This is a blog about style, and essentially, about shopping. I haven't bought a lot of fashion lately and am working with what I own for the most part. So I decided to write a post about what my family has bought while we have been sheltering at home. It's funny, when I started writing this post I felt like we hadn't bought a lot and it would be a little pat on the back, we're not buying willy nilly, be careful with your spending, buy what you need not to fill a void, yadda yadda. But then the list below got longer and longer and I realized that while I didn't buy a lot of new fashion and beauty for me, the family has done a decent amount of purchasing. So this is what we bought while on quarantine:
We Bought Another Bidet
I mentioned I think in a Weekend Read that in January I purchased a bidet for me and my husband's bathroom. I liked the idea of reducing the use of toilet paper, I also liked the idea of getting clean without a lot of wiping, which, maybe TMI, has caused me hemorrhoids. The bidet we got was on Amazon but I found the same exact one at Best Buy (in stock at the time of writing this) for around the same price (think we paid around $50). I didn't install it, my husband did but he said it wasn't too complicated and didn't need fancy hardware. This is not a fancy bidet, you can't warm the water and it's just the attachment, not the seat. But gosh it's awesome. We use far less toilet paper, it's great that time of the month, after intimacy, and any time you wish to feel cleaner without rough paper. It cleans so well, you don't need toilet paper afterward, just a washcloth to blot. So with toilet paper being worth more than gold, we ordered another bidet for the downstairs bathroom. We haven't needed to buy toilet paper since February, and I haven't had hemorrhoids in months. Best money spent.
We Bought a Peloton
I already wrote about my experience buying a Peloton during the pandemic, but it's worth repeating because it has been such a gamechanger. I was spending $400 a month on one gym and $21 a month on another so the $100 or so a month for the no-interest monthly payments and the cost of the app is actually a savings. And what is cool about it is that the whole family uses. While our daughter isn't super into it (it's something we make her ride in place of Phys. Ed at school), my husband and I love it and we love sharing it.
Before we had Emerson, we used to go to yoga together three times a week and had a tandem bike we'd sometimes ride on nice weekends. But once we had a kid, I stopped working out not feeling like I had time or was in the right mindspace for it. Karl began riding his road bike on a trainer as a way to let off steam after spending a day at home alone with an infant, and then a toddler, and he continued that daily routine. I started going to a gym at the end of 2017, but I focused on weight training, hating any cardio. And now I really love the cardio aspect of the Peloton and love that my husband and I have a fitness “thing” we share. We don't do the same classes, don't have the same favorite instructors, we don't compete with one another, but we both get that rush from it and it's fun to discuss it together. Once SIP restrictions are lifted and we know things are safe… I am not sure what my plan will be regarding a gym. But the Peloton will continue to be a thing that I love, and enjoy sharing with my family.
I Bought Activewear
Before we were told to shelter in place, I was going to the gym almost every weekday morning. But because I was focusing on weight training, I could get away with old leggings that didn't fit as well as they used to, old t-shirts, and whatever sports bra was clean. But in the past few weeks, I have been working out many weekday mornings in the living room with lighter weights and more movement, and then also using the Peloton where performance matters when it comes to what is worn. I haven't bought a lot but what I have bought is:
- A pair of leggings. Most of my leggings are black, so I got a camo print and I like them and they were on sale during one of Nordstrom's COVID-inspired promotions. They're no longer available, but they are the high-waist Live In Leggings without the pocket. I've always been a Large, but now I feel that maybe I need smaller in the waistband as they fit well from the hip down but not above. I also wish they had a pocket. To be honest, I wish I bought these from Athleta instead as Athleta leggings fit me amazingly well and these have a pocket.
- Another sports bra. I got this one from Freya, which was also on sale at Nordstrom. It's called the “Active” but once I got it and saw it and the label I realized it's the same bra I have in peach which is seen in this blog post. Just like the peach one, I like it. It is a bit tight on the band the first couple of times you wear it but it stretches out and molds to your body. I think it's comfortable, supportive, gives me good shape, and I don't feel all jostled when I get out of the saddle on the Peloton or when I do jumps during my morning living room workouts.
