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5 Tips for Shopping at TJ Maxx

5 Tips for Shopping at TJ Maxx | Writing Between Pauses

If you had asked me two years ago if I would prefer shopping at TJ Maxx, Marshall's, HomeGoods, and all similar and associated stores, I would have told you you were out of your mind. I've always avoided these stores like the plague; in my mind, they were disorganized and a little gross. 

Friends, I was wrong. 

I've recently converted my mom to a TJ Maxx and Marshall's fan. And just the other day, I found myself in a conversation about getting the best deals in these stores. As it turns out, I've gone enough that I've developed a system, without even realizing it. I've gotten a lot of great deals, especially on beauty and makeup items, and I decided it was time to share the secret to my success. 

1. Go in the morning on a weekday. 

This one is not super possible for a lot of people, which I totally realize. However, I've always had my best luck at TJ Maxx and Marshall's on Thursday mornings, as opposed to Saturdays. The store tends to be more organized and clean on Thursday mornings and my local stores stock on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

2. Check everything before you buy it. 

It goes without saying: some people are absolute animals in TJ Maxx and Marshall's. The number of times I've found a great find (like a Stila lipstick or a MAC lipstick), only to open it and find it completely destroyed, used, or gouged... it's too much. But I've learned to religiously check everything I find at TJ Maxx and Marshall's just so I don't end up with something I have to end up throwing away. 

3. Ask the employees if something hasn't been stocked yet. 

A few months ago, I was on a quest to find one of the Kat Von D Light & Shade palettes (this is before Kat really went off the rails), as a few of my friends in a beauty group had found them. I was searching the beauty section in my local Marshall's and an employee asked if she could help. I mentioned that I'd seen Kat Von D palettes online and she replied, "Well, let me go back and check." She did! They didn't have any (and they ended up not receiving any), but she did tell me that if you see something online that others have found at TJ Maxx and/or Marshall's, don't be afraid to ask employees; sometimes they get things and don't stock them for a long time. 

4. Set a limit. 

A time limit, a spend limit, some kind of limit. My limit is usually $20, sometimes $50 if I'm looking for something for my house (like a shelf that I still haven't found). Having a limit helps keep me in check and keeps me from just buying everything

5. Go frequently. 

Right now, I've been searching for a rope basket to use as a laundry hamper in my bathroom, as well as a ladder shelf to add a bit of extra storage in there too. I know I've seen both at TJ Maxx before, but right now, they just aren't there. So I've been going nearly every weekend, just to check. So far, I haven't found what I'm looking for, but I know if I check often enough, I'll find it. If you're really in the market for a specific piece, going back often will make you more likely to spot it at a great price. 

What Does Being Petite Really Mean?

For as long as I could remember, I thought of the term "petite," as least when it was applied to body size, as meaning "short." Short sizes. Small inseam lengths. That kind of thing. When my mom and sister shopped in the petite section, it was to try to find pants they didn't have to hem. It did not, in my mind, mean that the sizes were teeny tiny. 

A few years ago, I encountered a very strange argument on Instagram regarding the introduction of new Anthropologie petite sizes. Firstly, I don't shop at Anthropologie; I cannot justify a $70 pillow or a $200+ cotton dress, I just can't. And secondly, Instagram arguments are weird and petty and always kind of funny.

The drama on the Anthropologie issue started over people leaving comments that seemed to be a little, well, thin-hating. Obviously, bodyshaming of any variety is not ok. However, I started to think: wait, what? The line is a line of smaller sizes or shorter lengths?

Basically: are they just making smaller clothes or are they making a petites line, like the petites sections that have long existed in department stores like Macy's or JCPenny's? Have we officially confused the English language so much that we have multiple different definitions of "petite"? 

As it turns out, the line is for women 5'3" and under. From what I can tell on the website, the clothes aren't necessarily smaller (except for length) and come in almost all conventional sizes. That's pretty awesome. But it made me wonder: why did the post about it on Instagram devolve into arguments about sizes (and by that I mean number sizes, not inseams), including quite a few comments that could be read as a bit thin-hating? 

