Wednesday, April 29, 2015

#LillyForTarget - My Recap of the Craziness

If you haven't checked social media or if you don't follow southern soroity girls on twitter, you might not be aware that Lilly Pulitzer came out with a line for Target. There was so much hype and excitement about the collaboration. I was most excited about being able to find dresses for Patsy and myself that matched! Let's be real here. Who doesn't want to wear matching clothes with their daughter? I kind of forgot the exact date that the stuff was going on sale but by the time I checked, everything was over. I got to my local store by 3pm, and only phone cases and were emery boards left. The website apparently sold out in the middle of the night. I was disappointed I didn't get the chance to find our matching outfits!

I talked to my favorite veteran shopper, my mother-in-law, about it and she said she would stop and look at a local Target while visiting her friend in Indiana. She called me later and had struck the mother load of kids clothes! There were tons of items available in Patsy's size. I had her pick up 2 dresses, 2 shirts and a pair of shorts. The next day when I picked up my daughter after work, she gave me the items and I was hooked. I was almost possessed by some other force to go check out other local Target stores  to see what treasures I could find. That night I drove to a few that were about 20 minutes from my house. There, I found more items, this time in housewares. I didn't even know what I was looking for, I just needed more items! I came home, took an obligatory Instagram photo of my purchases and continued on with the rest of my week.
Scoping out some deals with my favorite shopper
First round of purchases. Some of these items were returned.

But I still couldn't stop. I scoured eBay all week, looking for the dress that I wanted that matched Patsy's. I read an article that said that there were no limits set on item purchases so that consumers could purchase a bit from each section (clothes, beauty, accessories, housewares) without having to worry. They didn't expect people to clear shelves, clear racks and resell the items online.
This photo has been circulated all over the internet. HOW IS THIS ALLOWED?

Let's be honest here. An ebay alert came on my phone on Saturday morning, that an auction I was following was ending soon. I looked and it was the dress I was so desperately dying to purchase! The one that matched Patsy's! In my morning haze, it seemed reasonably priced, comparatively and I bid with 10 seconds left. I won the auction. Later that day when I went to pay for my item, I immediately regretted my decision. What did I just spend on that dress, knowing  what it originally cost?

Oh eBay. The LillyforTarget items are all selling on ebay for a markup of 10-200% of what they are selling for in the store. THAT IS INSANE! (No joke, a $38 dress is selling for $125 dollars.) On twitter, people overheard Target employees bragging about how much money they made from what they bought and resold on eBay. Now that just isn't right.
This is NOT how much I paid for the same dress

Over the weekend, I visited several additional Target stores (including my own trip to Indiana) and I found a lot of cute things. I bought items for Mothers Day, bachelorette party gifts, and a little something for myself. On Monday, the famous dress that I had been lusting for all week had finally arrived. It included a thank you note from the seller saying "thank you for your purchase!" For some reason, this made me really mad. I had a million things I wanted to respond with; none of them were nice. Instead, I threw the thank you note away and tried on the dress. I was overcome with excitement to wear a matching dress with Patsy! We tried on our matching clothes and walked around the house and twirled together.

After the excitement wore off and after wearing the dress for 5 minutes, I found some flaws. I didn't like the length (it was too short to wear to work) and it was a very stiff and thin material (not very comfortable). It seemed like a dress that would be worth $38, not the price I paid. What did I just do? What do I do to rectify the situation? Try to return it to Target without a receipt? Try to resell it online for what I paid for it? Just keep it and learn from my mistake for next time? Decisions, decisions.

Target has come out and explicitly said that the items were only available for a limited time.

However, I saw some employees opening up a few small boxes of brand new Lilly Pulitzer items that hadn't previously been on shelves. That bright pink sticker cannot be missed! Some folks have recommended talking to the people in customer service. I tried that and got a mouth full of attitude so maybe it depends on the day and the employee?? As the window to return things from this line is just 14 days. From the initiation of the sale, that date is approaching so there will probably be more and more returns to stores this upcoming week for people that were unable to sell their items on eBay. If you're interested, I would check your local store. You never know what you might find! I know I'll be checking this week and weekend!
My brand new $15 summer tote! Perfect for weekend trips to Michigan!
The collection is split throughout the store into 3 main parts.
1) Clothing near the front. Usually womens and kids clothes are lumped together although sometimes you can find the kids stuff actually in the kids section.
2) Seasonal in the back corner. This is usually where you will find the larger items such as the hammock, umbrella, footstools, and sometimes housewards
3) Beauty on an endcap. This is where you'll find the nail polish, emery boards and occasionally the beauty bags.
If you see all three types of items up front, that is all that's left.

