Archive | September 2011

R Gal checks out J Lo

You guys are hardcore about having a post each day. And when I say, ‘you guys’,  I mean my mom. First she blames me that I don’t call anymore because I’m too busy blogging. Then she complains that I haven’t posted my blog for the day. Gee, I sure hope this was worth the wait. But it’s Friday, so don’t look for deep and meaningful. Okay, any day of the week I could type that last sentence.

I took a research trip to Kohl’s to check out the Jennifer Lopez line. There’s everything from bedding to earrings to shoes. I focused on the apparel. There are several pieces that are really cute. And if you’re Jenny from the block, or Jenny from downtown, I suppose they should appeal to either ego, alter or otherwise. James says my blog is for mostly women. This is true. So for the interest of my male readers, I do not have a review of the Marc Anthony line offered at Kohl’s for men. Probably, because no guy I know would go out and buy Marc Anthony clothes. I promise a blog about fantasy football, beer and Kate Beckinsale eventually. Just not yet.

So on to J Lo. I will say the jeans fit true to size and the dresses are flattering. Mostly wrap styles and sort of naughty librarian types.  My favorite piece was this sweater called a cocoon. The name is appropriate since I just wanted to crawl into it and stay there while sipping a cuppa snuggled on the couch watching Little House. The jewelry was a little chintzy, translation- lightweight and trendy,  and the handbags were surprisingly quite nice with sturdy hardware and no crazy bling. Except for one that was a cat with a handle. Oh wait, I mean, it was furry. Really furry. And the size of Pluto.  My cat, not the excommunicated planet. I’m not sure why you would want a furry handbag. It was faux fur, but still, very furry. Like a mini Snuffaluffagus on your arm. It comes in black and mixed gray, thankfully not dark brown like the Sesame Street character.

The prices range around $18 to $90 (for the jewelry to clothes) and currently Kohls is  offering it at %25 off. I didn’t actually buy anything, but I might go back for the cocoon. Did I mention it was cozy?

I did go next door to Nordstrom Rack and buy a neat little jersey knit dress, and some sexy sling back pumps for the whopping price of $20. Yes, $20 for both. The shoes were originally $119 marked down to $9.97 (crazy, I know) and the dress was originally $98 marked down to $49.97. I have a Nordstrom MOD card. If you don’t have one and shop there, you should get it. It’s basically a debit card to only use at Nordstrom and The Rack. You get points and then they send you these Notes when you reach a certain number of points. Each Note is $20 to spend in the store. There’s triple point events, Anniversary sale events, and double points every time you shop at the Rack. So it’s not exactly each dollar equals one point. But you get the idea. The points can add up fast. Especially if you buy your cosmetics, SPANX, and kids’ shoes there. So I had two Notes to redeem. Voila! $20 and some change is all I paid.

I know. I’m that good.

Well, I’m off to Kohl’s to get that sweater, but not the Snuffaluffagus purse.

I want this sweater!!

The Pluto Purse, er, I mean, faux fur shoulder bag

My Beef with Botox

I have considered Botox. I am 39 years old, and let’s face it, there’s a wrinkly handbag where my forehead used to be.  My friends are all so kind when they tell me I don’t need it. If I lived in California, everyone would say, ‘oh yeah, sweetie, you need it’. If  I lived in North Dakota, they are probably like, ‘what’s Botox?’ So maybe in Seattle, we’re on the neutral, middle ground.

It has been established that I am a product whore. I try everything with the tag line, “eliminates wrinkles”, or “smooths fine lines”.

Beef fat is NOT one of these I would have thought to try.

Sadly, a 63 year old woman injected herself with rendered beef fat into her own face. She died from infection. She had done this several times before the fatal shot. This isn’t an article from The Onion. Awful is all I can say. What are we coming to if this is even an idea in people’s heads?? Here’s the article:

My problem is, I am guilty of being one of those people trying to be perfect. To be thinner, blonder, younger…you name it. But then there’s the other half of me that says ‘SCREW IT! I have it so good!! I can walk, run, skip, put my legs behind my head in yoga (don’t even go there). I can see, smell, cook, eat, dance, laugh…. the list goes on and on. WHY do we torture ourselves?

