Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Move In Assessment

The movers came today!!! I have all of my stuff back! Ah... breathe a sigh of relief. An assessment of the days events:

Pro: the movers arrived at our house by 8:30.
Con: we overslept and didn't get to the house until 8:15 after a phone call from the movers because they couldn't find our house.

Pro: the movers were super nice and stayed to unpack most of our boxes.
Con: there is absolutely no flat surface left in our new house not covered in dishes, books, or general junk.

Pro: our bed fits even better in our large master bedroom than expected.
Con: we can't sleep on the bed unless we put away the six foot tall mountain of clothing, linens, pillows, and towels that were unceremoniously "unpacked" onto the bed.

Pro: almost all of our belongings arrived in one piece.
Con: the few things that did break (two fancy bowls, a lamp, one of the pink champagne flutes from London that NavyGuy got me, and his 55" plasma screen TV) could be a huge pain in the ass to replace.

Pro: the new rug looks nice in the livingroom.
Con: you can no longer see the new rug in the livingroom because of the furniture, boxes, and 15 lamps that were shoved in the livingroom throughout the day.

Pro: we have enough glassware, barware, or stemware to provide a glass of water for every person in Anacortes... at the same time.
Con: we have enough glassware, barware, or stemware to provide a glass of water for every person in Anacortees... at the same time.

Pro: I found a few bridal magazines that I'd forgotten I'd packed!
Con: I remembered how many tasks are listed as "overdue" on my theknot.com wedding to-do list.

Pro: We got the requisite decals for our garbage cans so the city will pick up our garbage.
Con: Our street is so new that it's not on any maps, and so far everyone who's tried to get there has gotten lost.

Pro: My mom sent a gorgeous vase of housewarming flowers to the house (they even match our livingroom color scheme!)
Con: We had to put them on the newel (sp) post at the bottom of the stairway as it was the only flat surface not covered in cups or lamps.

Pro: The cable company gave us free installation on our uber cable/internet/phone package - and we're getting all the movie channels.
Con: They won't be out to hook it up for over a week, and I may die of television withdrawl before then.

All in all, it was a good day. We have obscene amounts of cleaning, organizing, and "putting-away" to do the next few days. We'd like to make significant progress before the first roommate arrives on Sunday and brings more stuff into the house. If you see a CNN headline about a home in Washington sinking into the ground in the next few days, I'll be sure to send you lots of photos ;) Luckily for you little readers, the library in town has free wi-fi, so I should still have internet access during the next week. Perhaps, I'll do a small series on how I manage to spend my time without the usual 3-6 hours of tv a day...

Enjoy your homes where items are actually in cabinets!


Monday, September 29, 2008

The Navy needs higher standards...

A conversation with NavyGuy this morning...

Setting: The breakfast room at our hotel. NavyGuy is eating an English muffin.

NavyGuy: I can't get this blueberry jam packet open.

Mugs: Eh?

NavyGuy: This little jam packet - there's no way to open it!

NavyGuy holds up packet for me to see.

Mugs: Uh...

NavyGuy: Oh, wait, here's the flap...

Mugs (shaking my head in horror/disbelief): Wow.

NavyGuy (with a shit-ass grin on his face): And they're gonna let me fly a a $68 million dollar airplane!


Book Review: Twilight and New Moon

Twilight; The Twilight Saga Book 1
Stephenie Meyer
c2006 Little Brown and Company, 544 pgs.

New Moon; The Twilight Saga Book 2
Stephenie Meyer
c2006 Little Brown and Company, 563 pgs.

The Least You Need to Know
... vampire themed bestsellers, four books in the series (I'm halfway through), movie version of the first book arriving in theaters this Thanksgiving.

Setting... Forks, WA (even farther northwest than where I am)

Major Characters... Bella, 17 year old recent transplant to Forks; Edward, Bella's vampire love interest; Charlie, Bella's dad; Jacob, Bella's best friend... who becomes a bigger plot fixture in the second book.

Favorite Part... the backstory created to explain the existence of vampires, and details of how they live and their world.

Reminds me of... Harry Potter, Philip Pullman's Dark Materials, Beauty and the Beast.

You'll like it if... you want to return to the deeply emotional days of high school love, or you enjoy good young adult literature.

You'll hate it if... you are easily bored by lots of descriptive prose and a slow initial plot.

Rated... PG for violence, imagery, and romantic entanglements; G for language.

Why I liked it... honestly, it's one of those books that you enjoy, but you can't quite put your finger on it. The writing isn't exemplary, the characters aren't amazing, and yet, you can't stop reading. (Hence, the slightly generic review... I liked it and want to read the last two, but I can't figure out why.)

Reading this book in public says... you're up on what's popular and have some taste, but don't want to strain your brain with a political tome or the new Philip Roth novel.

Sample sappy passage...

"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars - points of light and reason... and then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn't see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason for anything."

Recommended by... Princess of Ales

Movie Trailer


Sunday, September 28, 2008

40,000 bikers and 1 rug

Huh? Yeah, the title refers to my Sunday. After waking up at 5:15am because the crazy alarm clock in our hotel room was somehow set, I putzed online, talked to mom for an hour (boy did I scare her when I called at 6:15 my time), and then convinced NavyGuy that we should continue our search for a livingroom rug for the new house. We had looked at IKEA on Saturday, but were wholly disappointed in the selection. We needed something fairly big, but also a good "fall" color to blend in with the color scheme in our new house, plus it had to past NavyGuy's scratchiness test (don't ask)...

In a preview of our future joint furniture/home decorating life together, we went to nine different stores in the past 24 hours, remembered that we have completely different tastes, price points, quality vs. quantity perspectives, and opinions on what constitutes a "scratchy" rug. God help us. I think those experts who claim so many divorces are because of money are full of it; I'm gonna write a book and get on Oprah showing that home decor decisions are to blame. The worst part of all of this is yes, we did find a rug, but it wasn't until the last store - WalMart! Gag. It is a sweet rug though, and we paid just enough money that I'll want to vacuum it and keep it nice, but no so much money that I'll commit homicide if one of the boy roommates spills beer on it.

