L.L. Bean Haul

Next stop on my shopping rampage – L.L. Bean. I have been eyeing their Boat and Tote bags for a few years at least. I never got one before this because I always had a current work tote I was using. Even now, I have a perfectly functioning tote that’s been very easy to use and sturdy. So I have no reason to get a Boat & Tote. Except remember the thing about the Kraken? Yeah. I got me 2 totes. One is the medium sized Casco Bay Boat and Tote, in Moonlight Blue, which has pockets and compartments built in it, but is open-top.
The other is a large sized, long handled Zip-Top Boat and Tote in Peony.

To give you a sense of how they fit, size-wise:

In deciding whether to go with the large or medium, I found a YouTube video of a lady who ordered a large to use as a commuter bag, like me. She said it was too big and she exchanged it for the medium. So I went with the medium and it’s perfect. This Casco Bay Boat & Tote didn’t have the option to have longer handles but this is the length I’d go with anyway. I can wear it on the shoulder or straight down holding the handle in my hand and it won’t drag.


The large is quite big. Too big as a daily commuter bag. However, it’s very handy as a weekender bag or even just to haul more items to and from work if I have more stuff to carry on certain days. The long handle makes it very comfortable to wear because it makes the bag come right at my elbow. On the other hand, if I just carry it in my hand at the handle, the bag touches the ground, by a pretty big margin.

I also got a pair of kids’ capri pants that I figure I can wear to the gym. (I haven’t seen as many good workout pants at the Goodwill store.) They’re cotton and look perfect for yoga without the premium that yoga pants garner.

The bags are American made. Yay, L.L. Bean! The pants however, China.

So is this it? Maybe now I can put away the Kraken.

More shopping

So shopping is one of those things for me where once I start, I keep on going. It’s a bit problematic for my goal to cut back on shopping. Since my satisfying trips to the Goodwill store, I’ve been on an online shopping rampage of sorts perpetuating my hunger to shop.

I got me a little teapot – short, stout, and pretty small but effective.
Hario Teapot
I wanted something I could brew loose leaf teas in and this is what I got. The wire mesh strainer of this teapot is made in China. I think all tea brewing contraptions are made in China, from what I could find. The entire set however is from Japan. I’ve already been using this multiple times a week, but I can see myself using it even more during the winter. It makes individual (for me) portions of tea.

Then I got me some new journals. I’m down to one that I’m currently writing in so I wanted to get some backups and I wanted them to be fountain pen friendly. My current journal isn’t made with a known fountain pen friendly paper but it’s actually pretty good. No bleed through, ghosting, or feathering. I found out about Paperblanks from some fountain pen website or YouTube video and I want to try it. So I got 4.
These are midi sized (7×5″) which I find to be on the small side. I wouldn’t get them again. I also got a Clairefontaine journal with a soft cover and fabric binding (8×6″).

This is just the beginning. I’ve released the Kraken!

A little addicted

When I decided to curtail my shopping, I got a little hoardy with the last-clothes-I-was-ever-going-to-own! If this is it, then I’m keeping everything – even if there’s a big gaping hole where the sun shouldn’t shine. But then, after I discovered the wonders of the Thrift/Goodwill Store, things have eased up a bit. Well, I haven’t tossed my holey pants yet because they’re still good house pants, but now I feel like I don’t have to put my second tier clothing into my work lineup anymore. Y’know, stuff that is work appropriate, but it’s a little more worn out looking and faded than I’d like to look at work. I wear it anyway because of the last-clothes-I’ll-ever-have mentality, but now, I can finally retire them to weekend lounge wear or even donate it.

This is my haul from the third Goodwill store. Don’t go to a Goodwill store looking for anything specific. Just go in with an open mind and you get what you find. Although one thing they generally always seem to have aside from clothes are nice plates, mugs, and glasses. I should also mention that every store I’ve visited seems to have different pricing, but all within a dollar or so. Today, there was a 25% off everything sale at the location I shopped. I found some really nice work pants with lining (not from China)! I took a day off work in the middle of the week to shop here and surprisingly, there were other people shopping there too in the middle of the day. Granted, most were retirees but some were middle aged.
Goodwill Finds
This entire haul was $44. It’s my biggest purchase at a Goodwill store yet.
4 pairs of work pants, 1 cardigan, 2 tops, 3 pairs of gym/yoga pants.

Since I had the entire day off work and I was on my own, I spent a good 2 or 3 hours there. Itch scratched. Monster fed and wide awake.

Shopping at Ikea

For years I’ve “stored” a pile of dried foods on the floor between the pantry and the washer/dryer. Oatmeal, rice, rice noodles, dried fruits, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, mung bean noodles, wheat pasta, quinoa, and the list goes on. Like a spillover of stuff from the pantry. It looked like a mountain of stuff. So I’ve been wanting to get a cart of some sort to organize this mountain since last year. I’m okay with disorder to a certain extent but I have my standards too! Said disorder needs to be lifted off the floor.