The song from Brandi Carlisle, “The Story”, comes to mind. “All of these lines across my face, tell you the story of where I’ve been…”

It’s an awesome song. Powerful. A love song. And now and then when I start to beat myself up for stupid, shallow stuff, I play that song on my iPod.

My laugh lines around my eyes, and those expression lines on my forehead, are like badges of all my silly antics, and the crazy stuff my kids say. How can we not laugh or express ourselves, but just be frozen?

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll continue to care for my skin, to enjoy the products out there. I’ll get facials when my budget allows it. I’m not saying don’t Botox. I’m not saying I’ll never Botox. I’m saying, chill out and enjoy yourself. You’re perfect.

“F-ing Perfect”, as Pink sings.

From the Beauty Editors desk (I wish!)

As you know I should’ve been an actress on the stage or screen. It’s a long story… Okay, it’s a short story. I never made it to Hollywood. Or Broadway. Now in my later years, I realize the dream job I should have had is, Beauty Editor.

I have the entire Nordstrom’s Cosmetic Department in my bathroom. It’s tough, because that leaves less room for all of James’ hair products. (ba da bump, thank you, thank you very much!)  Back in the late 90’s I discovered Instyle magazine on a business trip to Monterrey. It was at the airport I picked up a magazine and Instyle had their Best Beauty Buys issue. (Cue harp music!) It was heaven. I poured and poured over dozens of pages that described the best lipstick, hair spray, moisturizers, nail polish…you get the picture.

I still subscribe to that magazine. It’s like Christmas in every issue. A little bit of fashion, a little bit of shopping, sprinkled in with some celebrities here and there. No, this isn’t a promotion for Instyle magazine, I’m just getting carried away!

Yesterday I discovered something on my own. Something too good not to share.

So if I was a Beauty Editor, this would be my review of…..wait for it…………..Clearasil Popped Pimple Drying Paste.

Cue trumpets.

What I love about this product is the name, first of all. Popped pimple. Could they be more honest than that??? And since I had, not one, but two Matterhorn’s growing out the side of my face (one that did pop, gross, I know-sorry), I thought when I saw this product at Target, it was like a prayer answered.

It goes like this. You put this cream on, which is white, over your zit and it dries it up the Matterhorn in no time. FYI- don’t put the paste on during the day! It is white and stays this way. Also- if you put it on at night, be sure to wipe it off your face the next morning before driving your daughter to the bus stop. In your pajamas. (see yesterday’s post)

It is like toothpaste for zits. However, some people like putting toothpaste on zits. My mom did this as a kid and it works. Except if you’re allergic to fluoride, like me, and it turns your skin all red and itchy. Not good.

Important disclaimer on the package- it says, “Dermatologists do not recommend intentionally popping pimples”. Wow. Thank you for that piece of information. You could have told that to the guy in Sophomore Algebra that sat in front of me and popped the ones on his back through his t-shirt.

Sorry, that was a bit much. Hope you are  not eating something while  reading this.

So go to Target, or whatever drug store you prefer, and look in the teenage acne aisle.  This can be our little secret. Especially guys out there. And the best part, it only costs about 5 bucks.

See? I always promise a deal!

The beautiful Matterhorn. It belongs in Switzerland, not on my face.

Would the real Frugalista please stand up? or…Frugalista explained, Part 2

SO, maybe I should have done more research before naming my blog. I did a Google search of the word ‘frugalista’, and ‘frugalista blog’. Well, news flash! There’s dozens of them!! I am not kidding myself thinking I was THAT original. But, REALLY  people?  Frugalista blog search yields 292 results. The word “frugalista” on it’s own, yields 537,000 results!! I didn’t realize it was already a ‘coined’ term. Apparently, it has been around since 2008. There’s a woman trying to trademark it. It’s a buzz word of our Recession. (Is recession supposed to be capitalized?)

