On The 25th Day of Blogmas: And to All, A Goodnight

Blogmas

Just a quick note to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas & if you don’t celebrate, I hope you at least got a day off 😊 It was a quiet day here with some cookie baking, two virtual gift unwrappings, cleaning & spiced wine 🎅 Being one of those individuals who experiences a lot of anxiety over expressing enough appreciation, it’s somehow even more stressful over video 😂 Am I smiling enough? Am I overdoing it? Probably…it was fun though, gift giving is my favorite part of Christmas.

This will be the final Blogmas post, taking it all the way to the new year sounds exhausting but I hope you enjoyed the festive content. I certainly had a lot of fun & will be getting back to my regularly scheduled Monday, Wednesday, Friday posts.

Let me know what you were up to today. Did you get everything you wanted? Are you planning any after Christmas shopping? I’m debating a LUSH order but simply cannot endure another Candle Day debacle 😂 However you spent the day, I hope it was wonderful ❤

On The 22nd Day of Blogmas: A Holiday Would You Rather

Blogmas

I did this one last year & it was a lot of so I figured that I would revisit the questions this year!

Amilya Regular

A grandparent which, I will never be but I enjoy shopping for kids and checking out all of the new toys..

Amilya Regular

Elf ears, no question because though I like the look of beards, I’m sure that they are a pain to upkeep. Also, talk about an instant Halloween costume accessory each year.

Amilya Regular

Useful, I received a cold weather kit a few years ago and I still have it in my trunk and have used it many times. It has everything you need for a Minnesota winter; jump pack, cat litter, emergency blanket, water – it’s awesome.

Amilya Regular

How about neither? 2100 is going to be Water World and everything probably smelled rancid in 1700 but at least global warming wasn’t a thing and human population growth wasn’t out of control. Fine, 1700, I guess…

Amilya Regular

I think it depends, both are equally important. I would have to consider what would be more beneficial to the recipient.

Amilya Regular

The White House, just once. It’s one of few historical places in the US and I think it would be cool to see outside of a public tour.

Amilya Regular

I have done both and equally enjoyed both, honestly. It can be nice to stay home and not worry about bad weather or traffic but it’s also nice to go somewhere and not have to be the one who cooks, cleans and organizes everything.

Amilya Regular

None at all, I’m not crazy about parties in general but holiday parties are especially exhausting. Often times, it’s a bunch of people who might only see each other 1-2 times a year and there’s this obligation to care about what everyone has been up to. The question is, does anyone really care!? If we did, wouldn’t we hang out more? I much prefer holiday parties with close friends who I see often but could skip those too 😛

Amilya Regular

Snow! What is Christmas without snow? Although, if it could stop raining before it snowed, that would be great. Thank you, global warming.

Amilya Regular

I’ve never tried a fruitcake, that I can recall but I am assuming that it really is as bad as everyone claims and will just skip dessert altogether.

Thanks for reading, I hope that you are having a wonderful holiday week ❄

On The 21st Day of Blogmas: Least Favorite Holiday Things

Blogmas

I post something along these lines each year and most of it is hyperbole, I know and love that the holidays mean something different to everyone!

Forgiven Script

I know that it’s not raw eggs but I can’t with the texture of eggnog, the flavor or the smell. Why does it always taste and smell like there is booze in it when there isn’t? It’s milk, cream, sugar and whipped eggs, I can’t even. Also, booze doesn’t make it better.

Forgiven Script

I think that popcorn garland looks lovely but stringing it is a nightmare. I was terrible at stringing popcorn when I was a kid and repeatedly stabbed myself with the needle, I would never subject myself or others to this activity.

Forgiven Script

It’s creepy & everyone knows it, lets all collectively stop doing it.

Forgiven Script

I’m probably overthinking this but it’s odd to me that children everywhere are excited about their homes being invaded. I much prefer the kindly, charitable Saint Nicholas as opposed to the modern day, breaking & entering Santa. Who, by the way, doesn’t even eat the cookies that are left for him.

Forgiven Script

The milk and cookies thing – what a waste.

Forgiven Script

When I was a kid, it literally took my mom like 16 hours to cook a turkey. I have no idea why but it was Christmas Eve tradition that she would be up all night basting this stupid turkey. In my adulthood, I have found out that it does not take that long to cook a turkey – even a big one. I’ll never know why she cooked that thing so long.

