Tuesday, February 17, 2009

times they are a-changin'

People get involved in a lot of things because of the company they keep, and sometimes, these new interests aren't necessarily for the best. What starts out as harmless fun can lead to something more severe, more involving, so that you find yourself doing things you never thought you would do. Family and friends are surprised at the change in you, and you almost become someone they don't even recognize anymore.

First, it starts with a website, and then a blog. And soon, you're on Twitter. And then, as if that's not enough, you're on Facebook. And you're not even a very social person, preferring to spend time with a small select group of people instead. And you've never really been a girlie girl. But you find yourself accepting invitations to and attending cupcake parties at retail establishments and buying Vera Bradley purses and other accessories. When will the madness end!??!?!?!?

OK, yeah, so I've lost my mind. But seriously, what the hell is up with me? It's been kind of weird being involved in some of the things I find myself involved in these days. I love Twitter, though I do keep my follow list very private since I tend to be quite uninhibited in my comments there. And yeah, I tend to tweet about my trips to Disneyland and what I'm doing during the day and whatever random thing pops into my head, so I do have a tendency to babble. At least those who know me in real life would have more of a context about most of what I tweet, but the volume could probably turn them off. But for the few people who either don't know me very well or don't know me at all, I can't imagine what my tweeting looks like to them. I must admit that I'm really surprised no one has stopped following me yet because of how much I babble. Maybe they're all just good at ignoring me. Or they like to see how the mind of an insane person operates.

As for Facebook, I still don't really get it completely, and I'll admit that a lot of its features confuse me, and there are things I'm signed up for/with that I don't entirely understand. But, it has been a way for me to re-connect with some people and connect with others, so it has proved to be valuable in some ways.

But this whole girlie stuff? No, that I don't get at all.

A friend owns a store called CharmingShoppe that sells various retail items, including some collectibles that I'm interested in, so I've been in the store before. And the store carries Vera Bradley handbags, and I've never really been a purse person. I'm really into practical purses, not stylish ones or even cute ones, and I've been used to spending $20 at Mervyn's every couple years when I need a new purse. (Yeah, no more shopping at Mervyn's, I know.) Then, for my birthday last year, a friend bought me a Coach purse. Name brand and expensive. She was very generous, and it took a bit of convincing from various people for me to actually use the purse on a daily basis. But then I got used to it, and I really liked it.

And then I kept going to the retail store, and I'd glance at the purses. The store owner and the manager of the store both love Veras. And another friend is a Vera lover as well. And then last December, I succumbed and bought my first Vera items. And then I saw the telecast of the Rose Parade, in which Vera Bradley had a float that included a few new designs, and a couple looked cute to me. And then, about a month ago, I got notification from and an invitation to a cupcake party being held by CharmingShoppe to introduce the new Spring line, which were the patterns on the float. At first, I totally didn't get the cupcake connection until it dawned on me that two of the new patterns are Cupcakes Pink and Cupcakes Green. Yeah, ok, sometimes, I'm a little dense. And I figured, what could it hurt to go? I'm not a huge fan of cupcakes (the confection), but that's ok. Maybe I'd find something that wasn't too expensive, and I knew other people going, so I'd have a chance to chat with some people. Sounds like fun.

Well, I bought a few purses - three to be exact.

I had originally thought that one of the new Spring designs was red based on the float depiction, but I was told that the coloring on the broadcast was wrong, and that it was actually pink. The pink was too much for me, so I was disappointed, because the idea of red sounded good. And then I found the Frankly Scarlet pattern, which I really like, and I picked out the Libby style, which is practical and has lots of sections. This purse is good for regular use, but it's also nice enough to use for an evening out. Pretty and practical. Hmmm.

I liked the deep tones of the Mediterranean Blue pattern, and I thought that it went really well on the Hannah design. It's a cute little purse that looks very dressy, so I can use it for evenings out, and the pattern will go with the kind of colors I often wear for evenings out.

And from the new Spring line, I really liked Purple Punch, and in the Amy style, it was another cute little bag that I can use for evenings out, perhaps a little more practical with the shoulder strap since it leaves my hands free, unlike with the Hannah. I actually used the Purple Punch Amy when we went out for dinner on Valentine's Day because it went very nicely with the outfit I wore.

I bought a couple of other small accessories, including a purse hook - the good kind that folds up nicely around itself so it's compact and comes with a velvet pouch to carry it in. (I'd first heard of the ones that just hang down, but then after seeing these, those other ones make no sense to me - they take up too much room in storage!) I already have a purse hook, but I wanted a couple more so that I'd have different styles, and I liked this one. I'm hoping they release more styles in the future.