This is one of the search entries on Google:

The website Investopedia, writes the following: (probably another Recession era coined term)



What Does It Mean?
What Does Frugalista Mean?
People who keep up with fashion trends without spending a lot of money. Frugalistas stay fashionable by shopping through alternative outlets, such as online auctions, secondhand stores and classified ads. They also reduce the amount of money spent in other areas of their lives, such as by growing their own food and reducing entertainment expenses. This is a popular term during recessions. (Aha, see?? I TOLD you)
Investopedia Says
Investopedia explains Frugalista
Frugalistas also try to maintain expensive-looking cosmetic appearances. For example, they may still get an expensive haircut, but they might cut back on their TV subscription to afford the recurring expense. (Okay, yes, but no, not really.)
Obviously, I think I should rename my blog.
Okay, the part about growing my own food and reducing entertainment expenses made me laugh out loud. Seriously? Because I want a Burberry scarf means I’m going to grow my own corn? I don’t think so. AND, I don’t think James is going to think it’s okay because I like to get my hair cut and colored I will reduce our cable and he will no longer have is NFL channel or his Soccer channel. What are they thinking??
I literally was driving in my minivan, (it’s okay, I admit it) thinking of blog names. Frugalista just popped in my head. I don’t think I deserve the title for Fashionista (I drive Emma to the bus stop in my pajamas, I would be kicked out of the fashionista club for sure) and I’m cheap, well, not cheap, James is cheap- I’m frugal, thank you very much.
Also, if you thought this was going to be a blog about cutting coupons and what classified ads to buy clothes from (for the record, I have NEVER checked the classifieds to shop for clothes, as the above definition mentions, maybe they are talking about Craigslist), then you are mistaken.
This is just my random ramblings of crazy crap in my brain. It’s sh#@ my kids say, arguments with my husband, comments on movies and other pop culture, and yes, I will talk a lot about clothes and makeup. Because honestly, that’s what fills my brain space the most.
Now, I am not going to be growing corn, but maybe I could consider some Pashmina goats or some silk worms… I should check with my homeowner’s association about that….

Movie Review- Dolphin Tale

Yesterday, Owen and I and some friends went to see the movie Dolphin Tale. It is based on a true story of this dolphin named Winter that was rescued off the coast of Florida. Winter was caught in a crab trap and damaged her tail so they had to amputate it.

**Spoiler alert** If you want to be surprised of the outcome of this movie then don’t keep reading. However, can you have a spoiler alert for a true story? In 20 years when they make a movie about the rescue of the Chilean miners are they going to say, ‘spoiler alert’ during their reviews?  It’s on the web people. It’s in the news. Anyway…

There’s this little girl in the movie called Hazel. Really cute 11 year old. Blond with freckles, slight build. There’s this other character towards the end of the movie, I don’t know her name, she’s this little black girl that comes to visit the dolphin with her mom. She is about 5 years old, in a wheel chair and missing a leg.

In the car ride home from the movie, I ask Owen, ‘didn’t the little girl in the movie remind you of Emma?’.

Owen, “which girl?”

Me, “Uhm, the blond girl with freckles”

Owen, “oh, I thought you meant the black girl”

Me, “no, Hazel”

Owen, “Then why didn’t you say Hazel so I would know who you’re talking about”

Me, “Because I thought it would be pretty clear to you that I’m not talking about a black girl, who is 5, in a wheel chair, missing a leg!”

Why do I feel like talking to him is like talking to Brittney on Glee?

It is a touching movie, that makes you cry, blah, blah, blah.

I seriously would have doubted the integrity of this film had I not known it was a true story. Dolphin gets a fake tail, made by a doctor at a veterans’ hospital where there’s amputees and town saves marine center after devastating hurricane, multi billionaire investor is happy to pay for marine center and puts his huge hotel project on hold to do so, etc.