In other news, we got our first taste of weekend life in Anacortes... and one weekend a year, that taste includes 40,000 motorcycles and 63,000 thousand pairs of leather chaps. Huh? Luckily, we arrived right in time for the annual Oyster Run. When a real estate agent first mentioned this earlier in the week, we thought, "Oh okay, like a 5K or something. Maybe a cutesy little festival for the anniversary of the first oyster caught (fished?) on the island." Ha! We were quickly informed that Oyster Run is the Pacific Northwest's version of Sturgis, but with more wind and I swear more leather. In the span of one day, literally thousands of bikers descend on Anacortes (a "town" of maybe 15,000 people) for this event, which seems to involve parking bikes along the street, gazing upon the bikes, and drinking. Oh, and snarling traffic from here to the mainland. Natch.

I'm sorry, but I was just never one of those girls who found motorcycle guys appealing. I never had the fantasy of being a rebel and cruising around town with the muscular, dark haired, biker guy, revving the engine, and stoppin' at the drive-in before breaking curfew. I find motorcycles loud, smelly, loud, annoying on the highway, recklessly dangerous, irritating when they park at the front of a parking spot and you think there's an open spot, but nope - cycle - , and oh, did I mention loud? Plus, I've never looked good in leather. So, realizing our cute little town was going to be invaded, we headed out of Dodge for the day to shop in the closest town with a mall. Along the way however, we had to stop for gas, and we entered the tattooed Twilight Zone. The gas station was overrun with cycles, and interesting people clustered in groups, staring at other groups, sizing everyone up. I swear, if Hell's Angels had driven up to the pump next to us, I would not have been surprised. And there seemed to be some sort of hierarchy or tribal order to the different cliques of bikers clustered throughout the parking lot. We didn't stay long enough for me to do an anthropological study, but I did deduce that wearing pink leather or eating organic chips did not boost your popularity.

NavyGuy and I have a busy few days coming up - we officially get keys to the house tomorrow. When the movers will come is still up in the air, but the time is getting closer when yours truly will finally have the important things again: a permanent address, her own bed, all of her clothes, her scrapbooking supplies, and her TiVo. It's been beautiful weather the entire time we're here, but guess when it's going to start raining... ;)


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Movin' On Up

In case you missed it, at 9:45am (PST), the sun broke though the clouds in Anacortes, choirs of angels began to sing Handel's Hallelujah, and Mr. NavyGuy and Miss Mugs officially signed the lease of a fancy pants house on a hill. (Can you hear the angels still singing? By the way, it was beautiful and sunny all day here in the typically rainy, dreary Pacific Northwest which I take to be a good omen and blessing from some sort of real estate god.)

I'm working at getting a bunch of photos up so you all can gaze on the heaven that is my new residence. In the meantime, I will list all of its assets...

-kick ass master suite
-jetted tub
-large shower
-cell phone reception
-brand spanking new, never been lived in
-laundry room with counter space and cupboard storage
-clean carpets
-schnazzy rounded wall corners (hard to explain, but check out the photos closely)
-bourgeouis kitchen
-new appliances
-fireplace in livingroom and master suite
-gas range
-two car garage
-walk-in closets
-three bedrooms
-cute built in shelves in several rooms
-pretty painted walls (kitchen - green, most other rooms - taupe-ish)
-hardwood floors
-better than granite countertops
-two sinks in the master bath
-many nooks to put holiday decorations in
-views of the mountains and water
-pretty siding
-general fanciness and wonderfulness :)

Is it too obvious that I'm in love? Alas, we do not move in until Monday, and even then we have to wait for the movers to bring our belongings. As soon as we have internet access there, I'll be certain to post again. In the meantime, enjoy checking out the photos, and feel free to send decorating suggestions!



Friday, September 26, 2008

Homeless-ness Update

We may... (cross fingers, say a prayer, spin three times and spit over your left shoulder or whatever voodoo magic you subscribe to)... have a house!

Should know tomorrow morning, as we're scheduled to meet with the rental lady at the house, where she'll fill us in on our credit history fate. Tonight I'll be dreaming of arranging furniture and hanging pictures! :)

I'll update as soon as I can once we know, and then post pics if possible... (ooooo, no jinx no jinx no jinx!)


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Today by the Numbers

12 - the number of houses/condos that NavyGuy and I toured today in Anacortes.

1 - the number of rental house keys we almost lost in the car because neither of us could agree who would take responsibility and hold them in a pocket.

4 - the number of rental house keys we used to try to unlock the door to a rundown shack that after peering through the windows we decided we'd never seriously consider anyway (we never got the door open).

5 - the number of homes with lazy susan cupboards in the kitchen. Why lazy susans excite me more than a cure for cancer I do not know.

189 - the number of cabinet doors I test drove throughout the day.

1 - the number of size 4 children's rainboots that I discovered in the kitchen cupboard of a house.

2 - the number of realtors who could not remember my name after shaking my hand numerous times (not counting the realtor with whom I've exchanged several emails in the past week).

15 - the number of minutes wasted while a real estate agent attempted to figure out which condo she was supposed to be showing us.

10 - the number of minutes spent wandering the Safeway trying to locate NavyGuy after we stopped for coffee and got separated when he went looking for my special yogurt (and I wandered off to scout the donut selection).

21 - the number of minutes it takes to drive from our potential house to the Navy base one city away (which we needed to "test drive" in order to accurately assess how long it will take someone to get from home to base... or conversly, how long it will take someone else to get from home to the Dairy Queen in Oak Harbor).

16 - the number of times NavyGuy did not follow my clear, calm, perfectly worded driving directions.

10 - the number of times I made fun of NavyGuy for not being able to follow a map (when his Navy job is to essentially, navigate!)

425 - the number of different light switches we turned on and off in houses today.

28 - the number of different light switches we turned on and off in houses today that seemed to do absolutely nothing whatsoever.

9 - the number of different light switches we turned on and likely not off in houses today.

2 - the number of houses we're debating between and for which we're waiting on credit checks.

18 - the number of opinions that will likely be entertained when deciding between the two homes.

3 - the number of glasses of imaginary wine that I've downed this evening (you can't be hungover when you have more homes to see the next day).

1 - the number of season premiere episodes of The Office that are allowing me to forget all of this :)


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Slight backtrack...

So, before I completely block Part Two of our American Road Trip 2008, I best share a few of the high (and low) lights. The general overview first:

NavyGuy and I left Berkeley Monday morning, drove the famous Highway 1 north approximately 4 hours, and stopped at a bed and breakfast in Mendocino, CA. Day 2, we got up early, pulled a long driving day, and got to Portland, OR where we crashed for the night at my college roommate's (Princess of Ales/Beer Widow) apartment with her and her husband. Then, Day 3, we finished the drive to Whidbey Island, WA (or more correctly, Anacortes, Washington). So, the basic gist is that we've spent three days in the car, and finally arrived in our final destination this afternoon.

