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Hello again, it’s time for another research question.

In the past few years, Vera Bradley purses and their knock-offs have been big sellers. I, myself had my fair share of these pretty bags. I know why I liked them but now I want to know why others do.
Please take the time to respond to a few questions I have.

What is it about Fabric purses that you like?

What type of Fabric catches your eye?

What colors do you like to see in Fabric prints?

Do you like prints or solid Fabrics?

Are you more of a classic shopper or do you like to be trendy and on the hunt for the new big thing?

What age group do you fall in? E.G. 20’s 30’s 40’s 50’s etc.

Please participate, your help is appreciated.

If you are a girl and you love shoes than we have something in common. For me, it used to be more important for the perfect shoe to look great, than to be comfortable. I have squished my foot into a much too narrow shoe and wore way too high of heals just because the shoes accented my outfit perfectly. The older I get the less I care. Maybe because now, I have children to buy shoes for, this leaves fewer dollars in my account to spend on myself. Recently, I became aware that a shoe fetish could start very early.  On a girl’s trip to Target I was amused to see my daughter’s and niece go into the direction of the shoes. They didn’t care they were in the woman’s section. Their eyes lit up and smiles spread across their face quicker than flowing water fills a crack. Expressions of oohs and awes rapidly poured from their mouths. Before I knew it, boxes were being pulled off the shelf and these pint-sized girls were trying on shoes ten sizes too big. Each of them had their own idea of spectacular. My youngest daughter immediately went for something with a bit of bling –bling. A flat shoe with shiny pink sequence and a tiny bow were her favorite pair. She didn’t care that they were strapped together by that impossible piece of plastic. She worked those shoes the best her tiny body could. My oldest daughter opted for the high heel. It was definitely a pair that grabbed my attention. I didn’t know whether to laugh because she had my taste or to cry because she walked better in them than me. Okay, maybe not better but surprisingly well for a seven year old. My niece was a bit more conservative and picked a pair of black ballet flats. Her taste in shoes was very simple, much like herself. You could tell a lot about a person from the shoes they wear. Are they exciting and like to take risks?  Perhaps, the risk-takers choose the high heels-it’s about being a head above the rest. To take the heels off means you come down to the average level, and that is not interesting enough. A simple shoe may indicate a laid-back person. The easygoing person who doesn’t need much to be happy. They don’t take life or themselves too seriously. Maybe the person who chooses the shoes decorated in bling- bling wants to be noticed. I am not a psychiatrist but I know the personalities of my daughters and my niece. And they picked the perfect shoes to match their essence. Today, my youngest daughter did something hysterical. Her aunt gave her a brand new pair of boots and she was anxious to get them on. After watching her prance around the kitchen showing her shoes with attitude I noticed something did not look right. I unzipped the boot to find the cardboard insert still tucked inside. She opted for looking great rather than comfort. My girls may never truly walk in my shoes but  I see a little bit of me in both of them. I hope the shoes they choose leave footprints to be admired.

The holidays are quickly approaching. For kids it is the best time of year. For Parents it could be the most stressful. We celebrate Christmas in my household. Having three children to buy for can quickly become costly. Especially now that the two oldest are old enough to realize what things are. For example, an IPod is different from an MP3 player and much more expensive therefore it’s the requested present. I have always taught my children to appreciate every thing they receive whether small or large and explained there are many children that are not as fortunate. However, to me this is a fine line.I still want Christmas to be magical for them. I want to watch as they rip open presents they asked Santa for and marvel in their delight. I found a great little site on the internet that helps this become a little bit easier. I thought I would pass it along to any parent who has not yet discovered it. If you are anything like myself then you know what it means to be on a budget and still have to worry about making Christmas special. The site I’m speaking about is Bill Me Later. It’s a convenient way to buy gifts and you won’t be responsible for paying for them until later. Hundreds of stores participate with Bill Me Later and each carries its own regulations. Why do I love this? Because of it’s timing. By the time the bill is due we are receiving our income tax check. Perfect! I found a loophole. I know many of you out there have Christmas Clubs for this very reason and I eventually plan to open one of them too. For now, I will be happy to use Bill Me Later. Consider it my Holiday Tip for you. There is a catch, you must discipline yourself. You have to pay it off with your income tax check or otherwise it will be another bill hanging over your head.  So for all of you out there racking your brains, trying to figure out how you are going to buy presents,hop on over to a Bill Me Later site and see if it interests you. If you are financially secure and the Holidays do not deplete your wallet then good for you. Hopefully, one day I will get there. For now, I’ll keep looking for the loopholes. 