The “Save Winter” carnival at the marine center had to cost at least $10,000! Someone like me who has helped with at least

Hazel from Dolphin Tale, cute blond, like Emma

5 PTA carnivals knows that those things don’t happen for free. So where they got the money in the first place is puzzling.

But aside from all that, when we left the theater, Owen said, “Mom, that was the sweetest movie I have ever seen. And dolphins are my favorite now”. He’s 8, he’ll change his mind. But it melted my heart.

Emma, also blond with freckles. Not black, in a wheel chair, missing a leg.

Dear Ben & Jerry’s

Thank you for your Schweddy Balls ice cream. It’s my favorite. In light of the recent concern from some uptight moms out there, I came up with some suggestions of flavors sure to improve your company’s image. Coming soon to an ice cream truck near you.

They are-

  • Muff Crunch; with little bits of dried up muffin and moist muffin, it’s sure to please all ages
  • Pussy Galore; creamy, thick ice cream with tuna chunks shaped like kitties
  • Johnson & Johnson;  hot dog shaped pretzel pieces mixed in deep chocolate ice cream
  • Pink Taco; this one pairs nicely with Pussy Galore
  • Leave it to Beaver; a little like Muff Crunch only smoother with no crunchy, dried pieces
  • Family Jewels; nuts and whoppers all blended tastefully together


Not to worry- my 11 year old daughter helped me come up with these names. She fully approves.



P.S. If you have any available positions for product and development or flavor testing, you can find me on Facebook. Thanks.

Gypsies, Tramps and Theives

The grown out Dorothy Hamill

The Coveted Cher Barbie Doll

I was singing along to Cher on the radio in the car with Emma. She’s like, “what music is this?” I said “It’s Cher. The gay queen’s idol” “Cher, you know?” And she’s like, “no, I don’t”.

So I told her about the show I used to watch called Sonny and Cher. Cher had long beautiful, black hair. The longest I’d ever seen. I used to take my nightgown off in the morning when I got dressed and pulled it over my head. But I left it there with the neck hole just over my ears like a head band. I would have the rest of the nightgown flowing behind me and I would walk around and pretend it was my ‘Cher hair’. I think I did this until I was about 7. I didn’t have long hair. I had shortish hair. My mom had me get the Dorothy Hamil haircut when I was 5. Yes, I looked precious, but geez, talk about the opposite of what a girly girl wants. No long hair for me.

I said to Emma that when I was about 5, there was the Sears catalog. It was huge, at least 2 inches thick. When I would sit on the couch and watch, you guessed it, Little House on the Prairie, I would have the Sears catalog open to the Barbie page. Next to all the Malibu Barbies, and Superstar Barbies, maybe even Charlie’s Angels Barbies, there was a Cher Barbie. I stared at that Cher Barbie for hours. I dreamed of what it would be like to comb its hair, to have it flick over her shoulder. Hoped Santa would bring it to me. I never got the Cher Barbie. Maybe it’s for the best. I did cut one of my doll’s hair once. I thought it would grow back. The Cher Barbie was too pretty to cut. Maybe there’s a Cher Barbie out there on Ebay for me.

I still put my shirt on my head sometimes and start singing, “If I Could Turn Back Time”.

And then my kids tell me to quit it.

Frugalista explained

I guess what would a frugalista blog be without frugal tips?

By the way, Emma doesn’t get the Frugalista title. She says it’s lost on anyone her age. Well, I’m glad I now know my demographic! I’ll give her a couple years though, since by the time I was 13 I was subscribing to Elle magazine for the cosmetic editorials and fashion layouts. I will excuse my mid 20s when I went through the flannel shirt, hiking boots phase. But who didn’t do that? It was the 90s for crying out loud!