Now for the fun bits...

~ I barely made it 20 miles into our ocean view drive on Highway 1 before feeling nauseous and forcing NavyGuy to pull off the road. In my defense, this is a road that twists and turns constantly, with obscene switchbacks, all the while leaving you exposed to look over the edge of a huge cliff with a 500 foot drop to the ocean and rocks below. Pretty? Yes. Good for weak-stomached midwesterners? No. Conveniently though, our stop allowed us to take a few beautiful photos of the vista and even whip out the video camera to record the Kodak moment. [Photos above are google images, but that's essentiallywhat our drive looked like - can you see the scary road snaking around the cliffs? Agh!]

~ Definitely saw two hippies sitting on top of their car in the middle of the Redwood forest in California playing a guitar and bongo drums.

Here's our super cute Auberge Mendocino Seaside Inn and Cottage - we stayed in the Riesling Room :)

~ We had a delectable breakfast at the B&B Tuesday morning in Mendocino, and I only slightly embarassed myself. I ask you - how uncouth is it to set your morning pills on the tablecloth so you don't forget to take them, only to accidentally lose the tiny birth control pill? On a scale of 1-10? What, like a 4? Anyway, NavyGuy and I commenced a discreet search and rescue operation and managed to locate the lost merchandise under the orange juice pitcher. Again, you can dress her up...

~ College roomie's hubby (front right) is a beer king at a new brewery in Portland - Hopworks Urban Brewery (I'll charge nothing for the plug) - so we met them there for dinner on Tuesday night. The pizza is amazing, and the beer... well, I'm not exactly a beer girl, but a couple pints of BeerMan's brew and I'm a convert. It was great to get to hang out with Sketch and BeerMan, even if our visit was a only a lightning quick 12 hours. Now that I'm in the same time zone as my buddy again, I suspect our next visit will not be only half a day in length.

~ There was one last Dairy Queen stop on this trip - chocolate cones will never disappoint.

Tomorrow NavyGuy and I are off to find an abode in this here little village. I'll save my first impressions of Anacortes until I've been here at least a full day, but so far I've toured one of the grocery stores, and stopped at the McDonalds - both of which proved satisfactory. NavyGuy and I are holed up in the Anaco Inn (hows about that creative name), in a pimped out room with a living room, and full kitchen! Score! There's also a potbelly fireplace thingy, and wifi (thank god). We found yummy frozen pizza at the grocery store, along with eight rows of wine - eight rows!!!! Mmmm... we clinked our glasses of Washington state red wine and celebrated surviving our 10 state road trip (yes, we totaled our travels at lunch today).

Stay tuned - the adventure continues!



Road trip over.

House hunting on.

Mugs wants a permanent address and her TiVo (not necessarily in that order).

For all of you who have called or sent well wishes, we have arrived in Anacortes, WA, and it was great to get your texts and voice mails. (As I've been traveling through cell-phone-reception-less-zones for the past three days, I haven't returned many calls.) More updates to come - thanks for the patience. Keep sending those good wishes - my new "town" has very few stoplights, and it's been raining off and on all day - help!!!


Saturday, September 20, 2008


Things you should not say to your fiancee when he returns from 2 weeks of military survival training:

"Ew! Your feet are so gross."

"You lost 15 pounds! Not fair! I want that kind of diet!"

"But aren't you glad I didn't break anything else on the car?"

"Whatever dude - you man cuddled in the desert!"

"I've done a LOT of walking - almost a couple miles one day!"

"I can't believe you ate rabbit stew. I would not have done that."

"Ugh. I'm tired. I'm going to bed."


Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Updates

My Berkeley-cation is almost over. NavyGuy survived the survival training (he said he missed me more than food... I'll pause while you gag), and he is headed up here tomorrow. We'll spend a little time with Sister, Brother-in-Law, and Puppy before starting on part 2 of our 2008 relocation.

Our house search has proved frustrating. We are attempting to find a house to rent for one year somewhere on Whidbey Island. Because we are unfamiliar with the area, we didn't want to commit to a house purchase until we get a better feel for the place. Additionally, two of NavyGuy's good friends will also be training in Whidbey for a year, so we're actually searching for a many bedroomed mansion for the four of us to share. I must have been drunk when I agreed to this plan, but as NavyGuy pointed out - his friends will be over often enough studying and hanging out, that we might as well just let them live there and collect rent and utilities. Plus, this way we can live in a nicer house (better kitchen, possible waterfront property, etc.). Alas, we've yet to find our perfect castle, so the quest continues.

I am still in search of my graduate school books. They were shipped from California and allegedly arrived in Pensacola the day we left, so I've been playing phone tag with the student services people, trying to get another package sent. You'd think they would want me to get going on the degree - perhaps they haven't heard my rant about how I won't be paying a dime more until I actually have something tangible from them to show for my money.

The battle with the wedding venue continues. They are insisting that we be finished with the ceremony by 2:00 in the afternoon, because they want to be able to schedule a second event afterward (so they can make the most money). I (and NavyGuy and my mom and his parents) say, if we sign up for the space and date first - we should have first dibs on when we want to get hitched! I don't hate the idea of an earlier ceremony, but I would rather not have the guests picking their noses for hours between the ceremony and the reception, nor would I like to host a four hour cocktail reception. The negotiations are ongoing; hopefully the venue will relent so I don't have to bust out the big guns (I'm not quite sure yet what I'll use for big guns, so if anyone has any actual guns they would lend, that may be useful...).

Hope your weekend is eventful, relaxing, or hilarious (whichever you need at the moment)!


Take that!

I am, officially, ahead of Oprah.

Not only had I heard of her new Book Club pick over a month ago, I already purchased it on Amazon in August. (Is it wrong that I'm super gleeful over this turn of events?)

Who's the queen now?!?