I hate yard sales. I don’t hate going to them I hate having them. Every time I have ever attempted to have a yard sale it has been a complete failure. I would go into it with high hopes. I’d count the money in my head long before the first quarter was made. Unfortunately I never made much more than a quarter. Albeit most of the stuff I was hoping to free myself from was clutter, to someone else I knew it could be a find. There was one time I stayed up the whole night organizing my rummage into neat little piles. I had fancy shoes, sporty shoes, hanging about shoes and even cute little comfy never before worn slippers. They were not cheap shoes. Most were bought on a whim to go with one outfit. I really took my time on deciding their prices. I knew if I was going to make a profit the shoes were my best chance. In my mind my prices were reasonable, maybe even a steal. I didn’t mark any of them for more than five bucks even though I paid much more myself. After hours of tagging my shoes, clothes and anything extra I found lying around the house I went to bed with a smile. I was proud of myself for taking the time to make everything presentable. I jumped out of bed in the morning with enthusiasm. The enthusiasm quickly faded when I looked out the window and saw it pouring out. I tried to remain optimistic. Instead of a yard sale I would have a porch sale. After all, my porch was big enough to fit everything I was selling. The second sign of doom was when my three year old nephew ran up onto the porch. He was frantically searching for something kid friendly. He bumped into my Hagar sculptures and broke the head off. It was the most expensive item I had out. I think a person would be a fool to spend fifteen dollars for a piece with a glued on head. The sun came out and I was beginning to get hopeful. Cars were starting to line up and down the street. This was going to be it. I smiled as the people entered through my gate. I politely waved as they exited empty handed. A few women gathered around the shoes but I knew immediately their small frames were more like a size six than my gigantic size nines. One woman seemed to be interested she tried on a few pair and walked around in a circle testing them out. She held up the box and asked, “How much for these.” They were a pair I purchased but never wore. “Five dollars,” I answered. When I saw the look of disgust sweep across her face I felt it necessary to explain they were never worn and still in the original box. I sold those shoes for… a quarter. Today my parents decided they were going to have their yearly yard sale. I had no plans on being a part of it and went over for a visit. It was chaos, visually and mentally. Between my brother and sisters we have seven children. All seven children were at the yard sale. They were shopping amongst the other patrons. That alone puts added stress to the day, try explaining to seven year olds and younger that the things lying across Noni and Nono’s yard are for others to buy not for them. Between hollers of “What will you take for this,” and shouts of “Mom I really want to buy this,” a sane person can easily lose their mind. Moods changed, bickering began and before I knew it there was a family feud. I was at the edge of insanity and then the most hysterical thing happened. A woman called out to my father and asked “How much for these shoes.” He yelled back “Five dollars,” explaining they had a steel toe. “There’s no steel toe”, she replied. He looked puzzled but continued to tell her he spent forty dollars on them and wanted at least five. She set the shoes down and went across to the other side of the yard. “Mar, I didn’t want to sell those shoes,” he whispered. Someone put his new shoes out amongst the sale items. “Do you want me to go get them?” I asked. “Wait until she leaves so it doesn’t look weird,” he replied. In the mean time I got distracted by my two-year old telling me she had to go potty. When I came back outside onto the porch I saw the lady paying my sister for the shoes my father didn’t want to sell. I looked over at him and watched as he watched her walk away with his brand new, pricey New Balance sneakers. He sold the shoes he didn’t want to sell for five dollars and at my yard sale I sold the shoes I had marked for five dollars for a quarter. Life has a funny way of putting a comical moment in at the right time to make the scene a bit lighter. Out of twenty pairs of nice looking shoes out on the lawn the only ones that sold were his.     

Thirteen Things about Maribeth

There’s nothing like smelling a good perfume. I have purchased or received many great fragrances. Today’s thirteen is about perfumes I have owned, loved, or got sick of.