Good luck and happy shopping!

Oh, and if you happen to see the Lilly Pulitzer Laundry Basket at your local Target store, can you let me know? I'm trying to buy it for my mother-in-law for Mother's Day. She is impossible to shop for!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Things I'm Loving Lately (part II)

Here are some things that I am LOVING lately! I've fallen in love with about 4-5 different podcasts as well as these, but I wanted to pinpoint my longest standing favorites! If you're rewatching Friends on Netflix (like I am), I highly recommend Best of Friends Podcast. I swear, Erin Mallory Long is my spirit animal.

Gilmore Guys Podcast (link)
If you love Gilmore Girls then I HIGHLY recommend this podcast. It is about 2 guys discussing every episode. Demi has never seen the show before while Kevin has been a fan since the beginning. If you are watching along on Netflix for the first time, there are no spoilers for Demi's sake. I think their iTunes description really gives a great description of the podcast. 
Do you awaken in a cold sweat every night, fearing that two men will never start a podcast on Gilmore Girls? Kiss your night terrors GOODBYE. Veteran fan Kevin T. Porter and newcomer Demi Adejuyigbe go deep into Gilmore Girls episode by episode with special guests to analyze, praise, mock, and gab like gals about all things Stars Hollow and beyond. Seriously, these dudes are SUPER into Gilmore Girls.
I'm still in the middle of season 6 and I've stopped watching as I've now gone back and am re-watching episodes to go along with the podcast! Haha.

How Did This Get Made Podcast (link)
I actually heard about this podcast through Gilmore Girls as they've referenced it in their show and Jason Mantzoukas has also been a guest. I only recently started listening and I cannot stop laughing. It is a podcast where 3 very funny people (plus an occasional great guest) discuss bad movies, point out plot holes, and ask the important questions that us viewers want to know. Is Nicholas Cage supposed to be seen as attractive in Con Air? Why do those psychotic kids hate Hulk Hogan so much in Mr. Nanny? Why is Howard the Duck rated PG? These and more are discussed on the podcast. My suggestion is that you don't listen to it in public unless you want people staring at you while you're laughing out loud to yourself.

Starbucks Java Chip Light Frappuccino
This drink is pretty much my summer JAM. I discovered it about 2-3 years ago and have been addicted ever since. It is a coffee frappuccino with dark/semi sweet chocolate chips mixed in. It isn't overly sweet like most of the other fraps which is probably why I like this one. If you're dragging extra hard, you can always opt for the extra shot of espresso (as I sometimes do). YUM.

After hearing about this show for literally years, I've finally started to watch it thanks to Netflix. I've made it this long without discovering Laura Palmer's killer and I'm excited to see who it is! I've started season 2 (where I hear it kind of fell off the rails a few times) but I'm looking forward to finishing it after the CFA exam! And can I say that the lime green outlined font drives me CRAZY, yet it is very distinctive of the show!

Oiselle Gwen Tank (link)
It is no secret that I am an ambassador for Oiselle. Last year they came out with the Gwen tank. I haven't given it a try until recently and I am in LOVE. It is made of the super soft lux material and it hides an ugly extra supportive sports bra well with its razor back design. Oh and the "punch" color matches the burgen color (that I have so much of) pretty well! I think this will be one of my favorite outfits this summer!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Flashback Friday - Happy 1st Birthday Patsy!

I typed up this post back in October. Obviously I never posted it but I figured why not now? Here are some stats on Patsy from her first birthday back on September 12, 2014! It really is amazing to reflect on how far she has come since her first birthday!

Patsy is currently: 1 year old! Her first year of life really flew by and we've enjoyed so much of it! She is growing into such a curious and smart toddler... getting into all the things we need to still baby proof. Haha

Weight: She was 21 lbs, 4oz.

Height: 28 inches -- same as weight, no update from 9 month appt.

Clothing: She is in 12 and 18 month clothing now. I just recenly opened up the Halloween box and discovered all of her stuff from last Halloween. It 

Nicknames: Newest nicknames include Bratsy, when she doesn't want to go to sleep in her Pack N Play, but magically falls asleep in your arms the second you pick her up... And then "Stink Bomb" when she has a diaper full of an unpleasant surprises.

Health/Diet: She is loving table food more and more. Also, we are starting to make meals where we can give her parts as well. She is still vegetarian and will probably stay that way for a little while.