Thursday, September 18, 2008

BTSS - Shoes

Well, this is the last installment of my Back to School Shopping 2008 Series. I saved my favorite for last; the secret that all women know about shoes is that they're the best thing to shop for because you can always find something you like, you can always find something on sale, and you can always find shoes that fit! I must admit, I'm befuddled by some of the styles that are showing up this fall - booties? Fringe? Instead of being all-inclusive, I opted to showcase only shoes I would (and could) buy. I make no claims to any sort of comfort pledge on any of these styles; I can only vouch for their cuteness. Enjoy, friends.American Eagle Classmate Button Slip-on - Payless
Just like what the kids are wearing today, but more mature. Please do not wear skull and crossbones on your shoes after you've reached the age of 25. These are a fantastic alternative. A subtle color palette, a little arch support - what more could a trendy "old fart" ask for?
Champion Infinity Mary Jane - Payless
The beer budget equivalent of a Sketcher's brand slip on, these light blue sneakers are casual enough to go to a park, yet dressy enough to wear with khakis. If Payless were smart, they'd solict a few more color options.
Nine West Barbe - Zappos.com
Yeow-za! (Sound it out.) That ain't just your boring librarian blue pinstrip suit anymore, not with these clicking down the street! Please excuse my salivation - I blame the moc croc.

Style&Co. Strapped Boot - Macys
I do not know how to walk in these. I do not know how to wear these. I do not know what to wear with these. I do not know if my jeans belong outside or inside these boots. And yet... I'm strangely drawn to them...

Croft & Barrow Kerri Plaid Flats - Kohls
I have to say - I got two pairs of these last year (black and brown), and wore them to shreds. I got tons of compliments, and my only regret is that after wearing them to shreds, I have to buy new ones (oh, and sometimes they get a little smelly, but a couple Dr. Scholls fixed that right up.) Kohls seems to have them again this season in brown, black, red, and this nifty plaid. Run - do not walk - and get them before the only sizes left are 5.5 and 10.

Merona Elaina T-Strap Pumps
- Target
Oooo la la! A touch of 1930s, a sprinkle of 2008, and you've got yourself one saucy dress shoe. I'd suggest a thoroughly modern outfit to match these or else you'll end up looking like you're auditioning for Annie or playing historical era dress-up.
Xhilaration Sybil Mary Jane Wedges - Target
The requisite black work shoe, but cuter. The wedge gives a little lift, but much more comfortable to stand in all day than heels.

Lela Rose Felicia Ballet Flat
- Payless
The pretty scoop toe is comfortable, yet not too stubby. I very much enjoy the color (though it does also come in a coral, which I find too summery), and do not care that my feet would be cold when I would inevitably wear them sans socks.

Hilt Pump - Payless
Available in an array of colors, I find the silver a versatile fit for fall. The pointy, but not stabby toe, sexy, but not slutty heel height - hooray. I suspect multiple purchases...Xhilaration Sarai Knotted Flats - Target
Another flat option (god bless you shoe gods for bringing back the flat), I like the detailing on the toe. It reminds me of a bow, yet it simpler. Also available in a butter color.


Book Review: Bitter is the New Black

Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending , Egomaniacal, Self-Centered, Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry a Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office
Jen Lancaster
c2006 Penguin Books, 416 pgs.

Haiku Summary... sassy girl lost job, but not her sense of humor, new money plan - write.

Favorite part... the discussions between Jen and Fletch (boyfriend, later husband), because they reminded me of the irrational conversations NavyGuy and I have (okay, irrational on my part, bewildered on his). For example, Jen feels the need to buy a new couch (pre-job-loss) because their current couch is, to quote, "icky."

Reminds me of... Jennifer Weiner, Chelsea Handler, Carrie Bradshaw.

You'll like it if... you accept ahead of time that she's blunt, rude, sarcastic, biting, and judgemental, and just read for the amusement and laughs.

You'll hate it if... you expect all your heroines to turn their lives 180 degrees around and become perfect people by page 350.

Read at/on... the beach, Starbucks, a road trip, the couch in pajamas.

Rated... R for language and content (though Jen is Amish modest).


(When Fletch goes on a business trip and leaves her alone) “I need Fletch around to remind me it’s not appropriate to eat Lucky Charms three times a day simply because I despise cooking.”

(On her visit to the Gynecologist) “Note To Self For Future Reference: Tubby girls with smart mouths will be given paper robes, not cloth, by nurses who lack senses of humor.”

(A letter to Fox News) “For future reference, please keep in mind that discretion is the better part of valor. And that I’m on the wrong side of my thirties with high cholesterol. My small, clogged, black heart can only take so many FOX ALERTS, so let’s make ‘em count, okay?”

(Advertisement she put in the paper) “Unemployed And Bitter: Sarcastic ex-sorority girl seeks high-paying job in idiot-free environment. Must allow employees to wear cute shoes. Interested?”……”Who knew so many foot fetishists read the Tribune?
Recommended by... Farmer's Wife


BTSS - Green Shopping Bags

In case you haven't heard, there may or may not be a slight problem with the environment (who knows, maybe it will all just blow over...). Regardless of your beliefs about the cause of global climate change, everyone can get on board with a simple step on the way to a solution - reusable shopping totes! I have already broken down and purchased two of the Target bags, but as I stroll the hippie streets of Berkeley, it's clear that many other options have arrived. Check these out and feel better about your green reputation. (Hint: In order for these to actually prove useful, you have to remember to take them to the store when you shop. My technique is twofold: 1) Unpack bags immediately upon arriving home. 2) Put bags back in the front seat of the car somewhere (find a place between the seats that you can shove them) so that you see them when you get to the store and remember to take them in.)

A note: Many stores are now selling their own reusable bags for usually less than a dollar, so if you don't want to make a huge investment in bags you aren't positive you'll remember to use, those are a low-cost option until you're ready to spring for the fancier bags.
Large Insulated Tote Bag
- Build NY Market Totes
Made out of the same stuff they make wetsuits (neoprene), this bag will keep your ice cream cold all the way home. Available in three sizes, and two other colors.

Juice Drink Pouch Tote
- Target
Fantastic! Available in several other flavors - er, colors - and soooo much fun!

Grocery Shopper Reusable Bag - Target
Fun (and somehow makes me hungry for a donut?), this bag says, "I'm whimsical, a bit of a classic, yet still modern."

Bring Your Own Bug Grasshopper - Ecobags.com
Tee hee hee. I'm not normally a fan of kitchy sayings, but seriously - when the grasshopper is this cute, how can you resist?

Kids Series, Baa Maa and Paa - Envirosax
Funky and cute, with a comfy looking strap to sling this bag over your shoulder. Plus it's super lightweight and can be rolled up to store.