So in addition to having a mini-cupcake and chatting with friends and browsing at the billions of different Vera things in the store [In case you were wondering, no, the husband didn't come. He dropped me off, went to occupy himself elsewhere, and then came back to pick me up when I told him I was done. I liked having a chaffeur. ;) ], there was also a little game held periodically where you could win a prize. And on the second round, I won a prize. It was a Vera item filled with some lotion goodies and other stuff. I think I've figured out that the pattern is Java Blue, but I can't tell what style the item is. On another round, I ended up winning again, but since I didn't really need two of the same thing, I gave my second prize to a friend to give to someone else who would like it. On a subsequent round, I decided not to play anymore, but I did end up seeing the item needed to win a prize, so I pointed it out to someone else so that they could win the prize. That was fun.

So I made my purchases and discovered that the store was offering a few gift with purchase items, which was really nice, and they even had some thank-you gifts for those who had RSVPed for the event, which was even nicer, and it was especially good that many of the extras were in the Purple Punch pattern that I like. I was quite happy about that.

When the husband came to pick me up, I said goodbye to the people I knew who were still there and walked out with my pretty new purchases and other goodies (and yes, I've been using my Kensington Bucket Tote so had brought that with me).

And then Monday night, I had dinner with the husband and a friend at one of our favorite restaurants in Downtown Disney. Afterward, the husband went a different way than us because he'd parked in one place whereas she and I had ended up parking in another place. She wanted to stop by Illuminations since the store was closing soon and they were having a sale, so I stopped with her. I like candles (though burning them doesn't really work ever since we've gotten Orkid, because she's so curious that she's likely to scorch her whiskers or worse on an open flame), but I'm not much into scented candles because the scents tend to be too strong for my taste, and they can be so overpowering that I can't even go in the store. Heck, with Yankee Candle Company, I have enough of a problem walking by their open storefront and generally have to hold my breath to do so. But Illuminations hasn't been quite as bad, and they didn't have their full inventory because of their impending close, so I didn't have a problem wandering around in there.

I followed her as she looked at various things, and then I found myself looking around as well.

She was looking at the Napa Valley Harvest, which is a scent she really likes, and I joked with her that I didn't know what I expected that to smell like. It was actually pretty nice, though I can't begin to know how to describe it.

I smelled the Almond Biscotti, which was nice but would probably be too powerful in the long run. And then I smelled the Pumpkin Chai, which was really nice, not quite as sweet as just regular pumpkin. And I decided to get it in the mini jar candle. And then I also smelled the Japanese Plum Blossom, which is inexplicably nowhere to be found on their site. It has a fresh smell, very light, and I really liked it, so I got that in a mini jar candle as well. I like the mini jars because they're small and they have lids, so the scent is only released if you take the lid off, and the small size would be less fragrant.

I thought the Pineapple Cilantro was actually kind of nice with the scent of the pineapple, but given how much the husband dislikes cilantro, I figured he wouldn't appreciate it. And having it at work isn't an option either because one of my co-workers hates cilantro even more than the husband, so I wouldn't subject him to the smell every time he came into my office. And I didn't bother to smell the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie since I figured that would be my idea of hell, given how much I hate oatmeal and raisins and oatmeal raisin cookies.

I did already own one scented candle, a boysenberry scent from Knott's Berry Farm. It sits on my desk at work, and I don't light it partly because we're not allowed to have lit candles at work and partly because lighting a scented candle would make too much of the scent permeate the room. Just having the lid off lets some of the scent out so I get a whiff of it periodically. I plan to do the same with the two new ones I have. I think I'll put the Japanese Plum Blossom one in my car and see how that works, but the small confined space might make me rethink that shortly. With the Pumpkin Chai, I may have that at work as well and just alternate scents as I like, or I may keep that one at home.

I'm blogging about pretty patterned purses and scented candles.

Who the hell am I, and what the hell have I done with me?


Perky Mommy said...

Ok first - the java blue bag you can't find was never available for sale so that's why you're not seeing it anywhere. It's sort of like a shaving kit lol but girlier. But maybe if you think of it as a shaving kit, it won't seem quite as girly?

But second of all, watching you purse shop and hearing about you buying candles, you still seem like all the good things about you are still in place, from what I can see. I hope you still like you. :) You're just you with a purse and a candle now.

Sherry said...

I'm just tripping out on how many purses you have now, and the fact that you'll be changing them periodically.

-- Candle Pusher

Anonymous said...

Not sure what Yankee is thinking... They are now selling their products at TARGET of all places....
I have burned many Village Candles lately, and LOVE their scents... They are priced up to 40% less than Yankee OR Colonial, and there is no funny black stuff on the glass.