If you're looking for profundity, today is not the day to find it here . The skies outside are gray, it's been foggy and wet, I had a big rush rewrite of a giant article to do this morning, my desk is covered in papers I don't want to deal with. It's just time for a little frivolity and color.
So here we go --- three little things I am playing with and enjoying a lot.
When I was a kid, we used to pore over the Sears catalogue, and every summer my mother would order shorts sets for me, polyester shorts with striped tank tops in ice cream colors. They always looked exactly the same, but you got to pick the colors, you see. It was a big deal when they arrived. And for a while, we were enrolled in some type of mail-order scheme where they'd send us inexpensive pieces of jewelry every month. My favorite was a little gold Dachshund pin. I wish I still had that!
And a number of years ago, when a dear friend of mine was going just a little stir crazy over the summer with her two very active, very smart small children who required a LOT of entertainment, Aunt Cindy had a fantastically fun time putting together a Busy Box for them. It had individually wrapped packages with each of their names, and every package was decorated with mysterious signs and drawings, and there were rules you had to follow to get a package. (Mom got to decide when the requirements had been fulfilled). And in each package was a Prize, but the Prize came with a detailed activity for its use. There were inexpensive flashlights. There were disposable cameras. There were felt-tipped markers and paper. There were tiny cans of Playdough. The activities included things like treasure hunts and stories to write and mysteries to solve, all of which could be done with minimal adult involvement. Needless to say, the Busy Box was a huge hit on all fronts.
Because, you know, who DOESN'T love to get things in the mail? We hardly ever get letters any more --- beautiful, handwritten, long-anticipated letters from friends. We order stuff from Amazon all the time, boring and practical stuff we need. But it's not the same as getting goodies. And if it's been a long time since you got a goodie in the mail, well, you might be surprised at how much it brightens your day.
You fill out a fairly general survey about your looks and personal preferences, and every month, you get this little box of samples of various high-end cosmetics and accessories. Most of this is stuff I would never buy --- it's just too expensive --- but it is fun to try. The best part is, you can review the products to earn points with which you can purchase the full-sized item. I carefully review each product and so far I've gotten a bottle of ridiculously expensive but amazing-smelling hand cream and a nice B&B cream for the face, for free. And the sample sizes are usually --- not always, but usually --- fairly generous. The down side is that it can be very hit-or-miss in terms of the items you get; some of them ugly or just downright silly. Orange nail polish, no thank you. Special wipes to clean your teeth after drinking wine? How about you just swish some water? Nevertheless, each month I find myself eagerly awaiting the next box with its 5 or 6 little treats to try.
BTW, if you decide to try it, I'd really appreciate the referral. You can earn points for referring friends, too, so if you sign up, please consider mentioning my name.
JAMBERRY NAIL WRAPS
I like to have pretty nails, but painting them is a pain. It never lasts that long and I am too impatient to wait for them to dry. For a while I got shellac manicures, but even though they last long, they're a pain to remove and leave your nails a wreck. So, when I saw these wraps on a friend's FaceBook timeline, I was intrigued. First, they come in over 300 really fun colors and patterns. You can do an accent nail (ALL the rage right now, darlings) or a full mani or pedi; they last about 2 weeks (4 on toes!) and are super easy to remove; plus they don't leave your nails a mess.
They're not cheap, but they're cheaper than shellac manicures and pretty easy to apply yourself, though there is a bit of a learning curve. I like them so much that I volunteered to host an online "party", and if you'd like to join and get free samples, I can send you an invite.
If you don't care to join the party, you can check it all out on your own and order through my consultant, Lori Decter Wright. Again, I'd appreciate the referral!
If you hate to shop, this is the service for you. It's a monthly subscription, and depending on the level you join, you get anywhere from one to three dresses, tops, or skirts delivered to your home at a time. You get to choose from a really nice variety AND --- best part --- they come in sizes 10-32 with a very good selection of plus sizes. The collections are from high quality designers like IGIGI and Kiyonna. You can keep your items as long as you like or wear once and return (no washing!), all shipping is free, and if you like the item, you can get it again or even buy it at a discount. It's a great way to try before you buy and also to try new colors and styles in the comfort of your own bedroom, with your own accessories.
They have a 30 day free trial, which I've been doing, and I must say that I am really pleased with the customer service. I've gotten 3 garments so far. Two were not for me, but the third I bought and have already worn twice. It's a dress I might not have ordinarily tried and certainly would not have purchased from an online site, but I really like it.
The turn around is really fast. And you can "closet" as many items as you like --- basically, put them in the queue to be sent. The only thing I don't like is that you don't get to pick what will be sent when; it's random.
For me, as a singer, it's a terrific way to shop for and try out audition dresses (singers are ALWAYS shopping for audition dresses). Plus, you know, CLOTHES. Cute clothes! In the mail! Free returns! If you'd like to give it a try, please refer me. You can use this link.
There. I now feel sufficiently frivoled and recreated to go back to meaningful labor. May it be the same for you. And if this sort of thing bores you, no worries, for there's a rant about Arizona's new discrimination bill coming on.