I decided to google what petite meant Interesting. "Having a small and attractively dainty build." Stop, Google, you're making me blush. But seriously, is petite about being physically teeny, as in both short and extremely thin?

I have a dainty build (re: small bone structure), but some sizable fleshy parts of my body. I'm 5'2" and wear a size 8 regularly, yet I still often find myself being called the smallest person in the room (even though I know a ton of people who are smaller than me, physically, if not height-wise). Further definitions included: "small, slender, and trim; used for girls and women; a clothing size for short, slender women." Thanks, Free Online Dictionary. 

Another unhelpful, but maybe helpful, fact is this: the number of blogs dedicated to fashion for "petite" women is astonishing. I started reading through a few and I found myself getting, well, uncomfortable. The purpose of these blogs is ultimately noble and good-intentioned, but I found myself feeling a little weirded out by the constant description of their super small bodies, their need to only buy children's clothes or to search out specifically "narrow fit" boots. Some of the women who run these blogs are also not very short in stature; they just happen to be very, very thin. So, that's what petite means to some fashion blogs. 

I always thought to be petite, you just had to be short. And as far as I can tell, short people come in lots of different clothes sizes, including plus-sized. There is a disparity between what clothing producers mean when they say "petite" and what people think when they say "petite"--in fact, I think it's two different things. I think when Anthropologie posted about a new "petite" line, some people immediately thought: "clothes for skinny people." Because, apparently, that's the main definition of the word petite. 

However, when you look up Petite Size on Wikipedia, it mentions that conventional clothing sizes in the United States are designed to fit a woman who is over 5'5" (which is insanity, no wonder none of my pants fit) and so petites lines and entire store sections emerged as a place for women under 5'3" to buy clothing. And that clothing came in a variety of conventional sizes with the wonderful P added to indicate they were just cut differently. That's pretty awesome for ladies of the short variety (like me). However, now we have other definitions of petite popping up: thin or not-thin, short or not-short. 

Can we just have all words mean the same thing, ok? Thanks, English Language. 

This reminds me overwhelmingly of the use of the word "curvy": some people mean one thing when they say it, some people mean another thing when they say it, and sometimes people aren't being necessarily nice when they say it, which is pretty sucky of them. All kinds of arguments and anger can spring up when someone uses the word "curvy". I distinctly remember referring to myself as "curvy" once in college and the person I was talking with immediately consoled me, saying, "You aren't fat! Don't say that!" Except that wasn't what I meant by curvy, but ok. 

So, the real question is: are petites sections in department stores lies? What gives? 

It turns out, it's not. There are two meanings to the word petite and unfortunately, that gets confusing most of the time. Some people will claim that petites sections in stores cut their sizes about 1-1.5 sizes smaller (so a size 8 in a petites isn't really a size 8), but that doesn't make sense and isn't really true. I find I'm the same size in petites sections as I am in regular sections, everything is just shorter (and let's be real, frumpier, because apparently department stores think all people under 5'3" are 85 years and older).

Basically, what this all boils down to is this: words are just words and you shouldn't get up in arms about them, or upset about them, unless they are used intentionally to upset you (then you should totally get your cranky face on). A chain store creating a line of petites clothes wasn't meant to offend anything; it was meant to create clothes for shorties, because sometimes it is hard to find clothes in a world where all clothes are cut for people 5'5"+. Getting cranky about a store creating a line of petites -- or plus sizes or whatever -- might be personally offensive to you if, I don't know, you really dislike short people, but it's not meant to be and so... cool it and stuff, seriously. Once a "well, I don't personally like that" turns into a "I'm gonna leave hate comment on Instagram," you've magically transformed into a jerk. Congratulations!

My Daily Essentials

I have a busy life. 

Those are words I really thought I'd never write. I hate that tendency of bloggers (especially full-time bloggers) to always write or post about how "busy" they are--when, in reality, they're probably not that super busy. Not that this is the busyness Olympics or anything.

But now that I'm legitimately busy, I feel stupid for all the times I thought I was busy in the past. A combination of sleep deprivation (although that's coming to an end), working a full-time job in half-time hours, and taking care of an entire small human has made me realize what it actually means to be "busy." 

