my account here. I would never want anyone else to go through that, and based on my experience, I'm guessing others have.