week nineteen: no more pedicures

DIY Pedicure instructions can be found here, y’all!

In the process of cleaning out my house and re-examining the stupid shit I’ve purchased (and still continue to buy, let’s be real), I’ve also come to realize that I not only spend MONEY on dumb shit, but also TIME.

It can be overwhelming to manage all of the upkeep involved with being a woman. I mean, look at all of the miscellaneous crap we have to do just to be reasonably hot:

1. Hair did. (In my instance, this is not just cut, but cut pretty frequently as it’s super short AND two-hour bleaching sessions as it’s platinum blonde. The payoff being that it basically looks cute without much fuss. At least I think so, maybe I look like Kate Gosselin. Who knows?)

2. Waxing. Choocha, brows… and yes, upper lip. Sorry! My mom is Portuguese, what am I supposed to do?!

3. Pedicures/Manicures. OK, to be honest I never get manicures. I think painted nails look kind of lame and they never last anyways. I keep mine short and they look OK. Maybe a bit boyish, but whatever.

Those are in my regular rotation, along with other services here and there – a facial, teeth cleaning, that sort of thing. Y’all bitches might have other crap on your to-do list – but essentially what I’m saying is that grooming seems to take up a lot of my free time.

And nothing shines a big spotlight on your frivolous use of time like being a mom, let me tell you. I get about 37 minutes of “free” time a day – that is, specifically, time when I’m not with the baby, making food, working, doing laundry, updating the family blog for the grandparents, writing thank you notes, paying the bills, yadda yadda yadda. Please don’t get me wrong – women that aren’t moms are crazy busy, too. It’s just for me, it didn’t become overwhelming until baby entered the picture.

So when I needed a pedicure and couldn’t get one scheduled due to husband’s crazy work schedule and lack of babysitting options, it occurred to me that a fucking pedicure is not that hard. DIY that shit!

I decided I wasn’t going to outsource pedicures any more. Not necessarily from a money standpoint – although saving $42 on each one sounds awesome! (And yes I realize that’s insane person money for a pedi, but I just can’t get on board with those strip mall fungus emporiums, and I patronized the fancy lady pedi place.)

So saving money is good, but really, I am looking to save a bit of time. A pedi by itself isn’t a huge time sink, but the 40-minute roundtrip drive and the purtying up I had to do beforehand cost me valuable free time. Free time I wanted to spend doing something else. Plus, I have to get someone to watch the baby, and I hate wasting precious babysitting favors on “errands.” I want my mom to babysit so I can go to the track and drink margaritas, bitches!

So I gathered up all my materials – and surprisingly, I had just about everything I needed for a decent pedi DIY. I soaked, filed, exfoliated, pumiced, base coated and painted. From start to finish it takes me about 25 minutes. I do it during baby’s second nap and put terrible, god-awful TV on and turn my brain off. Next time I’m making a margarita!

Bonus: Over my blogging break, I took another carload of crap to the thrift store, yay! I think that makes six total. Also sold a bit more junk on eBay, made $100. Although I spent it before the Paypal payments even rolled in on three dresses from the Gap Outlet. We’ll see if they were a wise investment. Now that I’m typing it… maybe not so much.

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week ten: the panty pile

So, this week’s question is: “Just how many pairs of panties does one need, anyway?”

One for each day of the week plus an extra? One hundred? A month’s worth? Two?

My top drawer is my “intimates” (ugh that word sounds so yucky to me) drawer. Under-roos, socks, bras, all that shit. Lately it has been nearly unopenable as a growing pile of panties has become wedged in the left corner, jumping out at me when I finally wrestle the drawer open.

I have 55 pairs of panties. Whaaaaat the fuck is that about? Fifty-five? I do laundry every 36 hours – why do I need nearly two months’ worth of lady underwear? The answer, of course, is that I don’t. Totally balls-out unnecessary.

It took about 48 seconds to thin the pile down to 25 pairs. This number seems reasonable. At just over three weeks’ worth, I have enough for a long trip (Excuse me while I laugh at the thought of a week-long vacation – hahahahahahahahaha) without ransacking my collection or forcing me to do laundry if I magically can go a week without it. I kept the newish pairs that were in nice condition (duh), and no longer have any pairs that would embarrass me in front of the EMT if I was in an accident and needed my clothes cut off of me.

On a related note, could someone please please PLEASE start making 100 percent cotton panties that  DON’T look like sad “I give up” underwear? I mean, the panties above are Gap – and they’re not terrible… but I would really kill for some hot pink polka dot bikinis or lime green boy shorts. I don’t know how you sluts do it, but my sensitive hoo-ha doesn’t let anything but virgin cotton near its delicate person. And don’t even get me started on the insanity of thongs. Y’all bitches must be packing some seriously tough vaginas.

…And let’s just stop right there.

week nine: no more crappy jeans

I’ve started tackling my closet.

This won’t be a one-week job. Logistics (mainly the fact that baby naps in our bedroom) and the shear size of the project mean I’ll have to space this one out over a few weeks. This week I focused on the glaring fashion don’ts, stuff I knew was too big or too small and… my overflowing jeans drawer.