The past few months, I've found a few ways to keep myself organized and on top of things, while effectively doing all my different jobs. These are my absolute daily essentials 

1. Bullet journals

I'm a list maker. I always have been and I always will be. I find it easiest, for all the various hats I wear, to keep a running calendar or list of deadlines, things to do, and notes. I started bullet journaling at work 2 years ago and it has worked wonderfully. I keep my bullet journal very simple: I have an index and then a full month master calendar for each month. Each day gets its own page where I record notes, things to do, and deadlines to add to my master calendar. I keep one notebook for my job and one notebook for home and it works really well to keep me feeling sane. 

I also have a "fun" bullet journal where I can do whatever list pages I want--and I don't do daily pages. I keep track of habits, saving, and all the lists I need, from books I want to buy to home improvement projects. 

2. Meal Planning  

Every Wednesday, I sit down and plan meals for the week. I know this seems like a strange day to do it, but I typically go grocery shopping with Forrest on Thursday or Friday morning. I don't use anything fancy: I use Pinterest and make a list in my journal. Then I create a grocery list out of all the recipes and add them to OurGroceries. 

3. OurGroceries

Have you guys ever used this app? I've used all kinds of different ways to try to organize my grocery lists. For a while, I used the basic Notes app on my iPhone, but I needed something better. OurGroceries can sync across different phones, so if Danny and I had the app, I could add a list of things I needed him to do on his way home from work. If I'm grocery shopping with Forrest, I don't necessarily have the ability to carry a notepad (and pen to cross things off). I can, however, hold a phone and tap to cross things out. And I never forget my list at home because it's already with me. 

4. Google Calendar & Reminders

I have an increasingly terrible memory. I used to be able to remember anything without writing it down, but those days are gone, clearly. Just like OurGroceries, it helps me to write things down in a bullet journal (usually my work one); but then I also add everything to my Google Calendar and iCalendar on my phone. I set reminders for 30 minutes and 5 minutes, just in case I forget. If I don't do this, I forget--like the doctor's appointment I completed spaced on at the beginning of June. Oops. 


What do you use to keep yourself organized? Share with me on Twitter!

6 Beauty Products I Refuse to Live Without

Confession: For the last 6 months, I have really fallen down on skin care. I found myself hurriedly rubbing foundation on my face and putting on mascara then bolting out the door (Forrest in tow) for doctors appointments, lunch dates, and, worst, work. Combined with the fact that I wear leggings and a sweatshirt 2-3 days a week, it was adding up to a pretty bad look (as well as making me feel pretty sloppy most of the time). 

A few weeks ago, I decided it was time: Forrest is old enough to entertain himself for 30-40 minutes at a time (even if he whines about it), which means I deserve time to shower and get ready like a normal human. I also set a goal that I wasn't going to leave the house in the same sweatshirt I'd worn 20 days in a row ever again. 

I started cleaning out my make up in the mean time. I have a lot of crap I've collected over the years, as well as some favorites that I'd let myself run out of. After deciding to repurchase all my favorites and start from scratch, I realized there are a few things I just refuse to give up. 

1. Laura Geller Spackle Supercharged Primer, $32. 

The struggle is real when it comes to primers and oily skin. People with oily skin need a primer more than anyone else, but literally no primers are made for oily skin. None. Most of them leave the skin feeling slick (and trust me, I've tried tons). However, Laura Geller's Spackle Supercharged is, hands down, the best primer I've ever used. A solid runner up is Tarte's tinted BB cream, but it is the same price for a smaller tube. I like a good bang for my buck! I wear this everyday and my foundation is usually set through the entire day. 

2. Urban Decay Primer Potion, $12.

This is one of those stupid expensive things that I know I could probably find a cheaper dupe of, but I just don't want to. It's so good. It's good for eyelids and keeping eyeshadow and liner set all day. It's also good for blemishes and keeping concealer set all day. It's also good for lips and keeping matte lipstick set all day! I mostly use it for a lip primer these days and I swear, it's the best thing out there. A tiny tube lasts forever too, so I feel a little more justified regarding the price. 