- A highlighter-yellow zipper hoodie. I mentioned the hoodie in this Friday Sale Alert. While I liked to Nordstrom where it was on sale, I got it at J. Crew since Nordstrom was sold out in most sizes. Reviews said it was great except for the lack of pockets. With the length it was, I knew that if it did end up having pockets they wouldn't be useful enough to hold more than my fist when it's chilly outside and I'm waiting for Oscar to do his business so we can run back in. Most of my pants have pockets, so it didn't dissuade me and I have to say I love it. It's not heavy, it's a loop terry interior instead of fuzzy fleece so it's not linty and it doesn't cling when you put it on after a workout. And the color is so delightful and looks great with my predominately black and white loungewear wardrobe. For reference, I got in in XL because I wanted it loose and relaxed, but think the L would have also been comfy. I'm actually wearing it as I write this as I wear it after workouts but I also wear it during the day with joggers and t-shirts and even thrown over a pair of overalls.
I Bought During the Sephora Sale
I wasn't going to do the Sephora Spring Savings Event Sale, and then I was doing my makeup for one of my Tuesday 1pm ET Instagram Live sessions and realized I was down to the last drop of my Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. I love this stuff, you can wear alone or with other makeup and it makes you look all glowy and dewy and not at all sparkly or shimmery or holographic. I think it also gives a bit of an airbrushed effect. So I bought another bottle (I wear 2/Light), a new pair of tweezers because mine ended up being in the tick/first aid kit and are all janky now, and some GrandeLASH because now that I'm not wearing makeup as often, I'd love to have longer lashes naturally and many have said this stuff really works.
I Bought Technology
This is the category of things I didn't want to buy, but was forced to buy. The first thing was my phone. I decided one day to be all cute and try to get video of myself on the Peloton and my hands were sweaty, my phone flew out of my hand and across the room, slamming to the ground. It didn't crack the screen, but the phone keyboard wouldn't show, pages would scroll without me touching anything, and it was dunzo. I lease my phone; being a necessary piece of equipment for my job I need it to work and be modern. I was eligible for an upgrade so I traded in my phone for the iPhone 11Max and got a decent but not spendy case and some Gorilla glass for the screen to keep it protected.
I bought my Mac desktop at the beginning of 2016 and it has been good to me… until the past year. With help from Apple and googling things I have been able to get it to limp along by having only on it the apps I truly need, and using my little 2018 MacBook for everything else. And then mid-March my desktop decided no more and wouldn't even turn on. My daughter was using it for online school; she has my husband's old photography business laptop but it won't connect to wireless, needs an ethernet cord, and crashes randomly (it's now the ROBLOX laptop). There was no way I could work and she could do school with one laptop between the two of us (my husband doesn't have a computer) and business-wise it made more sense for me to buy what I need for work than to buy a cheap Chromebook for my kid. So I sucked it up and bought a MacBook Pro, a computer bigger and more powerful than my laptop and old desktop combined. I am typing on it now and it makes me realize how much time and stress I went through to get photos edited with my old desktop and then transferred to my laptop to craft posts, and how I had to stop dabbling in video because I didn't have a computer that could support the software and the sizes of video files. It was a big unexpected purchase, but one that has proven to be worth it.
I Bought Items to Organize Our Home
Actually, all I bought was some velvet flocked hangers once I did my closet cleanout and wanted consistent hangers. I also ordered two gadgets to hang bikes on the walls since we store Karl and Emerson's road bikes indoors. And because I don't know where else to put this, I bought a grow bulb for our seedlings for the vegetable garden. We put the bulb into a lamp we already owned.
I Bought Art and Craft Supplies and Books
I needed to think of some ways to entertain a tween beyond anything with a screen. At the beginning of March, I bought Emerson a few graphic novels she loves to offer as reward after finishing a chapter book. They always motivate her and with the library not available, I wanted to be prepared with her “prizes.” I also bought pastels and a mixed-media pad of paper, a pack of embroidery floss, and since we already own fabric markers, I bought the family three of these t-shirts in which the proceeds go to Feeding America. We've already made several friendship bracelets from the embroidery floss. I may not seem crafty, but I can get spurts and have a pretty good selection of supplies and tools from over the years. TBH, these purchases are likely going to be used more by me than she if I get a slow-down period!
