Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm Picky

It's not so much that I'm a brand-slave, because I'm not, but... If I'm going to spend my money on something new, I like it to be perfect, exactly what I want, and in pursuit of this goal I tend to do a ton of research. A TON. And I have a degree in library science, so my mad research skills don't come cheap! Therefore, when I finally, FINALLY find something that is absolutely perfect in my eyes, I prefer to take advantage of all the research I've done and, instead of re-comparision-shopping and review-reading and brand-researching all over again, I like to buy the exact same thing again. And again. And again. For instance:

  • Crest Whitening Expressions Extreme Herbal Mint: Mmm, it's delicious! It tastes so very awesome that sometimes, if I'm bored, I'll brush my teeth--feel free to add that to your Too Much Information file under my name. In the best of worlds, I'd prefer a natural-brand toothpaste, but I haven't found one so yummy yet, nor have I found a toothpaste I'm in love with for the girls--perhaps one day I'll make my own!

  • Regis Hair Salons DesignLine Tea Tree Oil Shampoo and Conditioner: I probably haven't been to an actual hair salon in a decade, and I've never been to a high-end one--I like shaving my own head into a buzzcut once every few months just fine, thank you very much. But my mother, of all people (I'll explain over a pitcher of margaritas sometime if you'd like THAT whole story), turned me on to this stuff when I was visiting her house one time--it smells, oh my god, so freakin' good that I could seriously just sit on the couch and huff it from the bottle while watching TV. Again, though, not a natural-product choice.

  • Bob's Red Mill mixes, especially the gluten-free ones: I've mentioned before that I'm a disaster in the kitchen, right? Just an hour ago, Matt got home from work to find me in the kitchen cooking, with Sydney at my feet digging her fingers through a mound of sugar she'd poured onto a plate on the floor, and Willow sitting naked in the sink washing dishes, and he blinks and is all, "What are you doing?" "Cooking," I say. "Is something in the oven?" he asks. "Pizza dough," I say. "Can I check?" he says, and pulls open the oven door and looks in. He needed to make sure that I hadn't stuck a plastic ice cube tray or rubber lid or glass bowl in there, and that I wasn't also incinerating some other thing I might have stuck in the oven a week ago and forgot about! I've done all those things before, yeah. Anyway, one of the reasons I'm always messing stuff up when I cook, aside from treating all times and amounts as estimates, is that I'm always trying to make something "healthier," substituting whole wheat flour for unbleached bread flour or agave nectar for sugar, stuff like that, and it always just makes stuff gross. But Bob's Red Mill mixes are easy, and delicious, and HEALTHY. They're too expensive for me to buy often, however, but you know, I don't cook often, so there you go.

I'm also really, really picky about shoes. I don't buy them often, and I wear them for a long time, and for myself I need them to be vegan, although I don't necessarily have that same requirement for the girls (sturdiness, quality of materials, and supportiveness for growing footsies are my biggest priorities for them, and kids' vegan footwear often just isn't good enough). Generally, my goal is to have one pair of light shoes for summer, one pair of heavy boots for winter, and a pair of tennis shoes for high-impact activity (although I avoid high-impact activity when at all possible, so I do not own tennis shoes). For summer, the girls and I buy Converse, which is light and stretchy and made mostly of cotton canvas, and comes in an awesome spectrum of colors, because you also get bonus points for originality, don'cha know?

This summer I bought Willow and Sydney matching candy-pink (Willow's choice) Converse Chucks. I doubt they'll still fit in the spring, but I'll put Will's aside for Sydney and Sydney's will go in her keepsake box, because I cannot give away my baby's Chucks! Seriously, how cute are they?

Unfortunately, my own Chucks are pretty much just bad news at this point--they are two years old, after all. I should have let the little punk at Journeys talk me into the grown-up candy-pink Chucks that matched the girlies back when I bought theirs, but at the time I didn't see it as the totally awesome idea that it obviously is. Next summer perhaps?
My steel toe heavy winter winter boots are over a decade old--when Matt and I were dating back on our beautiful, oak tree-lined campus in Texas as undergrads, he used to call them my "acorn stompers." Since, alas, they no longer keep my feet either dry or warm in winter, I just bought these vegan steel toe boots online. I almost wish now that I'd bought them in green, but blue is pretty cool, too, right? I was trying to get as close to Dr. Martens as I could, because obviously Dr. Martens is my gold-standard for boots, but they're not vegan.

The girls, however, have no such ethical qualms, and so, although Sydney's old brown hand-me-down boots (I'm normally opposed to hand-me-down shoes, but these clearly hadn't been worn much) should fit through the winter, here's what I'm going to buy Willow:

They're kind of awesome, right?

Do you have awesome shoes?


Kimberly said...

Most definitely awesome shoes for Willow! You may even be able to spot her in a crowd solely by looking for her feet which is uber-awesome.

I'm a prissy little girlie-girl (and a regular shoe addict) so right now my favorite shoes are a pair of silver quilted star ballet flats. They're ever so comfy and they look great with everything. In the 2 weeks I've owned them, I think I've worn them 9 out of the 14 days.

julie said...

Ooh, silver! I so absolutely want some silver Dr Martens that I can literally taste my avarice, but they're not vegan. Hmmm, maybe I'll spray paint my old acorn stompers...

Kimberly said...

Just think of all the fun stuff you could do to a pair of old lace up boots! Silver spray paint and a small skull stencil? I'm thinking hot pink skull up near wear ol' Chuck puts HIS logo.

Abby said...

I have awesome shoes.
I got them for my birthday. I will cry all winter when I can't wear them. I need winter shoes, but just can't wear boots. I feel like I look dumb in boots. I used to have some doc martin shoes, loved those. they reminded me of strawberry shortcake shoes.

love the pink chucks for the girls. avery has a pair of brown, but they are getting too small. i too will put them in a keepsake box.

Anonymous said...

I don't have awesome shoes (pout, pout), but I think I'm going to start transitioning to vegan shoes, if I can find ones that I like in my size.

Abe said...

Hi there,

I don't know if you keep an eye on comments from posts this old, but if you do could you help me out? Ya see, my sister is asking for a pair of orange Dr. Martens for her birthday. That's about all she told me... a guy who doesn't know a thing about shoes and that's all she told me... Luckily, it seems there's really only one type of Dr. Marten they make in orange ( Only trouble is I'm not dying to pay that $130 pricetag. She mentioned generic/off-brand boots but I haven't been able to find any that meet her specifications. You seem in the know... do you know where I could find fairly cheap orange Dr. Marten-type boots (vegan or otherwise)?

I'd be grateful for any assistance at all... I feel a little lost and out of my element at the moment!

julie said...

I don't know of any knock-off Dr. Martens. I have vegan boots that are similar in style to Docs, but they cost even more, frankly--I will wear them for the rest of my life, because I won't ever be able to afford another pair.