And here it is. The Ikea BYGEL. It was between the Raskog or the BYGEL. They’re both small enough to fit in the corner and $30. If I was more diligent about checking Craigslist, I could’ve probably gotten one for much less. I ended up picking the BYGEL because it was slightly larger. Putting it together was a little challenging. Some of the screw holes weren’t drilled properly so the screws only went in part of the way. As long as it can hold my kombu seaweed.

While I was at Ikea, I also picked up more than a dozen kitchen rags.
I’ve gone through boxes and boxes of virgin paper products to blow my nose. For a while I got recycled tissues but they hurt after blowing through a box in a day. So I’m now using dishrags as snotrags. The handkerchief is coming back! I considered making my own with old t-shirts, but that meant I had to cut my old t-shirts which I couldn’t bring myself to do. They are the most comfortable and have many holes for ventilation during the summer. It took over a decade to get them this soft. So I plan on sewing old shirt buttons on my kerchiefs to differentiate them from kitchen rags. They get washed regularly no matter what but I figured for the kimochi of it, I should keep them separated. What do you think of handkerchiefs? Gross or thumbs up? I used one today and liked it. I felt a little embarrassed whipping it out on the metro but then I got used to it after a while. Today wasn’t a bad allergy day so one kerchief was enough. I will probably keep 2 in my bag and 1 at work at all times and washing each after a day’s use. I blow my nose over 100 times(?) on a bad day. Today it was maybe 30 times. Yes, my nose has killed many many trees. I feel like I should have done this a long time ago. It’s very absorbent by the way. I wonder if people use these for cloth diapering or as burp rags.

I’m gonna pop some tags

I’ve always had a weird thing about wearing secondhand clothes from people I don’t know. I don’t mind if it’s a friend’s or a friend of a friend’s or even Kevin Bacon’s, but if it’s anonymous’ clothes, I feel weird. So I’ve gone in and out of many consignment/secondhand clothes stores and never gotten a thing due to my weird heebiejeebies about it.

Then one day, a friend told me that her stepson only buys secondhand to reduce consumerism. She told me she tries to do the same. I guess that was what convinced me to finally try it. I’ve been trying (not always successfully) to cut back on shopping for clothing items and shoes and stuff but eventually my work clothes start to look worn and lately, I’ve felt like I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel in the mornings.


So yesterday, I started on Craigslist and looked for yardsales and cleaning-out-my-closet type sales. When that didn’t pan out for me (granted I emailed exactly 1 person), I went to the local Goodwill Store. I’ve been to this store before in the past where I walked in and then right back out when my weirdness kicked in. This time, I went through the racks and actually picked out some items and bought 3 tops. They were running a 50% off everything sale too, so I paid a little less than $10 for all three items. I could get used to this thrift store/second-hand shopping!

Bathroom Sink – AGAIN!

The last time we replaced our bathroom faucet was in October of 2013.  And it’s broken again.  We should probably take responsibility for breaking it though because we take the faucet part off monthly to attach a water filter to fill a reservoir for our saltwater fishtank.  It causes a lot of wear and tear on a sink attachment that normally is left alone indefinitely.  So we’re probably going to have to think of another way to fill the reservoir for the fish tank.  In the meantime though, here we are again – in the market for yet another bathroom faucet.  I had no issues with the Moen faucet.  Loved it in fact – it worked nicely.  The plumber liked it.  But eh, what the heck, I’ll give the Grohe faucets a whirl.


Option A: Agira23402000

Option B: Bauloop20333000 bauloop

Option C: Parkfield23306000 parkfield


I guess it doesn’t really matter since they all look very similar but if anyone has an opinion, share!  I’m not against sticking to the Moen again either.



Outlet Shopping

We went to Rehoboth Beach to do some post-Thanksgiving shopping this past weekend.  I ended up getting just a bunch of kitchenware.  Glass bowls!  We keep breaking ours.  I didn’t notice any great sales though.  Old Navy was so picked through it was a big mess.  I don’t generally prefer going online for clothes but I think you’d have better luck going online for that store at least.  Maybe because it wasn’t Black Friday and the weather was drizzly and cold, but the crowds were pretty tame.  If anything I thought the mall was rather empty.


Tyson’s Corner is awful!

I can’t believe I’m saying this. I feel like I’m betraying the shopping gods. But malls suck. And to be more specific, Tyson’s Corner sucks. The whole little sprawled out development there is AWFUL! I took the metro there to go shopping one weekend and after I got off the metro train, it was a maze trying to navigate myself to the mall. There were limited crosswalks. The roads were wide and they had intersections where pedestrian crosswalks were only on one side of the street. And when the mall was in sight, I still had a massive parking lot to traverse. I mean this town was designed for cars. If you’re on foot, you have to walk very roundabout ways to get around.