Going out to breakfast with her future BF, Mikey

Sleep: I've been trying to be better about sleep training. We had a nice routine going and then we lost power for a week and things were so crazy. Now, I think we need to get back into the old routine and hopefully she'll follow along. She takes really awesome naps in her pack n play when she's at Grandmas. At home, however, is a totally different story. She screams and cries if she's in her pack n play... While she's sleeping. It makes no sense.

Milestones: She is saying Dada pretty much all the time now. Most of the words she says start with the "d" sound. She also says "Dat" and loves to yell for no reason. She still doesn't say Mama, but thankfully her dad has started to teach her to say "Chris", which she has learned as well. She is also starting to pull herself up to stand with different objects--the coffee table, a laundry basket, her walker. You know, all the most dangerous items is what she tries to stand up against. She's also starting to make the transition from army crawl to regular crawl. Watch out guys!

Likes: cucumbers, yogurt, puffs, falling asleep in mom's arms, making fart noises (she's her father's daughter), kisses from Pepper, tubby time or any time she's in the water

Dislikes: cherries, avocados, when mommy leaves the room, when dada leaves the room

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Day in the Life of a Working Mom of a Toddler

I thought this might be a fun one to post. This is a list of things that have actually 100% happened to me this week. I've blended a few of the days together but this is a pretty typical day for me. It is chaotic. It is crazy. But that little smiling face is totally worth all of it and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!! Being a mom is something that I always imagined being my entire life. I really love that I have been blessed with a wonderful child who is so smart and independent in so many ways. I try not to think about how hard or challenging it is because this is just my life. The good definitely outweighs the bad in every way possible!

3:00am: Patsy wakes up in her crib. Debate for 2 second whether to lay with her in her bed to get her to go back to sleep, or to grab her and bring her in our bed. While thinking about this, get up, get her and bring her in our bed.

5:30am: Alarm goes off, try to get up and out of bed without waking Patsy or husband to sneak in a shower

5:35am: Hear Patsy crying but pretend I don't and continue showering

5:37am: Bathroom door slams open, hear a muffled "Mommy" in between some fake crying before the shower curtain is opened up with a smile and someone saying "HI!"

5:40am: Finish showering, get dressed, sit down to get ready

6:00am: Finish blowdrying hair with daughter in your lap. Wonder what warmth is all over your work pants? Oh, that is urine as she just peed through her diaper. Change my outfit, get Patsy dressed, clean up pee, get breakfast, feed Pepper

6:30am: Look at the clock, realize there is no way we will be ready in time. Make some toast with peanut butter and bananas, give Patsy part of the banana and some raspberries too. Walk back to the bathroom to finish getting ready. Realize once we are back in the bathroom, Patsy dropped raspberries on the floor, stepped in them and has walked through the house with raspberry juice footprints. Clean up raspberry footprints.

6:45am: Look in the mirror one more time before leaving for work, hate my outfit and spend 5-10 minutes trying on 5 different shirts, none of which fit the way I want them to (because they are from 2 years ago, before I was ever pregnant)

6:55am: Rush out the door, barely remembering to let the dog in, load up the car only to realize that Patsy now has a poopy diaper. Make executive decision not to change her and just drive to Grandma's house and let her know upon arrival (mom of the year folks).

7:12am: Drop Patsy off at Grandma's with a wave good bye and blowing kisses like a pro. Run to make the train, study on the train ride in.

8:20am: Pay mortgage and deposit husband's paycheck on the way to work

8:40am: Arrive at work a little late but that's okay. I've got until 5pm to get everything done.

5:05pm: Rushing to leave the office, running to make the train. Study on the train ride home

6:30pm: Pick up Patsy from Grandma's house. She falls asleep on the car ride home, when she wakes up she only wants to talk to or be held by Mommy. I try to cook something semi-healthy for dinner with a toddler clinging to my side.

6:45pm: Eat dinner as a family in front of the TV while watching The Simpsons. I haven't finished my meal yet but Patsy is crying, is done, and wants to get down. Dad helps take her down so I can finish eating. We play games in the living room until it is time for bed.

7:30pm: Bed time for Patsy. Time to brush her teeth and change into pajamas. She "shows daddy her PJs" while I tidy up her room from the morning's chaos and get ready for bed. Patsy helps pick out bedtime stories, turns on the sleep sheep and nightlight turtle. I put Patsy in the crib, climb in there myself and we lay and read bedtime stories together. We try to watch an episode of Friends on Netflix on my phone and she falls asleep. I then try to gingerly get out bed without waking her up

8:45pm: Tidy up the house from the chaos of the day's activities. Look at dishes in the sink but don't do them. Look at folded laundry in a basket but don't put it away.