Modern Cotton Totes, Series III - b.happybags
Quirky names like "betty" and "dottie" make these bags extra happy!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

BTSS - Handbags

This category is another severe weakness of mine. I think I have some kind of purse biological clock that kicks in about every three months, driving me mercilessly to a store (usually Target) to get a new purse. The selection I've chosen here ranges in sizes and prices, so ideally, at least one will inspire you to run out to your local store (again, I clearly have a Target preference) and make an impulse purchase of your own! [Editor's Note: Sizes are included after the descriptions because many times the pictures are deceptive.]

Xhilaration Ombre Satchel Small
- Target
Hmmm... do I need a new bag right now? Define need. Ooooo, it's so shiny and pretty! It also comes in purple, but I'm really lusting after this black ombre feel. Would it be wrong to trick NavyGuy into pulling off the highway in some town betwee here and Whidbey, so I can make a Target run? Define wrong... ;) (14in x 8in)

Issac Mizrahi Small Flap Bag - Target
A little bit smaller, a little bit retro. Break out the pearls and gloves and head out for brunch or an afternoon movie. (14in x 14in)

Merona Small Satchel - Target
This shape is a common one in which for me to purchase an everyday bag. The longer length (as opposed to depth) helps combat the "bag black hole" syndrome because items can't pile on top of each other as much, and the longer straps usually keep it from constantly sliding off of your shoulder. It's gray (despite looking black in the photo), which is a pleasant change from black. (8in x 6in x 15in)

Nara Patent Handbag
- Forever 21
Sophisticated, yet youthful. Complete with some inside slit pockets for cell phone and chapstick. Cute button detailing. Only regret is that it comes in just one color (though I am a big fan of this color; be brave folks - try something besides black or brown this fall). (13in x 16.5in)

Chinese Laundry Python Embossed Clutch - JCPenny
That's right - little ole JCPenny is now hawking the fancy pants bags from Chinese Laundry... for less than $30! There is no good way to describe the hottness of this bag; simple get thee to a Pennys and then find somewhere cool enough to go out with it. (11in length)

axcess Kaylee Hobo - Kohls
Much like my mocked silver "satchel" of this summer (which everyone conveniently wanted to either borrow things from, or use as their own personal dumping ground!), this carry-all will allow you to take everything you need for work, afterwork, and possibly the following day - in one convenient bag. I would highly suggest this type of "purse" for any airplane excursions, now that most airlines are charging you for checked bags. Stash a toothbrush, clean underwear, and all your other esentials in this bag, and still drag a regular carry-on bag on board! Take that American Airlines... grrrr. (12in x 15in)

City Style Leopard Satchel - New York and Company
Do it - you know you want to! The sensible part of your brain screams, "leopard print is too vulgar for me" but the fun part screams even louder, "I can totally work this kick-ass bag." If you want another argument to beat back the sensible side - the bag has brown and black in it, so it basically matches everything. (sizing unavailable)

Women's Cross Body Hobos - Old Navy
I can't say it much better than the description already provided: "...perfect for a day trip to the beach, the farmer's market, or for just tooling around town on your cruiser. Interior zip pocket keeps the important stuff from disappearing in the abyss." Hehe. I love that they acknowledge a larger bag can suck things into a black hole or abyss. P.S. Check the sale price for yourself cuz you're not going to believe me when I tell you this bag is only $7.99! It's also available in two other patterns. (22in x 17in. 27in strap)

Heritage Stripe Tote - COACH
No handbag roundup is complete without the #1 name in overpriced armwear - Coach. If you aren't familiar with this brand, scan the prices on their website. (As a hint, I couldn't even afford a bag when NavyGuy and I once found a Coach outlet store.) But alas, they tempt me so. This version, with the name-check-worthy Coach pattern, can be slung over the shoulder, or carried gingerly in your hand (if you dare take it out of doors, that is). Someday little one, someday. (13.5in x 10.5in)


You Knew This Point Was Coming

Lucy managed to get me tangled in a "re-elect Dewelsky for school board" yard sign on our walk today.

She also licked my bagel.

(And yes, I ate the whole thing anyway - c'mon! She's licked most of my face anyway, and it was a perfectly toasted bagel!)

The puppy honeymoon is officially over.


BTSS - Jewelry

Obviously, all of these pieces cannot be worn at the same time, but I promise you WILL have trouble deciding between them. My only advice is to choose one big piece at a time; wearing earrings, bracelet, necklace, anklet, and four rings at the same time is not called stylish - it's called trying too hard.

Quartz Double-Strand Sterling Silver Necklace - Dean Harris for Target
Seems like this is the new necklace style for fall. A thick double strand that goes approximately 2/3 of the way around. Even though I haven't tried one on yet, it looks like something that would work with a lot of different necklines, and will probably last a few seasons.

Gorjana Essex Chime Earrings - Shopbop.com
Gold compliments all those wonderful fall oranges, greens, red, and purples that you've been waiting to wrap yourself in. These earrings are subtle enough for work, but sassy enough for the weekend.
El Mar Diver Watch - Urban Outfitters
If you decide to try the bright yellow trend, but don't want to make a huge commitment, this watch is perfect. Not only is it stylish in it's own right, but the color really makes the details pop!

Multi Stone Faceted Stretch Bracelet - Ann Taylor
Whoa! Large and in charge bracelet. Sauce up the little black dress, or add to jeans and dressy jacket for a Saturday afternoon at the mall.

Grey Pearl Earrings - Ann Taylor
A slightly different spin on a classic. (You don't have to tell anyone they're faux pearls - just respond with a question about their earrings and they'll forget they even asked.)

Barbados Genuine Abalone with Glass and Resin Beads
- Lia Sophia
So the earrings pictured are also great, but I heart this extra long beaded necklace. It just looks so gentle, and would be great paired with fall's V-neck sweaters.
Vintage Filigree Cuff - Forever 21
I love this bronzy gold look, because it's a great neutral that can be paired with bright colors or black and white. Large amounts of shiny gold can look too harsh or cheesy, but this bracelet/cuff works fantastically with 3/4 length shirts.

Polished Bird Necklace - Forever 21
Simple, yet unique. Great for adding a little umph to a basic long-sleeve tee.

City Style Flower Brooch Necklace
- New York and Company
Is it a brooch? Is it a necklace? I don't know, and I don't care. This chunky necklace (all the rage according to InStyle magazine), is a statement all its own. Also available in a slate gray/purple combo.Vote Button - Forever 21
The best statement jewelry. Yes, you CAN wear this and be cool.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Book News

You'd think with all my free time, I'd have known before TODAY that a new Philippa Gregory book was releasing TODAY and I wouldn't just be sharing this fabulous news with you people TODAY!!!