3. Beauty Blenders, $20 for name brand, $5 for Ulta brand

Beauty Blenders are a specific brand and a specific product: those egg-shaped make up sponges that you use damp. Some people swear by name brand, which are $20+ a pop. However, I use the Ulta brand for $5 a piece ($10 for 2) and I like them just as well (and yes, I forked over $20 for a tiny freaking sponge a few years ago). They are so good for blending foundation and concealer (and contouring, if you're into that), but you can also use them to apply moisturizer and primer, to buff out too much blush (it happens), and to protect your under eyes from fallout as you put on eyeshadow. 

4. Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation, $39.

I love a full coverage foundation and Tarte's is the absolute best. I also like Naked by Urban Decay, but it doesn't come as close to matching my skin town. Tarte comes in a wider variety of shades and provides the same great coverage. A tube can last me anywhere from 4-8 months, depending on how often I wear it. It's the only foundation that has come close to matching my skin tone at all. 

5. NYX Powder Foundation, $9.99

Some people don't wear powder everyday, but I do. I used to be a devoted fan of Covergirl's Professional Loose Powder, but they recently stopped making the original and replaced it--and now they don't make a shade light enough for my skin tone. I started using NYX's powder foundation as a finishing powder (just using a brush instead of sponge) and it's so good. And for $9.99, you can't beat the price. If I need extra coverage, I just use my Beauty Blender to apply where I need it. 

6. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, $18. 

I've done the leg work: you cannot find a better liner for winged eyeliner. You just can't. I also love that it's a pen with a flexible brush head. Here's why: most liners for winged liner have a felt tip and I actually don't get that because it's like putting on eyeliner with a marker. How does that make sense? It's the perfect matte black; it has the best brush head; you can get that perfect pointed wing. And at $18, it's not too bad! A close runner up is NYX matte black liquid liner, but I find it gets flaky and the brush is harder to control. 


My Top 5 Third Trimester Pregnancy Essentials

Depending on what your doctor says, the 3rd trimester starts at either 27 or 28 weeks (there is some debate). However, the real slog doesn't seem to really start until about 30 weeks. This seems to be when the exhaustion starts in. If you've known about your pregnancy since very early on (3 or 4 weeks early), you've been excited and mentally preparing for a very long time. By 30 weeks, you're ready to have the freaking baby already... and you're not even full term yet!

In my case, by the time I was 30 weeks, I experienced a few things: none of my shoes fit; none of my tops fit; my back hurt, I had heartburn, I cried all the time, and I just wanted to spend all day eating chicken strips and chocolate cake. Who could blame me? 

When it comes down to it though, my 3rd trimester has been relatively smooth sailing (so far). I have days where my feet aren't bloated (although my carpal tunnel means me hands are pretty permanently puffed up) and I haven't had any pregnancy-related health problems. I'm not plagued by extreme symptoms like some women... but that doesn't make for a "pleasant" 3rd trimester by any means!

Here are my top 5 essential for surviving the last few weeks... and hopefully, the last four.

1. My Kindle

Where would I be without my nightly bath-and-reading session? I'm pretty sure I would have ran away forever by now without having the escape of a good book after a long day at work. Plus, holding a Kindle is much easier on my carpal tunnel plagued wrist than a book. It's lighter and I don't have to worry about turning pages. Win-win. 

2. Camisoles.

Remember that bit about none of my shirts fitting? It's not that they're too small... it's that they have gotten too short. My solution to this problem was long camisoles. I can wear them under tee shirts and sweaters to lengthen them and cover the three inches of belly that sometimes show. I can also wear them plain under cardigans and scarves for a somewhat lighter fall look (since I get overheated super easily these days). My favorites are from Forever 21--and at $1.90 a piece, they are a steal. (They also come in v-neck, which I love as well!) 

3. My "Husband" Pillow.

I don't think the technical name for these pillows is "husband" pillows, but that's what Danny and I call them. I got mine from Target for $14.99 (and you can get it for 10% off with a code!) I use it to prop myself up at night to prevent heartburn, to read in bed, to elevate my feet when they get mega-puffy... It's soft. It's cuddly. I love it. 