1… Coco Mademoiselle-Chanel (My all time favorite. It is a perfect fall/winter scent-it smells so delicious it is almost edible)

2… Adrienne Vittadini-(Great deep smell, after two bottles I began to think it had more of a masculine smell-but still loved it

3… AV-Adrienne Vittadini (Fresh and cool, loved this one-would definitely buy again-cool bottle(I’m a sucker for a pretty bottle)

4… Extravagance-Givenchy (Fruity and sugary smelling-just a dab of this perfume is more than enough-too much can be overpowering)

5… Black-Kenneth Cole (received as a birthday gift- Initially I thought it was a bit strong but after a while it grew on me and became one of my all time favorites. Hints of citrus-I have been asked what type of shampoo I used when wearing this.

6… Nature-BCBG Girls-(Another fresh smelling scent-I tend to like spicy or fresh. I have received many compliments on this perfume- Hints of tangerine)

7…Sexual Madness-Fragrant Oil (Bought this years ago at a Vendor in the middle of the mall-It was the best smelling oil ever. I kick myself for not stocking up on it and now I cannot find it.

8…Happy-Clinique-Light and Sweet -(liked smell but was disappointed how quickly it wore off)

9…Design-Paul Sebastian-(At one point I loved this perfume so much I would spray it on my robe so it was the first thing I smelled when I got out of the shower-Now it is way too sweet for me, I’m not sure I could wear it again-Maybe I used too much of it I made myself sick of it)

10… Provocative Woman-Elizabeth Arden-(Very Spicy -love the warmth of this smell-it’s definitely a head turning scent)

11…Curve Soul- Liz Claiborne-The bohemian in me loves this scent-Earthy but light-Makes you feel like you have depth

12…Burberry- Great! I got this as a handy-me-down from a friend who had an extra bottle. I was so sad when I used the last spritz

13…Poison…My hubby bought this for me one of our first christmas’s together. As long as you don’t over spray it’s a great winter smell. I would like to purchase this again to see if it brings flashbacks.

What’s your favorite perfume? Any suggestions, I am always up for a new scent. A girl can’t have enough.

1…. Start your list here!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Thirteen Things about YOUR NAME

1…. Start your list here!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Thirteen Things about Maribeth

I thought it would be fun if I wrote thirteen things I forgot at the store since I wrote “IF ONLY I MADE A LIST” earlier this week.

1…. Saline Solution (I have been wearing my contacts way too long. I have forgotten this about ten out of ten times-I only remember when my eyes start irritating me at night-I promised the optometrist I would take out each night. I really hate breaking a promise so I plan on getting this on my eleventh trip to the store)

2… Toilet Paper (I went to the store for toilet paper because we were out and was forced to use tissues. I did NOT leave the store with toilet paper)

3…Spring Water (I reminded myself twice while in the store to make sure I got myself a gallon of spring water. I walked down the aisle and was distracted by the great sale on juice. I got the juice and forgot the water)

4…Coffee and Coffee Creamer (This really peeves me when I wake up and realize I forgot the coffee again. Hubby isn’t pleased when I beg him to do a coffee run prior to work-but he does anyway. What a guy)

5…Hairspray (Used the last spray while getting ready for work and told myself to pick up another bottle at the store after work. That did not happen)

6…Garbage bags- (Realized when I emptied the refrig of leftovers filling the garbage. Hubby took out garbage and asked me to put another bag in. Light bulb came on-I forgot the bags. He shook his head in disgust)

7…Hand soap (Went to wash hands after changing a diaper and realized I forgot to buy hand soap. Had to use dishwashing liquid)

8…Razors (As I bent down to shave my legs it occurred to me I never bought new disposable razors. And I had already thrown the dull ones away. Hubby would be very disturbed if he knew I was forced to use his)

9…Wet Wipes (Next diaper changing I pulled out wet wipe only to discover it was the last one-Hubby called to remind me to buy wet wipes. Baby wasn’t too happy that I used wet paper towels

10…Lollipops (I promised all three Kiddo’s I would buy them lollipops for their good behavior. Came home without them and their behaviors immediately turned for the worst. I wasn’t too happy with myself. My forgetfulness was the cause for an hour long screaming/crying session)

11…Shampoo (For some reason I bypassed this aisle completely. I lathered baby shampoo on and hoped it would work-wasn’t all that bad)

12…Pledge-(Friday’s are clean night with the hubby. He asked if I wanted to polish the tables or Windex the windows. I burst out in my famous nervous laugh