I Bought My Kid Clothes
When Emerson came down the stairs in pajamas she got for her birthday in January and her anklebones and part of her shins were sticking out from the hem, I knew I had to buy her some clothes to get through this time. I got her a pair of Adidas slides to be her house shoes since they have more support than slippers and better for spring and summer. I then headed over to Old Navy and got her some leggings, a hoodie, some underpinnings and socks, and a fun pair of joggers so it wasn't all utilitarian. Thanks to Super Cash and various other promotions and having a Banana Republic card I only use when shopping Gap retailers that gives an auto 10% off purchases, the total was around $25.
I Bought Random Snacks
My husband, his wonderful, amazing, yet plant-based sober self, has crazy willpower and sees food as fuel. Emerson and I, we like snacks. And Karl would be surprised that when an order was placed for practical items there would often be a few random snacks added to the purchase. And some of the best random snacks that I have bought over the past few weeks are:
- Milano Cookies. We all love these cookies, even Mr. Willpower. I don't regret this purchase, even considering how many bags I bought that are stacked up in the pantry!
- Unreal Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars. These are like little vegan Mounds bars and they are ridiculously good. And unlike other treats like BarkTHINS where I can eat an entire bag in one sitting, one or two of these are all you want because they're so dense.
- Sour Patch Kids. I got a box of the packs for valentines to put in plastic eggs for an Easter egg hunt. Emerson isn't a huge candy lover, but she adores Sour Patch Kids and likes having one bag each day and the box gave us some leftover bags for me to snack on too!
- GimMe Seaweed Snacks. I think many people can relate to panic buying something back in early March; for me it was these snacks in the teriyaki flavor. I had some crazy feeling that they would sell out and bought a bunch of them. Good thing all three of us love them!
- Vegan Rob's Cheddar Puffs. I hate most vegan cheese things, they do NOT taste like cheese and the smell of nutritional yeast is not a fave. But these are freaking GOOD.
- Annie's Vegan Mac and Cheese. After toilet paper, this was one of the first things to be unavailable everywhere because kids LOVE this stuff. And I got my hands on four boxes!
- Triscuits. I bought four boxes and it's one of the best decisions I've made in the past month.
- Chao Cheese. The only vegan cheese that is tasty enough to put on a Triscuit. Seriously, this stuff is the shizz and we are out and I am so sad.
- Daiya Ice Cream Pops. These are super good, the best vegan ice cream bars I have tried, but you have to be okay with a subtle coconut flavor.
I Bought Masks
Every time I felt the desire to buy some clothing or a random purchase, I went on Facebook or Instagram and found a small business that was making masks to keep their staff employed and/or to donate proceeds to a charity. At the time of writing this, we have only received three of them. When we receive more we plan to give them to friends and family who are without and have a few extra so we can wash between wears. Even once SIP restrictions are lifted, I think we'll continue to wear masks for certain situations. Some of the places where I bought bandanas or masks:
- The 9:30 Club: This is where I saw my first all-ages show, where I've seen some of the most memorable shows. Purchases for merch like these bandanas and gift cards (I also bought a gift card last month) go to the I.M.P. Family Fund to support employees of the club and other music venues in DC. I bought one of their bandanas, and while I was there, I also grabbed a new 9:30 t-shirt as mine no longer fits. This bandana can be worn now as a no-sew mask but I know by how much we already wear bandanas that it will get a lot of use for years after this pandemic.
- Ashley Nell Tipton: You may recognize her name as the winner of Season 16 of Project Runway, and the only plus size designer to do so. I have since followed her on social media and when she shared she was selling masks immediately bought one. I chose the “Color Chart Pattern” but she has so many cool different fabrics to choose from. FYI I ordered on April 7th and got it on the 18th.
- Route One Apparel: I have bought from Route One Apparel many times before, being proud of the great state where I have lived the majority of my life. I wore one of their Maryland bandanas to the Women's March, the Families Belong Together march, and this blog post shows a Maryland flag golf umbrella I purchased from the company. When I saw our governor, Larry Hogan, wearing a Maryland Strong face mask created by Route One Apparel, I headed to their site to get us one. I ended up buying two masks and this Old Bay t-shirt because it's cute and I love Old Bay and I wanted to support a local business. Also Route One Apparel is donating one mask for every one sold.