Good grief. Okay. So. Philippa Gregory writes wonderful historical "fiction," primarily set in England during the 1500s/1600s (I put fiction in quotes, because she does obscene amounts of research, so I consider her books an interesting fiction/nonfiction hybrid). She's most well known for the book The Other Boleyn Girl (recently adapted in so-so fashion by Natalie Portman, Eric Bana, and Scarlett Johannson in the film with the same title), but she has many other novels as well. I have read many of them, and find the ones set in castles with princesses and queens to be the most entertaining (I'd suggest The Constant Princess or The Boleyn Inheritance if you're new to this genre).

Her latest, despite not being set in a castle proper, seems intriguing; The Other Queen is about Mary, Queen of Scots, and USAToday has already given it a great review (with an analogy to Angelina Jolie no less). A brief excerpt of the plot from about.com:

"The story is told from the point of view of the Queen of Scots, being held against her will in England after she fled insurrection in her country. Her story alternates with the narratives of the husband and wife who host -- and restrain -- her. They bring differing perspectives of the old noble England as well as the newly-minted Protestant wealthy class. "
The book officially released today, so there are few personal reader reviews available at this point on Amazon.com. Regardless, this author has proved fantastic in the past and that's good enough for me. Once I get my hands on a copy, I'll be sure to post a full review.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Mundane Monday

Today was super uneventful, and it's really hitting me that I have absolutely nothing to do. I have no job. I have no responsibilities (aside from personal hygiene). One's day should not revolve solely around meals. The problem of course is that my life is on pause at the moment (or to use an airplane metaphor since that's the cause of all this - I'm in a holding pattern). Until NavyGuy and I finish relocating and find a new place to live, I can't move forward with any projects that will actually occupy more than eight brain cells.

You never realize how much of your life is tied up in having a permanent address. The following projects are all at a standstill because of my temporary nomadic existence:

  1. starting grad school classes (the books are lost somewhere in the U.S. because the university can't figure out where to deliver them)
  2. applying for a Washington teaching license (apparently, the Department of Instruction expects a potential teacher to actually have residency in the state of Washington)
  3. wedding planning (not technically impossible, but considerably confusing when you try to explain your situation to a vendor - the poor bridesmaid dress store consultant nearly had an aneurysm trying to follow my story
Sigh. I can't even do scrapbook projects because all of my supplies are (hopefully) still packed in boxes in a moving van or storage unit somewhere (hopefully) in the contiguous U.S. Agh!!!! I know, I know - NavyGuy is suffering through survival training, eating cactus and sleeping in the freezing cold desert, so I really should not be complaining... but I'm just getting so anxious to be busy and productive again. And not just for the sake of having something to blog about! It is a cruel irony that you always want to be doing what you're not; I'm sure many of you would kill to be hanging out on the couch reading books all day instead of whatever job you have to go to tomorrow, while I would gladly get up at 5:45, go back to my old workplace, and teach high schoolers the difference between Austria and Austrialia (an entire hemisphere in-case-you're-wondering!). Alas... "you can't always get what you want..."

Thanks for listening to the rant. I try not to use this blog for too much "dear diary, talk about my feelings crappola" but sometimes, that's just all that comes out. Happily, an hour and a half after I started this post, Brother-in-Law is now done watching football, and Sister and I can catch up on some important TV -- tonight's new episode of The Hills!


Sunday, September 14, 2008


I stumbled upon a cool book/journal over the weekend, and discovered there's a website as well. The book is Listography Journal: A Life in Lists. Listography is explained by its creators:

"Listography provides users (listographers) of all ages an easy-to-use tool for creative list writing and sharing. Through list making, you can simultaneously create timelines and shape an autobiography. Therefore, your listography is a perpetual work in progress, a time capsule you can share, and perhaps a map of your life for friends and family."

Amazon.com describes, "This quirky and imaginative guided journal is the ultimate tool for creating a unique autobiography entirely in list form. Some lists are obvious (greatest accomplishments, best friends, favorite food), others obscure (guiltiest pleasures, greatest acts of kindness, personal fashion trends)..."

I am crazy about lists, and I know many of my friends are as well. There is something blissfully satisfying about creating lists, and then checking items off as you go. Half the time I make a list simply for the act of creating it, with no real intention of actually following it in any way! The journal would make an excellent gift, and list topics would also make for great conversation starters.

The website follows the same premise, but allows you to make the lists online, saved in a profile if you choose. You can also read other users' lists; I found a fun one titled "Things I Might Name My Future Cat." In honor of listography, here a list...

The List of Types of Lists I Like to Make:

  1. To-do
  2. Books to Read
  3. Movies to See
  4. Topics to Blog About
  5. People to Call
  6. Pro/Con
  7. Needed School Supplies
  8. Future Craft Projects
Happy list making!


Book Review: Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea; One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
c2006 Penguin Books, 338pg.

For the past year, I have picked up this book each time I entered Barnes and Noble, and for some reason it always ended up back on the shelf and not in my bag. Fate intervened when I arrived in Berkeley though, as Sister had the book in her personal library - score!

Greg Mortenson began his experience in Pakistan attempting to summit K2, the second highest mountain on Earth. He failed to reach the top, but in his torturous journey down, found a secluded village (and when I say secluded, I don't just mean they don't get cable) that changed his life. He devoted his life to building schools in this impoverished region of Pakistan and Afghanistan, believing in the power of education. The book begins in 1993 and covers his mountain climbing adventure, the struggles to raise money for the schools, and the subsequent successes and failures he has spreading education and humanitarian efforts in the region of the world that spawned the Taliban. Post 9/11, his journey expands to include efforts to educate Americans on the reality of life in this part of the world, as well as dispute common fallacies about Muslim/Arab cultures and people.

To say this book is inspirational is an understatement. Once you get past the admittedly confusing geography, climbing descriptions, and foreign names/places, and get to the heart of the story, you cannot help but be amazed by what Mortenson accomplished. The poverty he encounters is staggering, and the lengths these villagers will go to to see that a five-room school house is built in their village put to shame meager volunteer efforts in our own communities. This book both convinces you of the power of one person and what can be accomplished with great passion, and at the same time, makes you feel incredibly lazy and unaccomplished, regardless of what you have done in your own life.