4. Faux-Uggs... or Fuggs.

I bought a pair of Faux-Uggs for $15.00 at Wal-Mart. They are two sizes too big and seasonally inappropriate, but I would not have made it through the last few weeks without them. Why? They fit my feet even when they are dramatically swollen. They support my ankles. They are easy to take off and put on. They are extremely comfortable when my feet hurt. They aren't the most attractive option... but at a certain point in pregnancy, you have to give it up and accept whatever you can to be comfortable. 

5. Water Bottles.

I keep a water bottle with me at all times: at work, in the car, at home. I also try to keep one or two extras in my fridge, full of ice and water, for the middle of the night (so I don't have to use the ice maker and wake everyone up). Staying hydrated during pregnancy is insanely important. Basically, most unpleasant pregnancy symptoms (Braxton Hicks, back pain, swollen feet) are given the advice of "drink more water." Drink more water! Drink it! Water has also helped my heartburn in the middle of the night: when I just can't bring myself to eat another Tums, I take a big swig of water... and it calms my heartburn enough to let me sleep. It's the little things. 


Have your own pregnancy essentials? Share with me on Twitter or in the comments below! 

My Pre-Baby Wishlist

Are wish list blog posts annoying? Maybe. But I've always liked them. It's kind of fun to see the other things that people search for on the Internet, or what they want for their birthday or just because. Doing them too often can be annoying because at a certain point, coveting stuff all the time is kind of concerning. But once and a while, a wish list blog post is fun. 

And this one is one really, long pointed stare at my husband. I've never been really obsessive about trying to get him to get me specific things for my birthday or our anniversary, but I've been making a really big deal about the things I want for the last months of my pregnancy. These aren't necessarily things I want for my birthday, because my birthday is October 20 and my due date is October 23. Waiting until potentially 3 days before giving birth to enjoy some new stuff seems like a recipe for disaster. 

Here are my (super duper basic) wishes for the last few months of my pregnancy. 

1. Striped Top

Guys, we need to talk about how much I want a black and white striped top. (I have an image in my head of it being majority white with thin, wide set black stripes.) Ideally, it wouldn't be maternity so that I could hopefully wash and shrink it down to post-bump status. If you're wondering why I'm jonesing for a relatively basic top so much, see my Maternity Style Pinterest board. It's the perfect Fall wardrobe addition (and it won't be too small like the striped top I own currently). 

2. Knee High Boots

For the past few years, I've operated under the assumption that I have "wide calves." But I actually, kind of don't? My calves have a circumference of 14 inches. Which, sounds huge, but is actually fairly typical. The average size 8 pair of boots has a circumference of 15-17 inches. Should work out, right? Wrong! Because I've never worn a size 8 boot in my life! I've always worn children's boots (size 4-ish and they have a calf circumference of... about 10-12 inches) or a size 6 (that typically has a calf circumference of about 12-13 inches). The size of the boot is correlated to the circumference of the calf... so if you're like me and have fairly standard size calves (or perhaps even muscular for your body type), but have always worn an itty bitty shoe size, you've never been able to find knee high boots that fit. 

With this knowledge, and puffy feet, I feel like the time has arrived: I can buy size 8 or 8.5 size boots and have them fit my calves and my feet (with thick socks). I've been scoping out boots for the last two months and I'm still undecided. I want to see them in person, I decide, and then I'll find a great pair of Mukluks on Zulily or something. 

3. A Knit Scarf

It's warm. It's cozy. It doubles as a nursing cover. It goes with every outfit. This year, I want a blanket scarf pre-Fall (so I avoid the massive sell out run on them!) and a really nice, knitted infinity scarf. 

4. Naked Smoky Palette

When I heard that Urban Decay was releasing a third (!!!) Naked palette, I had the immediate thought that they were jumping the shark. And I was wrong because the Naked Smokey palette is gorgeous. (I actually really love the Naked 3 palette as well because I loooove rose gold eye shadows, but I always look like I've got a bad case of pink eye when I pair pink-y eyeshadows with my hazel eyes.) 