I started with nine pairs of jeans. (FUCK that seems like a lot to me now!) Two I jettisoned last week in yet another carload of shit run to the thrift store. (That makes two carloads so far!) I didn’t think about using jeans as this week’s post, so I didn’t have them for my pic – oh well.

In any event, I started with nine, got rid of two. Down to seven. I knew, however, that I needed new jeans. Have thought this for a while, as my current daily-use jeans are a mix of shoddy Old Navy denim, cute out of the dryer but then woefully big an hour later, hanging off my ass and giving me a yucky mom-who-gave-up sloppy look. Ugh, no thank you!

I wanted cute non-mom mom jeans. You know, jeans that were comfy enough to roll around on the floor with baby, affordable enough so I didn’t mind sitting in the sandbox with baby, but still sexy enough so I could be a hot mom at the park instead of a hot mess.

Wanting to avoid needless purchases, I followed the Minimalist Mom’s 30-Day Buy List suggestion, and made a mental list with new jeans at the top. After 30 days, my Old Navy jeans were still making me want to barf so I went out and bagged two new pairs of hot but comfy non-mom mom jeans. Two pairs out, two pairs in. Back to nine.

As the above diagram points out, nine pairs of jeans is about dog nose height. Too much! I edited out the too-big Calvin Kleins, the janky Old Navy jeans and an ill-fitting pair of NY&Co dark denim that I bought in a rush. Now I was down to four – the two new pairs plus my “fancy” jeans for going out (ha!)

As you can see in the above, my jeans wardrobe is now at a much more reasonable dog elbow height. No more overflowing jeans drawer – and there’s even plenty of room in there for my hoochie mama shorts. Awesome.

Related: After two carloads of donations, I am starting to see an impact in our home. My office is (slightly) less of a disaster area, the upstairs seems a bit neater, and it seems to take less time for the house to go from messy to presentable. I am liking the feeling of freedom less stuff imparts.

week five: the wedding dress

Do you ever watch Say Yes to the Dress? Beautiful brides visit Kleinfeld’s in New York City, gleeful entourage in tow. They bring their mothers, their best friends, their sisters, their future mother-in-laws, their future sister-in-laws, their gay husbands and their wedding planners (sometimes those last two are the same dude). They try on dresses ranging from $1500 to $15,000. There’s tears of frustration, tears of joy. And elation when they find “the one.”

Buying my wedding dress was like the exact opposite of that.

Let me back up. After husband-to-be proposed, I was ecstatic. Yes, yes, the getting married, til death do us part, found my soul mate aspect of it was great. But really I couldn’t wait to plan the wedding. I was one of those annoying brides with the binder of magazine clippings and a completely skewed view on how much husband-to-be and I would be spending on the nuptials.

So I started planning. I bought the magazines. I trolled the wedding sites. I joined an online discussion forum where other annoying ass brides would bitch about seating charts and catering minimums. And of course, I began the hunt for my wedding dress.

I settled on a gorgeous Jim Hjelm mermaid number that was $6,000. And, for some reason, this seemed perfectly reasonable to me. I deserved the wedding dress of my dreams. It’s my special day, after all, right? Yes, absolutely. I needed that dress.

As I spent my off hours and weekends planning our wedding, I noticed husband-to-be was a bit listless. I’d try to run through a list of 28 possible venues, and by the third Sonoma Valley winery, he’d get all fidgety. His answer to many of my (insane bride lady) questions like “Should our colors be tangerine and fuchsia or papaya and passionfruit!?” was infuriatingly ambivalent. His lack of enthusiasm was, at first, annoying. Then it made me mad. Then it made me think.

Looking over my clippings and list of demands, I revisited our budget. I started adding it up. And then I noticed that, well… shit didn’t add up.

Why did I think it was a good idea to blow tens of thousands of dollars on our wedding? I’d always considered myself a pretty rational, reasonable person. Do rational people buy $6,000 wedding dresses? Um, no. Rational fucking people roll their eyes at people who buy $6,000 wedding dresses and then laugh when the statement from their 401K rolls in, showing a 10% year-over-year return.

And just like that, I decided I wanted to elope. Husband-to-be could hardly contain himself.

Things came together fast, and I found myself needing a dress ASAP. So after work one night, on a rainy evening, I drove down to David’s Bridal alone. I tried on two dresses, found something cute and affordable, grabbed a veil, paid $200 and went on my way.

Fast forward five-plus years. This week, while cleaning up our guest space in preparation for my brother’s family to visit over Easter, I came across my dress in the spare closet. Zipped up with the veil and all. I had almost forgotten I had it. As soon as I saw it, I knew week five was in the bag. I gave the dress one more look and put it in the donation box. Someone else who has wised up and realized the wedding industry is balls-out insanity will find it, wear it and love it. And my favorite little thrift store should make $50 or so. Win-win-win.

I suppose it’s a bit of a cheat – as I wasn’t too attached to the dress – but I guess not every week in this minimalist crusade has to be a grind. I will come across some things in my life that are easier to part with than others. The exercise isn’t only about heartbreaking decisions to pare down, but also about realizing that many things I’ve held onto over the years just don’t hold any meaning for me.

After all, I found “the one.” But it wasn’t the dress – it was husband.