Sunday, July 10, 2016

Birthday Haul (A Well Deserved Shopping Spree)

Teaching is exhausting work. This week was 4th of July, Back to School Night, and a field trip (that I was in charge of planning). With only three days of class but two upcoming events, it was easily twice the work in half the time. While I had a lovely birthday and all the students sang to me, I had no time on Thursday or Friday to do anything fun. Saturday was a huge breath of relief. One of my coworkers, Mina, who has a car, offered to take me to the mall. We had a grand time shopping at the Roseville Galleria, and I stocked up on pamper products and a few new garments.

First up, as always, is Lush. The shop was a bit smaller than most I've seen, and there didn't seem to be a back room for stock. As a result Saturday was crazy busy, and all of the attendants were helping other people. I wanted my go-to face mask, Love Lettuce, and fortunately there was one left, but I didn't want to buy it early and have it melt in my bag as I was walking around that day. I decided to come back for it later, which I would regret. I did however, pick up one of the new soaps, Outback Mate. It's a beautiful marbled blue, with eucalyptus and peppermint, topped off with lemongrass scent. Initially, I was a bit iffy about buying it, as I still have two soaps to use, but as soon as an attendant mentioned the peppermint, I was sold.

Sadly, Love Lettuce was no longer available when I came back. That second time I did come back, the store was still crowded, and it felt like all the attendants were strangely rude. When I described what I needed, they pushed the first product they could grab towards me without hearing out my concerns. I've always felt very relaxed and at ease in Lush, but this time, I had to wait a very long time just to get someone to help me try a new face mask to use in place of Love Lettuce. Finally, I was able to try Mask of Magnaminty, which I instantly fell in love with. It left my skin so soft and smooth, and far less red. It also doesn't feel like it leaves a film after rinsing off, which is my top concern with skincare products.

Next up was the Body Shop. I still have two vials of tea tree oil, but I'm fairly sure I left those in Berkeley. Tea tree oil is ridiculously expensive, which is why I was ecstatic that the Body Shop expanded their line. The attendant recommended the new Tea Tree Oil Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution, which promises to take care of blemishes and soften skin through oil control. It costs $22 for a 50mL bottle with a dropper, but as they were promoting the new products, it was on sale for $17.60. This was a huge deal, because I usually pick up three 10mL vials of tea tree oil for $20 ($10 each, but the Body Shop usually has a buy 2 get 1 sale). 30mL of tea tree oil only lasts for about half a year, and is far too potent for my needs. The attendant promised that the new product will probably last three years and has a three year shelf life, which I doubt, as the packaging said a 12 month shelf life, but even if it lasts one year, I will be highly impressed. It seems like an excellent product and I hope they don't raise the price if it gets more popular.

At the Body Shop, it is essential to go with a friend to take full advantage of their sales. Even then, you have to be careful that the items you pick up are included in the sale. The new tea tree products were not included in the buy 2 get 1 sale, but another deal was to spend $50 and get a free body scrub ($20 value). When both of us bought a tea tree solution, we were close to that deal, but there would also be the issue of splitting the body scrub. The resolution was to buy another sugar scrub to get the sugar scrub for free, and split the total cost down the middle. This worked perfectly, and now I also have a coconut sugar scrub and Mina has a honey sugar scrub.

We wandered around the mall a bit more, not sure what to get. July is a great month for shopping as all the stores have their mid-year sales. I had to take care not to buy too many things, because I still have to pack everything up in one suitcase to bring back with me to Berkeley. I had a list, but unfortunately I did not pick up a lot of those items. I did get my hands on this "Squad Goals" shirt from H&M. I saw it last month when I was shopping in Bay Street looking for orange clothes to match my Breakthrough club color, but didn't buy it because I wasn't sure if I'd want to buy a shirt specifically for Breakthrough. However, being here and having a pineapple related inside joke meant that this was the perfect item to memorialize this summer, even if I don't get a lot of wears out of it. Unfortunately, it was a popular shirt so there were none left in my size (and it's no longer available online), but I bought a size L to wear as an oversize shirt (it still looks cute).

I also ended up buying three bras. Two were clearance from Victoria's Secret. I have an odd loyalty towards VS, as they were the first place I bought a bra myself that actually fit. All my bras prior to that were ones my mom bought, where the bands were too big and the cups were too small. At VS, I got measured and wore a bra that felt comfortable for the first time. It felt like I had pillows hugging my chest, and it was on sale for a reasonable price. However, as much as I love VS, there is no way I'm paying full price for a piece of clothing that goes under my clothing. The clearance bras are about $20 each, and there is a fair selection of items in my size. I bought a strappy neon-yellow piece, and a soft purple everyday bra. I really wanted a wireless t-shirt bra, but there weren't any available in the color I wanted for my size. The last was a cute pink and black bra from H&M that was on sale for $7. It isn't as soft as the ones from VS, and the underwire is a bit more pokey, but at $7, it was worth it.

We ended the day with a classic In-N-Out. I can probably say without hesitation that In-N-Out burgers are my favorite food. The fries could use some work, but the burgers are #blessed. 

I arrived home exhausted. I thought I could get some work done, but after shopping from 1pm to 7pm, I dropped. After guzzling a bottle of water (shopping is surprisingly dehydrating), I napped from 8:30pm to 12:30am and instantly regretted it when I woke up, knowing how messed up my sleep schedule would be. I finally went back to sleep from 1:30am to 7:30am today, which wasn't bad, but hopefully, my sleep schedule rounds itself out before going back to work tomorrow. ◊

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