5. An iMac

This is the most "dream worthy" gift I want. Someone needs to get me an iMac though. My trusty MacBook is starting to slow down and gets a little bit more laggy everyday. I've had it since my senior year of college--that's 5 years of use! I'm ready to graduate to a desktop computer and use my MacBook as a "use around the house" device. 

Help Me: I Officially Need Maternity Pants

A week later and I'm  even bigger . 

A week later and I'm even bigger

I told myself I wouldn't. I'm not going to buy maternity clothes, I thought, feeling very superior in February. I might need them, but I'll get by!! I will!! I will survive!! Persevere! Fortify!

Not only was this a really weird thing to try to do, it was also really stupid. Because let me tell you, even if you can get a normal waistband on when you're pregnant (either in legging form or pants form, and if it's in pants form, let me say, I'm impressed), you probably won't want to. Because if you're anything like me, the cutting sensation of a waistband hitting right underneath the burgeoning, if quite small, baby bump is potentially the most painful, annoying, frustrating thing in the world. 

I really thought I could do it at the beginning. I really thought I would be able to make due with my leggings and jeggings, and a belly band to cover up my unbuttoned pants. I really thought it would be ok.

First things first, the waistband of normal leggings hits at potentially the worst spot in the world for pregnancy. About 11 weeks in, I bought a pair of Aerie high-waisted leggings (my favorites) two sizes bigger than I normally wear. My logical thought was: I can pull this up onto the belly bump when the time comes. I seem to have forgotten the lifelong struggle I've had with things riding down if I try to wear them at the "right" spot. Basically, if I'm wearing a top, it will ride up to my waist; if I'm wearing a skirt or elastic waist anything at or above my belly button, even if it's tight, it will ride down to my hips. This is just home I'm shaped, but I really thought things would change. They wouldn't. As I got more spherical, my Aerie high-waisted leggings still rode down to sit just above my hip bones--a.k.a., the place where I could not stand to have a waistband. I sobbed, I whined, I pleaded with my body to just let me have this one thing. It wouldn't because my body is an organ that basically does what my DNA and brain, not my feelings, tells it to. I broke down and bought maternity leggings, which are not as thick as I like and have weird, baggy crotches. I'll make due. 

I held strong on the jeans front. I bought an Ingrid & Isabel Be Band at Target (for kind of a ridiculous price tag) early on and thought, "Yes, this will work." 

It does not work on my body. Ok, maybe it's just me. Maybe my body is just the random integer in a set of data, the outlier, the weirdo. But I don't think so. The band stretches out, both at the top and the bottom, so it sags, rolls, shifts, falls down. It stops fitting. It rides up, it rides down, it exposes your unzipped pants, it lets your pants ride down. When you wash it and dry it, it doesn't shrink back up. I bought the right size, according to the packaging, but I'm beginning to suspect that no size would make it work. It just wasn't going to work. Too small of a size would be unbearable to wear the beginning, only for it to inevitably stretch out. 

So I broke down. I bought maternity jeans, the thing I said I would never do. I bought them, feeling strangely excited to be able to wear jeans instead of leggings again. And I'm glad I bought them when I did: my trusty Target is gradually phasing out the normal colors of maternity jeans (aka dark) and replacing them with stone washed frayed capris and white jeans. Honestly, it's like they want women to suffer. 

Since then, I have delicately begun to search for maternity clothes elsewhere. Last week, I spent a terrifying 40 minutes in my local Old Navy looking for their maternity section (the Old Navy website insisted they had one); I eventually found it in the baby section, sort of behind a display of superhero-themed clothes. They had one rack, a messy shelf of maternity tank tops (all XS and XXL), and a clearance section consisting of about 5% maternity clothes and 95% leftovers from their plus-size collections. It was painfully disappointing. 

You'd think with the proliferation of online shopping, physical stores would step up their maternity clothes game. I can buy tons of maternity clothes on websites like Zulily and Amazon, but if I want to try them on before purchasing or have the fun thrill of going to a physical store, my options are incredibly limited. Pregnant women get to choose between a series of frumpy tank tops and tee shirts, horizontal striped dresses, and ill-fitting maternity jeans. What's up with that? 