Forgiven Script

Have you ever really listened to some of the lyrics to popular Christmas songs? Some are really bizarre, Winter Wonderland comes to mind. First of all, who is Parson Brown? Second, that whole are you married bit and the part time husband thing. Again, probably overthinking it but can someone write some new Christmas songs for the love of Parson Brown?!

Let me know what holiday traditions you could do without & thanks for stopping by🎄

On The 20th Day of Blogmas: Winter Wonderland Tag

Blogmas

Another tag you say? Listen, I’m tired & lazy. Enjoy 😂

Amilya Regular

The snow! I love snow, it makes the world so crisp and clean and quiet. I hate driving in the snow but I’m that person who will head out right after a storm when the roads are mostly clear but not clear enough for the city slickers and enjoy the mostly deserted city. I do get stressed out living in such a densely populated area, I much prefer cruising around small towns or country roads in the snow because there are less SUV driving jackasses. I love snowboarding, snowshoeing, running on snowy trails – I think you get the point.

Amilya Regular

Definitely scarves, I think they work more as an accessory than a hat. A hat means business, I’m probably going to be outside for a prolonged period of time and don’t care what I look like. But a scarf can be dressed up or down while still serving a practical purpose. Also, I have a huge head and most hats squeeze my forehead which is stressful.

Amilya Regular

Just one?! If I had to pick, it would definitely be Home Alone because it’s a classic. It’s one movie from my childhood that I distinctly recall watching with my family and it always puts me in a Christmas mood when I watch it. Hell, if I am feeling down or homesick in the dead of July I will put it on 🙂 I love the house, the setting, the very plausible 90’s plot line – it’s just so good.

Amilya Regular

Probably red or gold sparkle or both.

Amilya Regular

I hate them all! None of them taste like they have an ounce of coffee, they are all sugar and syrup – yuck. Back in my early 20’s they had a drink that I really enjoyed but I don’t think they make it and I can’t recall what was in it. I like black coffee with a shot of cinnamon and splash of coconut whipped cream as my festive drink. The Starbucks holiday blend is very good too…I usually buy about ten bags so I have it year round.

Amilya Regular

Burt’s Bees lip balm, it’s the only lip product that keeps the sides of my mouth from splitting. My snowflake coffee mug that makes all coffee taste 100 times better and I swear keeps it hotter. My black lounging cardigan that’s actually just a regular cardigan that I wore so often that the elbows wore out and I can’t wear it in public anymore. It’s so thin and worn and soft, I am going to be totally bummed when it just disintegrates 😀

Amilya Regular

A robot vacuum!

Amilya Regular

Otis Redding’s White Christmas ❄

Amilya Regular

Nope – never do, never will.

Amilya Regular

Burt’s Bees Original lip balm for day time and the Mamonde Lip Sleeping Mask at night. Can we talk about lip fillers though? I have these little lines that look like smoker lines but I’ve never smoked, they are from pursing my lips when I am reading or writing or driving – I don’t know why I do it but you know how your granny would tell you that if you made ugly faces that it would get stuck that way? Wrinkles, she was talking about wrinkles and she was right. So, I’ve been doing some research on lip filler and did you know that a risk of this procedure is that the filler can be injected into a blood vessel and your lip will literally fall off? If you know of any potent lip line products, let me know.

Amilya Regular

Not really, I have a festive turtleneck that doesn’t really look that idiotic. I just can’t purchase something with such a specific purpose that I can only wear once a year and don’t actually need.

Amilya Regular

Most every year and I cannot imagine living somewhere that doesn’t get snow. Also, update, still no snow here.

Amilya Regular

Tree Farm but really, pine scented anything 🎄

Amilya Regular

Same as usual, snowboarding – if South Dakota pulls through with some snow!

I hope you are having a beautiful day and if you do this tag, be sure to let me know ❄

On The 16th Day of Blogmas: Stella’s Favorite Things

Blogmas

Every year I am excited to read through Oprah’s Favorite Things list, unfortunately, even though she now partners with Amazon – the items aren’t that easy to get your hands on. I know that she curates items from small businesses, indie brands & big box retailers but the items go fast. This year, I am putting together my own Favorite Things list & most of the items are in stock because obviously I am not Oprah 😛 Enjoy

BOGS BOMC Wool Snow BootsThe geometric pattern that I have is actually sold out but it’s not my fault 😀 I wouldn’t say that these are perhaps the best boots if you are going to be out for an extended amount of time in some serious snow. However, they are great for pretty much any other winter activity you are planning on doing. They are waterproof however, if you are walking through slush then they will stain. They are really warm, very comfy & the soles are great for slick surfaces.