13. Windex…Hubby was not a happy camper

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Even though I aspire to be a list girl some day, the fact is, right now I’m not. There are days I feel ambitious and put together. I actually look for a pen and paper to write a list. Somewhere along the lines of searching I usually find something else, like a random photograph of me from way back when. Within seconds my mind forgets the list and begins analyzing the picture. How old was I? What was my mother thinking when she put those pants on me? Did I really think I looked good making that ridiculous pose? By now the list is forgotten. Actually I don’t recall ever planning to make one until I’m standing inside the grocery market somewhere between aisle eight and aisle ten asking myself what it is that I didn’t want to forget. I carry on a conversation with myself. Okay let’s see, Milk? Check. Bread? Check?  Diapers? Remembered. Who needs a pen and paper when you got a mental list? The nagging voice won’t give up. There is something you forgot, it taunts. Determined to go home with everything I came for I walk up and down  each aisle slowly scanning everything. I assure myself if I am forgetting something it will pop out at me. Nothing pops out so as far as I’m concerned I am good to go.  I am confident I am walking out of the store forgetting nothing. I enjoy the drive home and congratulate myself for not forgetting anything. I carry all of the bags into the kitchen and begin to unpack. As I put each item away I am still sure it’s all here. I start to whistle then hum, whistle then hum and then it happens. I could hear him walking down the stairs. The sound of his footsteps trigger something, I feel my heart drop and I don’t know what I want to do more burst out laughing or start crying. I don’t turn towards him hoping he forgot. Then I hear the words I did not want to hear. “Hey Mar, did you get coffee like I asked?” I start to giggle out of sheer nervousness. Not because he is an ogre and I am afraid of what he will do but because I am embarrassed to tell him I forgot everything he asked me to get. And what makes it even worst is he called me ten minutes before I left work to remind me. I swear to myself that next time I will make a darn list just to avoid looking stupid again. You would think I would have learned by now but unfortunately I have not. This week alone I went to the store on three different occasions and forgot something each time. The items forgotten are usually the ones that I needed the most or at least the ones that would have been the first on my list if I made one.

My girlfriend recently opened a Shoppe. It’s quaint, eclectic and most of all fabulous. It has always been her dream and now it is her reality. It’s the type of shop you go in, look around a hundred times and still discover new items. On my most recent trip I found my monkey. It was on a coffee table behind a vase. I think he was hiding. There was something about him that instantly caught my attention. He’s carved out of dark mahogany wood which happens to me my favorite; I love the richness in color. He’s in a sitting position but his back is hunched. There is a smooth pouch on his lap. It reminds me of a kangaroo’s pouch. One arm falls to his side and circles around the bottom, no hand is visible. The design of the piece is fluent so you don’t really miss the hand. The other arm curves into the pouch as if the monkey is reaching inside for something. His face is serene. Eyes are closed, mouth is relaxed and he appears as if he is meditating. “I love him,” I called out to my friend. I held him for a moment and thought about where I would put him, “I just don’t know where I would put him.” I proceeded to say.  My girlfriend’s mother was standing behind the counter and laughed when I said this. “If you really love something you will find a place to put it.” Her words stuck with me. Instead of setting the monkey down, I kept him with me as I browsed.  I ended up purchasing him and knew the mother was right. I would find him a perfect spot. On the drive home I chatted with my sister-in-law about my monkey. “I think monkeys symbolize something,” I said. We both racked our brains but couldn’t recall what, if anything, they represented.  It was when I got home and spoke to my older sister the light bulb came on. I was so excited to show her my monkey and see what she thought. She held him for a second and studied him a bit. She handed him back and asked “What, do you have a monkey on your back?”  It was in that moment I knew why I was drawn to him. I recently quit smoking, which was no easy feat. I have always considered it my demon. I have heard other’s refer to the addiction as having a monkey on your back.  Aha, I was taking the monkey off of my back and setting him on the table to act as my reminder. I found him a new spot. I was still curious to know what a monkey symbolized. I searched until I found. A monkey symbolizes benevolence or charity and can ward off evil spirits. How perfect, my monkey is no longer my demon but the very thing that scares the demon away. There will be days I want to give in to my craving but hopefully my monkey sitting upon my coffee table will remind me of the great deal of time I spent trying to get him off of my back. It would be silly to ask him to jump back on and besides now he gives my home some character.  

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