If you care for fashion like I do, but don’t have the budget for a Marc Jacobs bag, or Leboutin shoes, don’t fret. Neither do most of us! Some of you might have no clue about who or what brands I’m referring to. I think we need to focus less on labels and more on quality. More on value and less on trends. For instance- I bought a pair of Dansko boots at the Rack for $125 a few winters ago. I have worn them at least 2o times. If you do the math- (I’m a drama queen for gosh sakes, don’t ask me to do math!) it comes to roughly  (pause for me to get the calculator)…….just over $6 each time I wear them. What does this mean you ask? It means, it pays to invest in something you are going to wear every day or say every day for a season. That’s the value involved. If I found a pair of Chanel handcuffs (I don’t know if they make them) for $75 marked down from $400, that’s a huge savings. But what is the VALUE of it? Since I would probably never use them, or just once a year on James’ birthday (ha!) there’s not a whole lot of value in them.

I blame my mother for showing me at a very young age the virtues of cashmere, silk, camel hair and Egyptian cotton. I always check labels for fiber content.  When I was living on my own in my apartment by the UW, I found a Pringle cashmere sweater at a consignment store. I still have that sweater. It’s the softest thing I’ve ever felt. I probably paid $15 for it. What’s Pringle cashmere you ask? The finest cashmere out of Scotland. Cashmere goats are in India, but Scotland knows how to put it into sweaters!!

Here’s a list of my favorite places to shop. I like the hunt, so not every day you come home with a kill, you just have to be patient.

Nordstrom Rack-I found a pair of pants once for $8 that were $100 because they were altered and returned.

Marshalls-I found a Cole Haan wallet for $15 once

TJ Maxx- I actually love their hats and scarves- some good Italian ones

Ann Taylor Loft- find a retail brand that fits you well. There are always great sales. I know my size and I can count on things each season.

Nordstrom- Pretty reliable and so much that’s affordable mixed in with the incredibly expensive stuff.

Target- good basics. Don’t really bother in the Mossimo or juniors dept. Stick with the Merona label, it’s built for a woman’s body and holds up in the laundry. They have decent men’s stuff too. I like their sweater vests and ties for James.

I have no problem with places like Old Navy, they have good deals. But I haven’t fit in a pair of pants there since before having children. They just aren’t cut for my shape.  I can’t do Payless shoes either, they fall apart. So if you catch my drift, I like quality at a savings. Not just a bargain for it being a bargain. That’s just how I feel. You do what works for you.

And I know this seems very female-centric, but James knows a good pair of Cole Haans when he sees them, so it applies to fellas as well.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  Coming soon- beauty products. THAT’S even more fun!

I finally did it!

I am now so important to myself, I need to share my thoughts and feelings to everyone. Or the 3 people that will read this.

So the name, Frugalista, comes from the fact that I would like to be considered a fashionista, however, I only shop the clearance racks, so my frugality never leaves me. I own designer clothes with the name FOR TARGET printed after it. I read Vogue and Mademoiselle, but never actually BUY anything shown in their editorials.

Besides fashion, I’m addicted to movies. I have hopes and aspirations of being an actress. I’m almost 40 you say. Well, who’s to say I won’t be the next Betty White Or Helen Mirren? I have a good 40 years left in me, so I still can get discovered.  Sofia Vergara was discovered on a beach in a G-string. I might get discovered on a parking lot in cargo pants. YOU never know!!

Some rules to follow- be nice. You can disagree with me, stop following me, but don’t insult me. I really like to be liked. So if you say something snarky, it could get ugly. Not for you- I mean, I might do the ugly cry in my pillow at night before I fall asleep.

I also refer to Little House on the Prairie. A lot. My children find this irritating. When watching the show on the Hallmark channel they’ll walk in the room and say, ‘not that again!’. Why do they not love this show as I did as a kid?? I tried to get them to read the books. But no. Who am I kidding? If I had the choice of Hunger Games or Twilight, I guess I’d be reading those instead of On the Banks of Plum Creek. Thankfully, my husband James, is very obliging to me with my obsession of Laura and Pa. When I say, ‘now that’s not what Pa would say’, he usually rolls his eyes only slightly, instead of the usual full eye roll that I get when I tell him he didn’t collapse the milk carton properly in the recycle bin. But that’s a whole other post for another day….