Sapadilla Grapefruit & Bergamot Biodegradable Countertop SprayThis is a plant based line of household cleaners that smell amazing. This one smells like fresh cut oranges & it’s the perfect pick me up scent for winter. You can find Sapadilla refill stations in some grocery stores which is also eco friendly!

Greenlife Pots & Pans SetI actually own the teal set but I have supplemented them with a couple of the pinks pans as well. Ceramic cookware is the superior cooking medium, it cooks everything so evenly. Now, they do require some maintenance, I give them a good scrub with Bar Keeper’s Friend about once a month to remove any staining but they are great otherwise. I do still cook with oil but the nonstick does work & has so far been very durable.

UO Amped Fleece Throw BlanketThese blankets are so soft, I have one in every room – they come in tons of colors to match any décor & they hold up to consistent washing & drying.

Threshold Bath BasketI think that most everyone went through a hyper-cleaning/organizing phase at the start of lockdown. I purchased a handful of these small baskets to organize all of the little bits hanging out in my bathroom & closets. They are the perfect size to hold any odds & ends, they aren’t terribly expensive & are pretty well made.

Pioneer Woman Pasta Bowl SetI eat most anything but pasta out of these, pasta isn’t something I make a lot. However, these are great for Buddha bowls, cereal, fruits & yogurt, chopped veggies & dip – pretty much anything that you can heap into a pile can go in these bowls. I was never one of those kids who worried about my food touching, I’m a fan of meals that have numerous ingredients that just get chucked together. These are very pretty bowls that fancy up just about whatever you put into them!

Old Navy Balance Yoga LeggingsThese are my favorite black leggings, they aren’t that really suffocating compression material but do provide enough support to be worn as workout attire or casual clothing. They aren’t necessarily comfortable enough to sleep in but very soft with good stretch.

Old Navy Oversized Funnel CoatThis is a very nice coat that is on an incredible sale right now! I purchased it about a month ago for a dressier coat that I could wear to work, this one does the trick. Does anyone else get closter phobic in their winter coat? I have a big duffel coat in my car trunk for emergencies but I can’t drive in it or wear it too long because I feel restrained. This sounds ridiculous, this coat is chic & comfortable to wear.

GAP Modern Crewneck T-ShirtHave you ever found the perfect shirt, not too thick but not too thin, fits right in all places, can be worn anywhere – this is that shirt for me. It’s just a cotton top but I love these, they are a staple in my wardrobe, I hope that GAP never stops carrying them. Also though, I think they are struggling right now & I should probably start searching for cotton tops elsewhere…

OUAI Melrose Place Body Crème – Not the original scent, this one specifically & I think it’s limited edition for the holidays. The ingredients in this crème are pretty standard, it is nicely moisturizing but it is the scent that I really enjoy. It’s a light floral that pairs well with just about any fragrance I am wearing. I think Tree Hut has a whipped body butter that is very similar but I will have to do a thorough comparison before this one runs out.

Opalhouse Stoneware Monogram MugI have already purchased a few of these as gifts & gifted myself one too. Remember when monogram was all the rage? I remember walking into JC Penney with my mom when I was in middle school & there was this table full of teenie purses with hot pink initials on them. I had to have one but my mom said that I didn’t need a purse and well, she was correct. These mugs are so fun & actually well-made. I find that Target mugs tend to be on the thin side & my coffee cools too fast in them. This is a hefty mug that holds a hearty amount of coffee. Back to my Secret Santa recommendations, I filled one of these with assorted hot chocolates & chocolate spoons as an office gift.

A New Day Velvet Twist HeadbandsAdmittedly, a headband with the face mask & then an ear piece is tricky but these are my go-to for adding a little festivity to my all black work wardrobe. They’re just cute, I love that these bulky headbands are making a come back.

Stars Above Kora Moccasin SlipperYou already know that Stars Above has become a fast favorite for pajamas & loungewear, these slippers are pretty great too! They are more of a structured slipper since the sole is hard but the inside is so soft. They match these sleep cardigans that I am constantly including in my monthly favorites posts.