Like plus size clothing, maternity clothing doesn't seem to have fully caught up with the rest of the shopping industry. There were a proliferation of fast fashion shops for conventional sizes, but if you're pregnant and/or larger than the standard sizes, you have to shop online and that is only if you find items that are actually, you know, flattering. 

So, this is where I ask you: fellow moms, where do you (or did you) buy maternity clothes (or clothes that come in a wide variety of sizes that you could perhaps customize for maternity wear)? What items did you need the most? What could you not have made it through without? What worked for you? What didn't? Tell me about it! 

Michelle's Favorite Things

Every year, Oprah's list of favorite things is a show in extravagance and luxury. 

Every year, Oprah's list of favorite things is a show in extravagance and luxury. 

Oprah is a figure I grew up with: I watched her TV show as a child and as a teenager; I read her magazine; I occasionally picked up her book club picks for super cheap at Barnes & Noble; and I early looked forward to the crazypants display of wealth and consumerism that was her Favorite Things episode. 

Even with the end of her TV show, Oprah has continued to release Favorite Things lists every year -- but they've fallen in extravagance and price. That doesn't mean they're an average everyday wish list though -- this year's list still totals over $30,000 for everything and includes weirdo suggestions like $700 headphones (all gold, yo), a $445 dog bed (!!!), and her own book. There is also a $65 box of cards that you can read for "inspiration." Um, ok. 

It got me thinking though: what if we all made our Favorite Things list of our favorite random stuff and decadent treats? Basically why can't we all be a little more like Oprah? That's why I put together my list of favorite things -- you know, for the people. 


Eat your lunch out of a panda's head. Don't think about it  too  much.

Eat your lunch out of a panda's head. Don't think about it too much.

1. 2 Tier Panda Bento Box, $17.99 on Amazon

This panda just wants you to have a delicious, nutritious lunch. I mean -- look how happy it is! How cute! Now eat some salad out of its head. 

I've been looking for galaxy print work out pants for months and I've finally found them. 

I've been looking for galaxy print work out pants for months and I've finally found them. 

2. Onzie Women's Galaxy Print Leggings, $65

Working out is annoying and hard but also kind of fun. It's good to reward yourself with nice work out clothes, especially if it's a big part of your life. These galaxy print leggings are basically the loudest, most hipster print ever, but oh my god, I just want to get my sweat on in them. 

The mid-1990s in Aspen are bag with puffer vests. Guard your internal organs. 

The mid-1990s in Aspen are bag with puffer vests. Guard your internal organs. 

3. Get Down Buffalo Plaid Puffer Vest from AEO, $62.97

Um, I'm weirdly excited about puffer vests being back in style. I totally rocked a white puffy vest (with blue flower embroidery) in middle school (and high school? Dear god, 14-year-old Michelle). They're cozy. They're puffy. They hide all kinds of stuff from view. Spill coffee on your shirt? No big. I've got a vest. Feeling bloated? Meh -- it's a vest sorta day. Vests: the cure for all your ills. And this one has a faux-fur trimmed hood!! It's 2004 again, guys. 

Snowflakes on your bubbies

Snowflakes on your bubbies

Fair isle on your booty

Fair isle on your booty

4. Racerback Sleep Bralette ($19.95) and 
5. Knit Boxers in Royal Navy ($29.95), both from Aerie

If you haven't yet put a bralette on your body, please: find your nearest Aerie and get one on your body ASAP. Or order one online. I recommend the softest lace bralettes -- or this sleep one. They're so comfortable. It's like your wearing a sports bra! Oh, wait, you basically are. Oh well! Too comfy! I'm obsessed with fair isle and Aerie's knit boxers are something I get myself as a present every year. I love these polar bear fair isle ones. 

I'm a hipster. 

I'm a hipster. 

6. Moleskine Notebook

I need a new journal and I need all my journals to match from now on so my future children sort through a gigantic box of matching, leather journals and say, "My mom was such a hipster." Because it will be about 95% true. 


Those are a few of my favorite things. Have favorite things of your own? Send them to me @ellipsis_life