In terms of the politic aspects of the book, Mortenson initially supports the invasion of Afghanistan (to oust the Taliban and exact retribution for the 9/11 attacks), but always criticizes the United States for abandoning its promise to provide for the civilians in Afghanistan. As the military operations continue and expand to Iraq, Mortenson becomes increasingly convinced (and increasingly vocal) about the narrow-minded approach the U.S. has to solving long-term problems of terrorism in the Middle East. To paraphrase what I interpreted to be his thesis: bombs make an impact immediately and sometimes successfully; books make an impact eternally and always successfully.

It was infuriating, though not unexpected, to read about the hate mail Mortenson received after 9/11, accusing him of being a traitor for helping "terrorists." I am reminded of the quotation that my sister loves, which applies perfectly to Mortenson's mission (and the stupidity of some Americans): "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." Had the authors of the hate mail taken the time to read a few articles about the situation (or simply looked at a map or two), they might have realized the intricacies of Central Asia, Islam, terrorism, Al Queda, the Taliban, and American foreign policy. Instead, they chose to irrationally attack an American citizen doing nothing but good for grateful people.

A few of the passages that stuck with me are highlighted below:

"Kim Trudell, from Marblehead, Massachusetts, had lost her husband, Frederick Rimmele, when, on his way to a medical conference in California on September 11, his flight, United Airlines 175, vaporized in a cloud of jet fuel against the south tower of the World Trade Center. Trudell asked Mortenson to carry her husband's medical books to Kabul [to be donated to the Kabul Medical Institute, the country's physician training center], beliving education was the key to resolving the crisis with militant Islam."

Answering a question from a California Republican congressman about the purpose of building schools, when security was the most vital concern for our country, Mortenson replied, "I don't do what I'm doing to fight terror. I do it because I care about kids. Fighting terror is maybe seventh or eighth on my list of priorities. But working over there, I've learned a few things. I've learned that terror doesn't happen because some group of people somewhere like Pakistan or Afghanistan simply decide to hate us. It happens because children aren't being offered a bright enough future that they have a reason to choose life over death."

Please visit threecupsoftea.com for more information on this book and Mortenson's mission.

Other articles/reviews/blogs (focused on this book) that I found interesting:





Saturday, September 13, 2008

Puppy Adventures

Lucy, Sister's puggle puppy, (aka "my niece") has been quite the entertainment for the past week. I thought I would give her her fair share of blog space and recount a few of her best anecdotes...

~ Lucy likes to snuggle on laps whenever possible. She warmed to me soon after my arrival, and since we spend all day together while Sister and Brother-in-Law are off doing important things, we've developed a close relationship. And by close, I mean, she loves to jump up onto the couch, and nose her head underneath my laptop until I relent, lift the laptop, and allow her to stretch out on my legs. Mind you, I believe she's stepped on both of my kidneys, part of my lower intestine, and possibly an ovary several times while doing this, but she's so gosh darn warm and snuggly once she's on your lap!

~ On the not so cute side, she felt ignored this morning, and decided to escape into the guest room, walk all over my AeroBed mattress, and them promptly squat on the quilt at the end and let loose a solid #2. Sister and I went bulleting into the room and managed to scare her into stopping, but needless to say, Sister washed my quilt, and someone else ended up in the naughty kennel in the meantime.

~ Lucy's had a rough week. On Wednesday night, we noticed that her right eye was red and oozing a bit of green goop. Sister took this as a sign that the pooch was dying of cholera or worse, and scheduled a vet visit for the following day. When Brother-in-Law and Lucy arrived home from the appointment, the diagnosis was puppy allergies (oh lord, what if she's allergic to the Cheerios I've been feeding her all week!?!?), and she was sporting a sexy transparent cone around her neck to prevent her from scratching at her eye. Top that off with thrice daily eye drops, and the poor puppy was living a pathetic life. Not going to lie though, it was super amuzing to watch her try to navigate around the apartment with her cone on, and we may or may have have entertained ourselves by trying to throw dog food at her mouth and get it to land in the cone where she couldn't reach it (note to PETA - she's fine, she's a dog for god's sake, and we eventually rescued the wayward puppy chow so she didn't give herself whiplash).

~ So, I've been needing an excuse for a new laptop, and bless her little heart, Lucy provided what I could not. In a vicious game of tug of war, Lucy managed to get tangled in my laptop cord, and before I knew what was happening, the expensive electronics flew out of my hands, landed on the floor, and I saw a small piece of something go flying. A closer inspection showed I was now one "?/" key less on my keyboard... the keystroke still works (obviously), but I now have a cool open space next to the shift key! I always wanted to know what the inside of the keyboard looked like :) Lucy apologized profusely with smelly kisses.

These are the few little bumps in the road this past week with puppy. I have been bugging NavyGuy for a puppy of our own for years (I once stooped to using my lower lip in a pet store, and stating, "But I've been so good this week." I know, shameful, but had it actually worked, you'd be trying it too.) The constant reply has been, "When we get a house..." (or, "When you prove you can keep a plant alive, we'll talk puppy), but we'll see how long it takes. In the meantime, puppy-sitting my niece is excellent practice for the real thing someday. And aside from these few little bumps, she's been fabulous. Her crazy cute little face looking up at you when she stands up on the coffee table attempting to steal popcorn - how could anyone not love that?!? However, if I get in my AeroBed tonight and find anymore presents, the gravy(Cheerio)train from Aunt Mugs is going to swiftly end!


My Mecca

The time had come. I had been tingling with anticipation since arriving in Berkeley. Sister had spoken of this mythical place, telling grand stories of unimaginable delights. Would it live up to the hype? Would it exceed my wildest expectations? Would I come out a changed person?

Yes. Yes. And yes.

The 2-story Target in Albany (a smaller, lesser-known, San Fran Bay city), has a halo of light descending on it from the sky. There are palm trees lining the front, beckoning customers to enter its hallowed grounds. Inside, the lighting highlights only your best features, you magically become three inches taller and ten pounds lighter, and the air always has the sweet smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Fine. The only part that's true are the palm trees, but I swear - all of those other things could be true! This store is wonderful - takes your breath away! Sister and I grabbed a cart, and attacked the Dollar Spot with reckless abandon.