Baby Foot PeelListen, I have not had a pedicure since February and I miss having soft feet. I don’t know what salons use but it seems like nothing gets my feet quite as smooth as a trip to the salon. These come close, they are plastic booties filled with various chemical exfoliants that really take care of tough, cracked feet. They are on the spendy side if you ask me but I use them about once a month & figure that’s less than the cost of a monthly pedicure by far.

Dashing Diva Nail StripsI also have not stopped in for a manicure since February & my nails are still pretty brittle from acrylics. They tend to get really stained when I paint them, I have switched over to these gel nail strips that aren’t too shabby. A couple of recommendations, definitely purchase the base coat unlike myself who didn’t realize that there was a base coat & thought these sucked. They do not in fact suck, I just can’t follow directions. Also, I recommend using a crystal/glass file to fit them to your nail, that makes the cleanest edge – they last about 10 days even with all of the extra hand washing & everything. Plus, look at these little heart prints!

David’s Tea 12 Tea Sampler – These make great gifts but they are also a way to try a bunch of teas! Each little container has a screw top lid to keep your tea fresh & you get about two cups from each one. I have discovered quite a few new favorites from these samplers & who doesn’t love tea?

Bombas SocksWhen I first saw ads for these socks, I was like – that’s outrageous. Then, they released Sesame Street socks & I was like – I need those. They are very nice socks, I have since ordered the ankle socks for my dress shoes, also very nice. I can’t say that I wear a pair everyday but I really enjoy the quality of them when I do.

Pela Case – Unfortunately, these cases do not fit my new phone but they’re still pretty great. It’s a phone case made from plants! They’re extremely durable, I had my old phone case for at least 2 years & it still looks fine. I have the original yellow one that I think was for a save the bees campaign which is another cool thing about this company, they donate to various environmental protection efforts.

I think that does it for my favorite things list, I tried to include a little home, a little beauty & fashion. What things made your favorites list this year? Also, let me know if you get excited about Oprah’s list too – I’m the only one in my friend group who is like – OPRAH’S FAVORITE THINGS LIST COMES OUT TODAY. Listen, she has taste – she recommended Patti LaBelle’s Sweet Potato Pie one year & my life has never been the same. Also, she just seems so classy & looks like she smells great. This is getting weird 🙂 Thanks for reading, have wonderful Wednesday!

On The 10th Day of Blogmas: The Blizzard of ’97

Blogmas

I am clearly having snow withdrawals because I have been watching documentaries about the Blizzard of ’49 on Colorado & Wyoming PBS. Listen, I am not asking for a Christmas blizzard but a little snow would be nice. It got me thinking about the Blizzard of ’97 & how even with all of our modern conveniences, we are still fragile in the hands of mother nature.

If you are a Minnesotan or ever lived here, I am sure that you have been regaled with tales of the Halloween Blizzard of ’91. There was a foot on the ground before the kids were back from trick or treating 🙂 There have been heavy snowfalls since I have lived here, nothing that really shut the city down but I am still waiting. Anyway, us Coloradoans have our very own tales of an October Blizzard & it was pretty epic as I recall. I grew up in the San Juan River Valley, we didn’t have mild winters – the chains went on in October & didn’t come off until April. I was in 3rd grade, we went to school in town which was 45-minutes to an hour down the mountain. There were a dozen or so of us that were called ‘the mountain kids’ because we were designated our own bus since the route was so long. Occasionally, the mountain kids would be sent home early because of winter weather but this particular day, we knew it was a bigger deal because we were loaded up before lunch. I also remember the bus driver looking stressed & no wonder, not only did she have to get us home before the roads became impassible, she had to get back down the mountain to her own home safely. I don’t know how she drove that route all of those years, she was at least 70 for my entire childhood 😛

The atmosphere before a big snow has a a feel about it. The air literally feels heavy & dense, I remember being scooted onto the bus & inching closer & closer to these huge snow clouds as we headed up the mountain. It felt like we were being squished between the dense air below us & those huge clouds above us. About halfway into the journey, we ran into a wall of snow that had been falling in earnest already & only got heavier as we gained altitude. As kids I don’t think we fully appreciated that we were travelling through white out conditions along a twisty, turny mountain road but we were feeling tense nonetheless.