9:00pm: Attempt to study for an hour before letting out Pepper and going to bed.

10:30pm: Bed time. Until everything starts all over again the next day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

More Chicago Food Truck Love

I did a post a few years ago about some of my favorite food trucks in Chicago (Cupcakes for Courage, Beavers Donuts, Cheesie's Pub Truck, Southern Mac & Cheese). As the food truck scene changes on a regular basis, I thought I would list some of my most recent favorites!

The Fat Shallot
Maggie and I have been here more often than I would like to admit (yet maybe not often enough). They make lots of different types of sandwiches on various types of bread. My favorite is the Truffle BLT, and it will literally change your life in the best way possible. It is served on Texas Toast with crispy bacon, peppery arugula, ripe red tomatoes with amazing truffle aioli. I'm so in love with this sandwich, it is hard to venture away from it. Although the buffalo chicken sandwich does look pretty amazing too. Oh, and don't forget to snag a side of fries with some more of the truffle aioli on top. Your lunch will be truffle-tastic. Washing it down with a cold cup of homemade lemonade will solidify the post-lunch food coma, if the fries and sandwich didn't do the trick. Are you hungry yet?

Flirty Cupcakes
I've been a big fan of the Cupcakes for Courage truck as my main source of red velvet cupcakes in the city. However, outside of red velvet, Flirty Cupcakes has the rest of the cupcake spectrum on lockdown. The strawberry shortcake is my new personal favorite but you pretty much can't go wrong with anything they have. For those of you in the suburbs, this truck occasionally makes its way down to Orland Park and it is definitely worth the traffic headache to give them a try! If you happen to miss the truck, they also have a store front in Little Italy. I only wish it had been open when I lived in the neighborhood! Oh yeah, and these cupcakes are Patsy approved and have been proven to hold off toddler tantrums for at least 20 minutes!

Doughnut Vault
Its no secret that when I was pregnant, I became mildly obsessed with old fashioned doughnuts. I would go out of my way on the walk to work to stop and indulge. Doughnut Vault was one of my favorite stops. Thankfully, they now have a cool old fasioned van to make their old fashioned doughnuts much more accessible. The lemon poppyseed and buttermilk old fashioned are some of my favorites, but I don't think you can really go wrong with anything on their menu. Their weekly flavors and van schedule are updated regularly on their website. This delicacy is perfect for breakfast, elevensies, lunch dessert or any other time of day!

What are your favorite Chicago food trucks? Are there any great ones that I haven't mentioned?

Friday, April 10, 2015

My Life - An Update

It isn't really a secret that I've been a terrible blogger. My last post was about Thanksgiving... In December... I never even talked about Christmas or anything in my life since. Turns out that trying to chase around a toddler, while working full time, trying to be a good wife and studying for level 2 of the CFA exam doesn't leave much time for blogging.

Well, Christmas was pretty amazing. Our little girl had an amazing time opening up presents, and throwing away the tiniest little bit of wrapping paper, before ripping off the next shred.

We also went back to the Abbey in Lake Geneva, WI for our annual visit with the husband's family. Also, I totaled my car and it had to be replaced. We are now proud owners of a minivan. Yes, that is us now.

The temperatures were so cold we spent most of the month indoors. We had lots of fun breakfasts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. Don't worry. Pepper is here too, not missing a single crumb!

I ran my 9th (holy crap) Shamrock Shuffle. I ran the race with my good old friend and BRF, Maggie @ Mag Mile Runner, but for some reason there wasn't a single professional photo of us. Thankfully we ran into Amanda @ Too Tall Fritz and Judy in the corrals before the race. I still need to work on that race report. That's a post for another day.

We went for a trip with our friends to Door County in Wisconsin. Note: I don't suggest going there for vacation before May 1st. We came home and had a fun Easter egg hunt with Patsy.

Oh and over this time, I've actually kept up with my running! I've tried to run 2-3 days a week and with everything else going on, I consider that an accomplishment. I've been trying to work on my photography skills to get some better photos of me running. Or maybe I just need to learn how to use my timer better. Lol

Those are pretty much the highlights of what I've been up. Reflecting on some old posts, I really like going back and reading what I was doing at that time and what was going on in my life. Let's hope this is the start of more things to come! Thanks for reading!