Three packs of fall and Halloween themed scrapbook paper later, we progressed into clothes. That's where it got a little messy. I was manning the cart amidst the endless racks of low-priced tees and sweaters, when Sister was swallowed up into the vast expanse. I wandered for a bit, picking up a long sleeve tee and a button up sweater, and finally reunited with her near the jeans. She had also found a trendy sweater* , and after a few more loops of the women's section (and the shoe section - the only small disappointment), we decided it was time to venture upstairs...

*[editor's note: I am unable to locate this one on Target.com, a first in my online shopping history. hmmm. I will continue to search and post an update if I can locate said sweater, because it is uber stylish.]

Leave it to Target to create the most ingenious method for allowing customers and carts to reach the second floor; the shopping cart escalator, located betweeen the up/down people escalators, grabs your cart, keeps it level, and carries it like a newborn baby up to the second floor where it meets you, ready to continue shopping. We toured the second floor, stopping for The Office Season 4 DVD, and a toothbrush holder (red), we headed back downstairs (another cart escalator trip!) for our grocery products.

As if the store couldn't get any better, they have a full wine and beer section. If I didn't think I'd attract attention, I'd build a fort in the sporting goods section and change my mailing address. Target met my high expectations once again, and reminded me how lucky I am to live in a land where red bullseyes dot the landscape.


Doing Our Patriotic Duty

On this recent anniversary of the September 11th attacks, presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama spoke at Columbia University in New York at a forum on public service. Both stressed the importance of military and non-military service to your country, and criticized President Bush's meager response to 9/11 when it came to asking Americans to make sacrifices. (Just to refresh your memory, we were told to quit bitching about the increased security at airports, and to go out and shop to keep the economy humming and show those terrorists that just because they executed a well-coordinated attack on our homeland, we were not going to stop buying blue jeans and DVDs and frappucinos.)

As Sister is already working for a non-profit organization, Brother-in-Law gave his life up for two years teaching 4th graders in inner-city Baltimore through Teach For America, and I try to recycle on a daily basis, we decided that we'd already made enough real sacrifices for a while, and should follow the advise of our fearless leader and do our part to boost the economy! Hello San Francisco - what do you have for us to buy?

Sister and I set out on a driving tour/shopping spree of downtown San Francisco. I had scheduled a late afternoon appointment at Bella Bridesmaid to check out some dresses for the wedding, so we had some time beforehand to stroll down Union Street and check out some of the cutesy shops. (Sadly, the bridesmaid dresses were a bust, so we're still nowhere with that.)

After our appointment, we split a roma chicken panini at a coffee shop, and then set out for (drumroll please)... Paper Source. File folders. Envelopes and cards in every color of the rainbow. Paper. Yards and yards of amazing paper. A paper-loving-girl's utopia. (Little did I know that there's also an even bigger store in Berkeley; hells yeah I'll be going next week while Sister's at work.) Exactly 52 minutes later (you have to time the meters very carefully downtown), we emerged from Paper Source having done our patriotic duty: droppin' some Benjamins.

A few other highlights from the day:

~ I will absolutely never get used to driving in a big city. Sister is fearless, and views other cars (or pedestrians, bikers, stationary objects) as mere annoyances trying to block her from her destination. At one point yesterday, she pulled a Y-turn in the middle of a 5-way intersection without batting an eyelash. I meanwhile was clutching the seatbelt, careening my head left and right looking for either the police car or smushed human.

~ Who knew that pedestrians rule regardless of signs, lights, or oncoming buses? As we approached a corner, I saw a bus turning left onto the street we were about to cross. Sister brazenly stepped off the curb, and I jumped into big sister mode (much like the time I attempted to save her from the swimming pool at our old apartment in Fond du Lac - I still claim she was drowning and needed saving; she claims I was being absurd). With no regard for my own safety, I grabbed Sister's arm and screamed "BUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" in my best "I'm-being-attacked-in-the-big-city" voice... only to have Sister look at me like I was drunk. Apparently, buses turning left will in fact heed to pedestrians. The bus driver sneered at me, the obvious tourist, and waited for us to cross the street. (Adding insult to injury, I looked up in time to see the walk sign clearly indicating we had the right of way.) Sigh.

Coming up later... the two-story Target!!! (Yes, Farmer Girl, I most definitely went there. And I most definitely spent half a car payment in tribute to the diety that is Target.)


Friday, September 12, 2008

BTSS - Accessories

We all know that it's the little details that make the outfit. Setting aside shoes, bags, and jewelry (because you know I'll have to have do separate posts for each of THOSE categories), here are some scarves, hats, belts, and other do dads to jazz up your fab fall fashion (the alliteration was just for you NavyGuy ;)

Picture this: brown t-shirt, jean jacket, and this scarf as a huge statement necklace around your neck. Chic to the 10th degree.Double Headband - Claire's
Jewelry for your hair! Long or short, headbands have made a comeback, and if you haven't already jumped on board, now is the time. Opt for a neutral tone (such as the Claire's one suggested) in order to avoid looking oh, say, eight years old or costumey.

Sonoma life+style Knit neck tube - Kohls
Sick of the typical wrap-around winter scarf? A neck tube (despite the skeevy name) is a stylish alternative that you don't have to worry will go flying away when it manages to unravel.
Mixed-Print Chiffon Scarves - Old Navy
If these don't inspire you to learn how to wear scarves like a grownup (not tied around your head in Cinderella/do-rag style), nothing will. My fav design is pictured, but there are five others that also rock.

Skinny Color Belt - Ann Taylor
Pretty accent for a dark sweater, or to sass up a little black dress.

Women's Reversible Belt - Walmart
Yes, Sister, I know I'm going to hell for advocating this sweatshop. But you find me a belt that's black on one side, brown on the other, (for the low low price of $8.73) somewhere else - and then we'll talk.

City Style Reversible Wrap - New York and Company
Get the winter white. Or the black. Burgundy Spice would be good too. Did I mention they're reversible? Two for one baby!
Totes Elements Clear Bubble Umbrella Raindrop - Target
So, I know umbrellas aren't usually associated with fall, but that doesn't seem to be a reason not to include this adorable umbrella!

Xhilaration Conductor's Cap Olive - Target
Fancier than a baseball hat, but not so crazy as to draw unwanted attention.Ugg Shearling Slippers - J.Jill
Just listen to these words from the product description: "rich suede." "pillow-soft sheepskin lining." "save 25%." The product sells itself! (Nothing better once the weather turns than a squishy pair of slippers.)

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