With each kid that was deposited safely in front of their home, a blast of frigid wind & snow entered the bus. We were all sitting in the middle of the bus nearest to the heat blowers but that icy chill was far reaching. There were two times that we had to pull off so that the driver could bang the ice off of the wipers but the ride was mostly uneventful. In my kid mind, it took us 5 hours to get up the mountain because it was dark out but really, it was about 2 in the afternoon by the time we got home & the sun was just obliterated by the storm system. We were the last stop on the route but we made it. Our farm was down a long dirt road & over a rickety bridge that crossed Stoner Creek (which is river size not creek size) that the bus couldn’t actually drive on but my dad was waiting at the opening of said bridge with the toboggan to pull me home. We watched as the bus driver backed across the road & started her journey back to town.

I had a bloody nose by the time we got home, I get them when I am stressed out but was fine outside of that. The blizzard raged for at least three days but I don’t recall sleeping very much. There’s a lot of things that need to happen on a farm & it’s all thrown into hyper-drive when bad weather is an added factor. The animals have to be accounted for, they have to be kept warm but putting heat sources in a barn is tricky because it eats the oxygen up & you can burn it down. Not all of the animals fit in the barn either, so they have to be contained as close as you can get them so they don’t freeze. We had to bring the ducks inside & house them in the bathroom which was the highlight of the blizzard for me. My dad headed out a few times in the tractor to help others dig out all while the snow was still dumping. At one point, the phone lines did go down but we never lost electricity which was a small wonder considering the weight of the snow on the power lines.

When it finally stopped snowing, the amount of snow was breathtaking. My dad spent hours clearing snow, helping neighbors clear snow – we lived on a county road so often had to clear the main road well before the plows arrived. At some points, there was nowhere for the snow to go & the roadways were very narrow with huge snow mounds on each side. I don’t remember how long we were out of school but I want to say it was at least a week.

When I have travelled home in my adulthood, it never ceases to amaze me remembering how isolated those few mountain farms were. To this day, there is one treacherous, narrow road in – you had to be resourceful in an emergency because outside help is scarce. We never had any major emergencies but a number of things could have gone wrong during that blizzard. The worst that happened on our farm was after the blizzard when I was in charge of returning the ducks to their pond, I slipped & fell in some goose shit & this pack of geese descended on me. We had this weird flock of geese that stayed pretty much year round, they were mean.

Have you experienced any memorable weather events in your lifetime, let me know! I hope you enjoyed, thanks for stopping by ❄

On the 8th Day of Blogmas: Scent of the Season

Blogmas

But before we get into today’s Blogmas; a story about renting in America. I rent, owning a home does not appeal to me in the slightest. I figured this out while house hunting the last year or so. Snow clearing, plowing, lawn care, having a driveway sealed, picking out new windows & all of the other delightful things that come along with homeownership just aren’t things that I am interested in. I can appreciate a beautiful home & the hard work that goes into one but it’s not for me. My apartment is my home, it’s not just another stop on the ride to somewhere else as it seems to be for most other renters. I take care of it just as I would if I did own it, the actual owners don’t. I’ve had numerous maintenance needs that I have ended up taking care of on my own or paying someone else to do it because the maintenance here is nonexistent. Recently, my shower started draining slower than normal so I dumped some Drano down it thinking my hair had just backed it up. Not the case, apparently the neighbors below me had a major clog from their washing machine that ended up causing some water main to back up & burst. First of all – what the fuck are you putting in your washing machine & how was I supposed to know?! So my building manager calls me to see if I have had any drainage issues, I tell him about the bath to which he freaks out & asks why I didn’t say anything. Because you wouldn’t have taken a look anyway. My kitchen sink dripped for months until I replaced it, I have water stains on my spare bedroom ceiling from rainwater leaking in while the roof was being replaced. The smoke alarm in my living room goes off randomly which isn’t disruptive to my life at all. All of which, I have requested maintenance for! But me not reporting a maintenance issue is such a huge problem & this sums up renting in America. All of the responsibility falls on the renter when in reality, aren’t we the customers. Shouldn’t we be the ones being made happy?! I’m over it, almost enough to start looking at houses…

Good news on that crazy Bath & Body Works order(s), their customer service was able to cancel the duplicate orders but I will have to keep the additional candles that I had added by accident because of site latency. No complaints though, it’s not like I won’t use the extra candles 😛 Which brings us to today’s topic, my current home scent picks for the holiday season! First, I have this Winter Pine candle from ULTA, that is surprisingly good for a new candle brand! It is a 3-wick soy blend that is the perfect blend of pine, spice & musk. It smells exactly like a sappy, fresh cut Christmas tree – I love it. I will say that it doesn’t burn as clean as a Bath & Body Works candle, I’ve had to skim the burnt wax off a few times to keep it burning but other than that it has been fine. Sadly, it is now out of stock but Fresh Balsam, Tree Farm & Mahogany Balsam from Bath & Body Works are all very similar scents.

