I'm a shopping crackwhore by Liz

We all have our addictions.  Drinking, smoking, reality TV, whatever it is-we all struggle with something.  Truth be told, I'm really more of of a social drinker and I'm not sure how to inhale on a cigarette.  I do love reality TV but these days the channel always seems to be on Spongebob Squarepants.  So what am I addicted to? Shopping.

This isn't the first time I've come to you guys about this.  Last year, I was forcibly put on a cash budget by the hubs to curb my habits. And it worked, for the most part, until I fell off the wagon while shopping for the kids and wrote about it here.

But I vowed to do better.  And I did-although the fact I started a new job that kept me incredibly busy was the real reason I wasn't shopping-I simply didn't have time to spend in my favorite stores!  I just couldn't find a minute in the day to peruse the lovely aisles of that crackpipe called The Container Store. Oh, and Loehmann's.  And Nordstrom.  And Cost Plus.  Basically, I tried not to step foot anywhere that had anything I might want.

But with two kids under age seven, one of my all-time fave places, Target, is unavoidable.  We've had birthday party invites coming out of our ass lately, and it feels like we spend more time stalking those toy aisles than we do at home.  And believe it or not, I had mastered the art of only buying what we came there for.  That means no Missoni, no dragonfly statues for the garden and NO BOOKS.  And I'm not gonna lie, I felt pretty smug about my ability to put on blinders while there.  There were even times we exited the store spending LESS THAN $100.  A miracle, as many of you know.

So when the hubs gave me a free pass to run over to Loehmann's and do some shopping for my upcoming birthday, I thought I had things figured out.  I wasn't going to fall off the wagon AGAIN, was I?

Oh yes I was.  Bigtime.

My arms ached as I carried the ridiculously large pile of clothes around the store, adding on sweaters and dresses and belts.  How would my life be complete without that adorable striped sweatshirt to wear to the kid's soccer practice?  And how could I go on living without that Calvin Klein dress?  And why had I never owned one of those really cool huge ass belts?  NO WAY was I too old for it!

I shopped.  And then I shopped and shopped some more.  I made three trips into that communal dressing room, my addiction on display for the world to see. (Dear Loehmann's dressing room attendant, I saw your judging head shake! Or maybe you were just wondering why I was trying to rock that belt?!?)

And after I finished there, I remembered that we are taking Christmas photos next week.  Panic set in. WTF would we wear?!  I made it my mission to find the outfits that would make the world believe my life was a perfect as the black and white carefree snapshot I send them each year.(LOL!)  Something that would look fabulous as we skipped along the beach holding hands and fake laughing in between me screaming at the kids not to get their clothes dirty. And two hours later, I found them.  Oh, and I also found an additional two pairs of shoes, a purse the size of a suitcase and a questionable hat.

And the hangover was already starting to settle in.  Why had I bought a turtleneck?  Did I wear ANY other color than grey and black?  Did I really need another one of those sweaters that hangs down to your knees?  Did that hat make my face look like a bowling ball? (Um, yes it does.)

So I'm making the dreaded trip back for some returns today.  Not everything, but a few things that I picked up while foaming at the mouth.  Things I really don't need and probably won't wear.  Like that freakin' belt.  And the humungous purse which now makes me cringe each time I walk past it.

The good news?  I'm getting better.  Yes, I went slightly insane this weekend, but I recovered quickly and feel good about what I'm returning, something I never would have done in the past.  So it's baby steps, people.  Or at least that's what I tell my husband!

What are you addicted to?

xoxo, Liz


Breaking and Entering by Liz

That Monday started out like any other day.  My daughter and I ran out to run a few errands for an hour.  I was sipping on my green iced tea from Starbucks.   I thought about sneaking over to buy that cute scarf I had been eyeing at Loehmanns.   But then I came home.

It took a minute to process the empty space where our TV used to sit and the broken pieces of my side door sitting on the floor. And as I grabbed my daughter by the hand and ran back into the garage and into the safety of my car, I just couldn’t get over the fact that we had been robbed.  That shit only happened to other people, right?

Later, as we walked through and took inventory of our house, I mentally took an inventory of my feelings.  Knowing that someone had been watching, waiting for us to leave left me speechless.  The fact that they had taken my beloved Macbook and every piece of jewelry that I owned besides the wedding ring I had been wearing seemed like a side note.  Because in reality, they had taken so much more. 

They had stolen my sense of well-being in a neighborhood I had felt safe in for years.  There were a ton of things I could have done to make their job so much harder. But my misguided belief that those types of things didn’t happen in my community basically handed them my belongings on a silver platter. 

After that day, the world looked a little different.  The dark corners seemed a bit scarier, the noises that went bump in the night felt a bit louder.  It reminded me of the time right after I had my daughter, when all the many things in the world I had to protect her from overwhelmed and terrified me.  I felt pangs of that same fear now.

But like with all bad things that happen, a silver lining appears if you’re willing to look for it. Like the fact that I’m highly allergic to almost all of my jewelry and wasn’t able to wear it anyway. And after the break-in, the hubs gave the green light on getting a big ass dog, something I had been begging for. (Although this wasn’t how I planned to get my way! I swear!)

 And from the moment we found Sasha at the shelter and brought her home, we were in love with her.   And we thought she loved us too. 

 Until that bitch ran away. 

She ran past me like a bolt of lightning when I opened the door and took off immediately to the busiest road (of course!), where one step off the sidewak would turn her into doggy kibble. 

 I dropped my purse and phone in the driveway and sprinted after her in my paper flip-flops(I had just come from a man-pedi with extra massage!) About a half-mile into my chase, I ditched those shitty paper shoes and started running barefoot.  But it was to no avail.  She wouldn’t come to me, and now that I was aware that I lived in the kind of neighborhood that gets robbed, I knew I had better hightail it back to my Loius Vuitton pronto. 

So my out-of-shape ass sprinted Amazing Race style all the way back.  Tears in my eyes, I grabbed my purse and keys.  How the f*ck was I going to explain to the kids that Mommy lost the dog?  The only damn dog we had looked at that hadn't thought the kids were Scooby snacks?  How were we going to find another one? And what the hell was wrong with her anyway?  I bought that bitch a seventy dollar bed and massaged her paws! So now a homeless rescue dog was too good for us?  WTF? And why hadn’t I started that P90x I bought from that creepy guy on Craig’s List last month?  I was heaving  and coughing like I was about to have a heart attack. (And I have the broken blood vessel in my eye to prove it!)

 I had told myself that I wouldn’t let the robbery make me feel like everything was going wrong, but this whole dog breakout thing was going to seriously hamper those efforts.

 I began to back out the driveway, ready to comb the neighborhood. I still had a few hours to find her before the kids got home.  Then I heard a honk and saw a car pull up behind me.  Jumping out, I immediately saw Sasha smiling in the backseat.  The sight of me chasing my dog down the street in paper shoes had compelled this woman, this angel, to stop what she was doing and follow us.  When I gave up and turned back to get my car, she continued following Sasha until she could coax her into the car.  This time, being watched and followed had been a blessing.  I don’t know what I more thankful for: the fact that she had brought the dog we had fallen in love with home or that this one act of kindness made the world look bright again.

 The moral of my story?  The next time you have a chance to help someone out-do it.  You have no idea the incredible impact your one small act can have on another.  Oh, and use your deadbolt! I wish I had.

Also, there's still plenty of time to leave a comment here  to be entered in Liz & Lisa's Favorite Holiday Things giveaway for your chance to win a Blackberry Curve, A Sony eReader and so much more! And don't forget to "like" our Facebook page too!

xoxo, Liz