So it’s hot. I’m getting blisters on my feet. And people are honking at me. So yeah killed my shopping mood by the time I finally hobbled my blistered feet into Neiman Marcus, because that’s the first store you reach when you’re on foot getting to the Galleria. As soon as I entered, I sat down in the first seat I found, basked in the air conditioning and just caught my breath. Then I went to the makeup counters to get some tissues to wipe my sweaty face. Then I found a nice comfy waiting couch to people watch and sort of find my calm (take a nap) after the stress of getting honked at and yelled at by unsympathetic and unforgiving drivers. Then I asked a nice sales lady for some bandaids. Then I wandered around. And then I left to go to dinner. What a bust. I go shopping at a mall and end up with some tissues and bandaids. (Thank you, Neiman Marcus, your customer service was great.) I won’t be going back to Tyson’s to shop. Yes. I said that. It feels weird that I said that. Actually, no. I love shopping, and that’s precisely why I won’t shop there. It was a disaster. Don’t let the metro stations fool you. That place gets a negative walkscore.

Adding more fountain pens to the collection

After weeks on a row boat across the Pacific Ocean, and then some more weeks on a donkey’s back across the continental U.S., my fountain pens finally, FINALLY arrived 2 months after I ordered them. I’ve used them for a month now so I have a good enough idea of how they write to opine about them.

Pilot Kakuno

I got the Pilot Petit1, fine nib. It’s the blue mini pen on the bottom of the picture. Without posting the cap on the back, it’s too short for my hand. Overall, it’s only okay. It writes pretty wet, which for cheapo work notebooks isn’t great, but I’ll still use it for work because it’s pretty and I want to use non-disposable pens at work, but not anything I’d be sad to lose. I love that it’s a see-through pen so I can always tell when the ink is running low. I brought ink and refilling supplies to refill the cartridge at work. This way I don’t need to worry about running out of ink. This isn’t a pen I would recommend.  The the inkflow is too much so the fine nib writes like a medium nib.

And the Pilot Kakuno. This is supposed to be a kiddie beginner fountain pen. As if fountain pens needed levels. I mean, if you can use a crayon, you can use a fountain pen. Anyway, this is a great inexpensive pen. I got the fine nib and it writes like a freshly sharpened pencil. There’s no bleed through to the other side of the paper, even on regular paper, so I can use it for journaling on my fountain-pen unfriendly Miquelrius notebook. And still use both sides of the paper! It’s very comfortable to hold and write with and I found myself grabbing it frequently for making shopping lists, journaling, sticking it into my bag on my way out in case I need to make notes for myself. It’s handy dandy! I would DEFINITELY recommend this. It’s actually my second favorite pen after the Pelikan.

So now there are 5 pens in my collection.
In order of preference (for now):

  • Pelikan m 205 F – The Pelikan seems to just get better with use. It’s a piston-fill and I love that about it. It’s the only pen I can refill directly in the ink bottle.
  • Pilot Kakuno F – This one is great on cheap paper. It feels like I’m using a pencil, which I enjoy. It writes consistently.
  • Pilot Metropolitan M – I like the Metropolitan a lot because it feels substantial. And on good paper, the medium nib really shows off the ink beautifully.
  • Pilot Petit 1 F – Easy carry, inexpensive, reliable pen.
  • Pilot 78G Broad – The one I have has an issue where the pen nib portion seems to keep unscrewing from the pen body as I write. I’m constantly having to rescrew it back in as I write. The broad nib can be a little skippy/scratchy at times too. Still, it’s my only broad nib pen and that makes it great with showing off colors and looking dramatic. If my handwriting were better, I’d probably appreciate this a lot more.

Back to the makeup again – Rejuva

It’s been 3 years since I went on a makeup binge.  Like last time, first I purged and then I bought.  This time I found a new brand, Rejuva Minerals.  
Rejuva Minerals
They’re rated 0 on EWG.  I didn’t know there were products with 0 ratings.  Ingredients include cocoa powder and tapioca.  Sounds like food to me. I got this almost a month ago and I wanted to use it before writing about it.

I ordered the eyeshadow (taupe), multi task powder (primer), loose foundation, and bronzer (light skin), and black eyeliner. I’ve tried all of them now in these past few weeks and they are pretty great for daily work/going out make up. My face doesn’t prickle or itch, and the colors seem pretty universally flattering and subtle/natural. I use the bronzer the most. Sometimes I mix it with my blush and sometimes I use it as blush. It’s much more subtle and I like that. It gets rid of the sickly sallowness but people don’t realize I’m wearing makeup.

If I’m going somewhere fancy where I need makeup to last longer I might need my old school makeup, but for daily use, I definitely prefer these products.

Rejuva Minerals Eyeliner
This eyeliner is a twistup. It’s pretty good, but it won’t last all day at work. To be fair, I’ve never had eyeliner last all day at work for me. It glides on easily and blends nicely.

Since I wasn’t sure of the color for the foundation, I ordered the small size.
Rejuva Minerals

It comes in a shaker bottle.

I use my existing powder foundation lid and blush lid for the bronzer to shake it on.
Light Skin Bronzer
This is the bronzer for light skin. I probably could have gotten the dark one too, but I really like that this bronzer is more of a neutral blush color. It makes it easy to use, blends right in.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this and I’ll get it again.