Next, are these Fresh Pine & Juniper Airwick that I found at Walmart recently. These are definitely a sharper tree scent but still pleasant & not PineSol smelling – although, I do love the scent of PineSol so I might be biased. I have not seen these ones in year prior but I hope they keep making them. My apartment smells like a tree farm now & it’s perfectly festive.

I’m not totally sure why I associate pine scents with Christmas, I think it’s the memories of wood burning in the stove in addition to the fresh tree in the living room that puts me in a holiday spirit whenever I smell it. What are your favorite holiday scents? I used to really like Champagne Toast but now it just smells like burnt plastic to me. Thanks for stopping by, I hope that you are surviving this holiday season 🎄

On The 6th Day of Blogmas: My Favorite Vlogmas

Blogmas

Confession, I’m a vlog junkie. I love watching people just living their lives. Oh, you’re detailing your car for two hours? Fascinating. Vloggers bring me back to a more wholesome time on YouTube when it was normal people broadcasting themselves. Now YouTube seems so hyper-stylized & plagued with drama. Many of my favorite vloggers have stopped vlogging or left the platform altogether. For those who still post YouTube content, few continue to post Vlogmas which is just a bummer. Luckily for me, my favorite content creators who still post Vlogmas definitely do it the best!

Jessica Braun & Family – I’ve been watching Jessica for a long time & just adore her little family. They live in Indiana & their content is delightfully Midwestern. She posts a little bit of everything; lifestyle, grocery hauls, recipes, beauty, travel & it’s all genuinely relatable. She & her husband (Tyler) are so goofy & wholesome. I also appreciate how they include their daughter in their vlogs without over sharing. Kids on YouTube & family vlog channels mostly just weird me out. The Braun family vlogmas highlight decorating, cooking, baking & loads of other wholesome content.

Fleur De Force & Family – Fleur is another one I’ve been watching for a very long & she is the coolest. Her style, her taste in home decor – she’s a total class act. Her family lives in the English countryside in what appears to be an old manor house with at least 100 rooms. I’m sure it’s not that big but whenever she posts in a new room I’m like – what room is this?! Her house is to die for, check out her kitchen renovation 🤩 Fleur & her husband, Mike have the cutest daughter named River. Again, while she is included, it’s not seemingly invasive. Also, her name is River – just the coolest. Their vlogmas are a bit more posh, stunning trees, handmade gift wrapping, gin & tonics – I love it all. Her lockdown vlogs have been really delightful as well.

It’s been fun watching these Youtubers grow up & evolve over the years – I hope that they keep posting & sharing glimpses of their lives for a very long time. Do you have any vlogger recommendations, let me know & thanks for reading ❄

On The 5th Day of Blogmas: Dreaming of a White Christmas ❄

Blogmas

December 5th, still no snow. Growing increasingly disappointed in 2020, if that’s even imaginable. I cannot believe that we still don’t have any snow on the ground! We had 2-3 inches right before Halloween & it seemed that we were well on our way into winter. Then November hit with a series of unseasonably warm weeks, not days, weeks. Seemingly, there is no end in sight & very little precipitation in the forecast. I just knew that 2020 would find a way to ruin Christmas. I’m being a tad dramatic, perhaps.

For me, snow is an integral part of the holiday season. I could never live in a climate where snow is rare or nonexistent. I love the smell of snow, the reflection of it on a dark night, the way it sparkles against lights. The best Christmas day memories are those of sledding or ice skating after the indoor festivities had commenced. Many of these idealic days were punctuated with beautiful snow showers. I can’t remember any brown Christmases & yet that seems to be the norm now. This makes me a bit sad, I can honestly say that I’ve witnessed climate change during my lifetime. I mean, it doesn’t just cease to snow in a cold climate for simply no good reason.

The lack of cold weather & snow doesn’t just put a damper on my holiday spirit – I love cold weather sports. Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowboarding & ice skating are all dependent on good winter conditions & it’s not even cold enough for a coat right now.

