Excess Ain't Rebellion

This is the best present anyone has ever given me for anything.  Ever.



That's a Nambe bowl.  It's made from an eight-metal aluminum-based alloy, so it looks like silver and functions like iron.  You can heat it to 500 degrees, chill it in the freezer, and cook with it.  It will hold whatever temperature you get it to for hours.  It's handmade, so no two pieces are identical.  It is the most beautiful thing I own, and I want 8 bazillion more of them.

Is it practical?  Not really?  Can I use it very often?  If you call twice a year often, sure.  Could I ever afford to buy more of them?  Hells to the nos.  And I love it more than coffee, chocolate, cigarettes and Johnny Depp.  Combined.

The thing with me is that I have really excessively expensive taste.  I don't have the budget to support that taste, though, so I counter that by going super cheapskate frugal.  This arrangement works out nicely for me, and I function quite happily shopping at the thrift store when I need retail therapy, looking at price per pound rather than sticker price, and just plain old lying to myself that I don't have a thing for shiny metal bowls that cost more than spaceships.

But I do have that thing, and sometimes when the means and the timing collide, a girl has to splurge.  Which brings me to the point of today's post, excess.  Unreasonably lovely things.  Because a girl can dream, right?

First, makeup.  This is one of those things I am actually willing to cough up serious money for.  I never was before; I don't wear makeup consistently enough to waste the cash on it.  But a friend of mine is a makeup artist, and she drug me to work one day and she showed me The Light.  Once you go Saks, you never go back.



When I first started using Stila, I would take whatever tips I made in one weekend every month and go stock up on stuff.  My brushes alone cost me an entire weekends' worth of serving drunk assholes overpriced martinis.  And when my husband had a heart attack and died over the price tag, his mother sat him down and said, "Son, it's an investment.  The girl needs brushes.  She'll never have to replace those."  Yes, she totally stood up for me, bless her heart.



I alternate between Stila for fun stuff and Trish McEvoy for times when I need to be a little more grown up.  Stila is kind of shimmery and flirty, whereas Trish McEvoy is more mature and subtle.  The thing is, I could probably have bought all of the makeup I have at Target for $30 instead of the *gag* hundreds *gag* I've spent of this stuff, but this stuff lasts.  Forever.  It never dries out, it doesn't crumble, it blends because the make it and sell it in palates, it goes on like silk and stays put.  All day long.  You can't feel it, it doesn't smudge off, and it doesn't wreck your face.

See?  I am a chick.  Told you.  (PS: Stila's having a mega sale right now.  If you bought yourself wife this, this and this, she'd be all set to start at $75.)

I first heard of this deodorant on SoapBox Mom's website, and I have silently coveted it since.



Here's the description: "Enhanced with essential oils of lemon, cardamom and eucalyptus, a blend understood to help eliminate toxins and impurities. Controls odor, purifying the body and helping to keep skin dry all day. Subtle, uplifting aroma refreshes mind and spirit." Sure, my Secret works, and works just fine, and costs 1/3 of what that stuff does, but does it smell like lemon, cardamom and eucalyptus?  No, it smells like a rave.  Apparently, I'm not the only one who likes this stuff; it's been out of stock on the website for, um, ever.  I'm going to hunt it down, though, and plop it in my stocking.

Speaking of stockings, I'm really bad at stockings.  Unless you grew up with Christmas, you can't get stockings.  I put all the wrong things in stockings, always, but the one thing I like doing it putting one or two really nice things in the stocking to go with the lighter and the boxers and the socks and the box of Turtles that actually doesn't fit in there anyway.



I tossed a bottle of this in The Donor's stocking a few years ago, and now he's completely hooked.  It is the World's Best Aftershave.  This year, everyone in my house is getting a tube of this:



Origins Make A Difference™ Rejuvenating hand treatment.  Holy shit, I am not kidding when I tell you this is my new bff.  I have hand issues.  As in, they are dry and crusty and if I so much as touch water, I have to slather myself in lotion after.  My 10 year inherited that lovely trait from me, too, poor thing.  It smells like heaven; kind of florally, kind of lemony, and I was told it would even out my hand's skin tone, which I totally did NOT believe, and it so does.

Wow, this totally turned into a makeover post.  Didn't mean that.  Well, while I'm at it, how about perfume?  I don't wear perfume, partly because I'm lazy, partly because I got used to smelling like an ovulating ashtray, partly because I like to pretend I'm too cool for perfume, and partly because almost every perfume ever makes me sneeze.



I wear perfume now.  How could I not?  That is the freaking coolest perfume pack I've EVER seen.  That's Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers Fragrances Coffret set.  Each little doll head slides open and there is a solid perfume in each.  They're all slightly floral in scent; some more citrus, some fainty powdery, some really bold.  But the best part?  THEY DON'T MAKE ME SNEEZE.  And since they're little and plastic, you can throw one in our purse and not worry about it blowing up while you're at work.



I can't think of any one thing more NOT like me to love, and still, I love these suckers.  Every day for a week, I've thrown perfume on.  I spend most of the day sniffing myself.  Creepy?  Slightly.  Fun anyway?  Absolutely.

And since it's Christmas and all, I'm giving one of those sets away.  If you can top "I smell like an ovulating ashtray", it's yours.  Or I'll just randomize it.  Either way.  Saturday's the cutoff, so you can have it before Christmas.

What if Christmas, Perhaps, Means a Little Bit More?

In a year when people are getting trampled to death for cheap wrapping paper, when cities are under siege, when the stock market is wiping out 401K's, when my husband is damn lucky to still have a job, when my kids are *this* close to outgrowing that magic twinkle in their eyes that only December can bring, I thought it was high time to shake up my holiday traditions.  This year, I'm channeling the ghosts of my Christmas past, present and future in order to rediscover what it's all about, and I'm dedicating this whole week on my blog to just that.  Because, really, in the end, what we do and what we give can reflect what Christmas is about for you, and what it's about, for me, is this:

It's about putting a song in our heart



About what's precious



About wishing on the brightest star



About supporting our friends



About laughing so hard we pee a little



About keeping the magic alive



About creating



About discovery



And about remembering why it all matters in the first place.