- The Kit NYC: I had planned to write a review of an order I made from The Kit, the clothing brand by Season 2 Project Runway finalist Daniel Vosovic. The clothes really appealed to me but the pieces I got were not the fit, quality, or style I expected or felt I deserved for the price. And then all of this went down and the last thing I wanted to do was a negative review for a small business. While the clothes weren't a good fit, I still loved his gorgeous colorful prints so when The Kit started selling face masks, I bought a pack. They are $50 for a pack of five, all the same print so I will definitely be gifting four of these once they arrive!
- Inked Gaming: I'm not a gamer, but I know many are and when looking for a cute mask for my daughter, I came across this small business that has some of the most fun prints. Hello a face mask with corgis on it! There are plenty of gaming-related prints but also prints that are pretty, funny, and cool.
- Stitch & Rivet: Stitch & Rivet is an American-made bag and leather goods company based in Washington DC. Stitch & Rivet has gorgeous bags, wallets, and other small leather items that are handmade, and at this time they are selling a limited amount of face masks, listing what is available at 9pm ET on their website. Stitch & Rivet will also let you sponsor a mask for $5. Stitch & Rivet in conjunction with The Art Island is buying fabric in-bulk, paying makers to make masks, and donating the masks to organizations in the DC region. Their initial goal of $1,250 is to purchase bulk fabric through Three Little Birds Sewing Studio in Hyattsville, Maryland, and make and distribute 250 masks. Makers will be provided with materials and paid for their time, keeping them working and helping to get masks in the hands of the most vulnerable in our community. If you are a skilled maker and would like to make a batch of masks, click here to learn how to be a part of this program. I didn't buy any masks from Stitch & Rivet but I did sponsor a few masks for this initiative and buy a few cute stickers for my daughter's HydroFlask.
- Mixed Up Clothing: More than one reader and a Cali-based friend told me about Mixed-Up Clothing by Sonia Smith-Kang, a multiracial female founder based in Los Angeles, California. Mixed Up Clothing offers CDC-compliant face masks with a pocket for an optional filter in sizes for adults and children. For every mask purchased, Mixed Up Clothing will donate one to medical personnel, first responders, essential workers and/or vulnerable populations. I placed my order on April 5th and received my masks on the 20th.
- Ripley Rader: Ripley Rader is an ethically-made clothing company based in Los Angeles with the clothing all made in America. I have always admired the clothing, but have never fit into it. When looking for cute youth-sized face masks made by small US-based businesses I came across Ripley Rader, which is donating two masks for every one purchased. If you're looking for something more glam and sparkly, they have sequined face masks in a couple of different colors. Ripley Rader is also offering you the ability to sponsor masks that will go directly to hospitals.
- Daniel Patrick: While Karl is totally happy in his band t-shirt/REI/Patagonia/occasional item from Banana Republic wardrobe, he does follow men's fashion and have a few designers he likes. So when I saw that Daniel Patrick had face masks, I ordered him one. Daniel Patrick has face masks in a mix of colors and prints in adult and child sizes.
- TeriChooseDesigns: We ordered five face masks (one for my mom and one for my sister as well as us) mid-March from an Etsy seller. April 10th, our money was refunded and the seller said they could no longer fulfill our order. I then ordered on April 12th three from this seller as it was a US-based seller that had adult and youth sizes and said same-day shipping. They haven't arrived yet so I can't say as to what they look like or anything.
I ran out of my favorite deodorant and dug into the back of the linen closet and found a half-used bottle of Ban and am using that. Emerson ran out of her favorite body wash so she is enjoying going through all the travel-sized bottles I picked up from my business trips. We went through the attic and tool shed and found a lot of things that will work for gardening so we don't need to buy supplies, at least right now. While I didn't not shop during the past few weeks, priorities shifted and I hope to continue this trend for the many months to follow, creating a new habit. Turning things into treats and presents, not mindlessly buying random things on Amazon or trying to make myself feel better or cuter with a sweater or a dress, my goal is to make this our new normal. Have you seen your shopping habits shift in the past few weeks?