I will be tremendously disappointed if it doesn’t snow by Christmas, I didn’t think that this year could be more of a let down & here we are 😐 Do you have any snow in your neck of the woods? Let me know so I can move there 😂

On the 4th Day of Blogmas: Candle Day

Blogmas

…palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy…When I heard that Bath & Body Works was extending their Candle Day event & including an online shopping day – I didn’t pay it much mind. I never make it into the store for the big event anyway because I cannot handle crowds like that under any circumstances let alone during a pandemic. Usually, I just wait until the candles are $14.50 & I have a 20% coupon which brings the candles down to almost the same price as the candle day deal then I go to the store for a leisurely shopping experience. However, on further inspection of said coupon, this year it said that it cannot be combined with other offers or sales. What?! I get it, retailers are definitely struggling & probably less inclined to offer deals on deals on deals. So, here I am, 5 AM (I always get up at 5, I wasn’t doing it for Candle Day), going back & forth on whether or not I was going to give in & purchase some candles online. But, Stella – you just received a box of broken glass that is still sitting in your closet & your online ordering experiences have been less than 10/10.

Here’s the thing, I have a home fragrance obsession & I still needed to replace the candles that I was going to give as gifts because they are going to be the center item in these baskets I’m putting together. Now, I had considered swapping them for a bottle of wine but a couple of friends have stopped drinking during the pandemic & everyone can enjoy a candle. I decided that I was going to replace the gift candles & treat myself to one seasonal scent. Seems reasonable, right? Here’s what actually happened.

To start why is online shopping so difficult? It’s supposed to be easy, it never is unless your are shopping on Amazon which sucks because that’s why people shop so much on Amazon – myself included. I’ve never had payment issues, had an item be in stock when I check out & then received an email saying that the item was actually not in stock, they process refunds incredibly fast, replace missing items – just to name a few reasons that keep me coming back to Amazon. Obviously, being a brick & mortar retailer who also has e-commerce is different than only ever existing as an online retailer. Their logistics capabilities probably blow most other retailers out of the water. I have never heard of Amazon crashing even though they sell an average of 4,000 items per minute. Bath & Body Works goes live with Candle Day & the site almost immediately crashes. Why? Why does Amazon seemingly have access to far & away more bandwidth than any other online retailer?! It’s all the same internet, I don’t get it. So, I just knew that after 5 minutes of the website spinning & then getting the Uh-Oh screen that this was going to be a ride.

I have zero patience for online shopping, I would much rather go to a store in person & stand in line if need be. These retailers want me to wait in an online queue in the world of ones & zeros?! I don’t think so. Also, I am not very online shopping savvy – I’ve heard of shoppers using multiple computers or devices to navigate websites. I literally cannot be bothered. I decided to just leave the site & come back, when I came back it took awhile to load but it eventually did. There were a couple of scents that I wanted that were already sold out, no big deal because I was only getting one for me anyway. I’m adding to bag but had to click multiple times to actually get items to the bag, everything seemed fine otherwise, I’m so close to checking out that I can taste it. I choose PayPal because I think that’s the most secure way to check out online. The website timed out when it was sending me over to PayPal. I back up, my bag is empty, I refill it, select PayPal & this time it works. Huzzah! Back to the B&BW website, the submit order button is greyed out so I refresh the page. It’s clickable, the end is near. Processing, processing, confirmation from PayPal…processing, processing, another confirmation from PayPal….& then another. In the end, I ended up with three orders with multiples of items that I thought I was only selecting 1 each of but I’m guessing that I was adding to bag but the bag wasn’t updating…? Apparently, I have ordered almost 40 candles. I contacted B&BW immediately to let them know that they were all duplicate orders, there is no reason for them to ship 2 additional orders to me when I know they are swamped & nobody needs that many candles!! I can’t believe that the orders weren’t immediately flagged.

I’m stressed, my heart hurts a little – like a tightness in my chest. I think I should lay down. Do people actually enjoy online shopping?! How is this enjoyable, shopping stresses me out anyway but there is something so intangible about online shopping that really makes me anxious. I don’t feel like I have actually successfully purchased something until it’s physically in my hands. My hope is that they see that there are multiple duplicate orders but that still doesn’t remedy the fact that I was obviously clicking around too much & adding more than one item to my bag. Everything is mostly sold out now so I guess I’m glad that I shopped early…?

I’m tired, are you an online shopper? I know that you cannot beat the convenience but gosh, it seems like such an ordeal more often than not. I would probably have been better off just hitting the store tomorrow but here we are. If the candles arrive busted, that’s it for me & online shopping.