Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Admitting It Is The First Step!

I have a problem.

When it comes to certain stores or websites, there is no such thing as a small purchase for me. It is just impossible for me to go in, buy one thing, and get out. I will ultimately get sucked in and spend the usual average $ amount that I often spend there. For example, I love Longs. I mean LOOOOOOVE passionately! It started when I was younger and living in Hawaii, and all of the Longs stores there have such cute things...things that are only sold in Hawaii. Back then I could walk into a Longs and have control, back in the days of only having a weekly $20 allowance and having to budget, but nowadays not so much self control. Not that I don't have to budget now, but I always spend an average of $100 there! Beauty products, hair stuff, seasonal items, seasonal clearance items, even the grocery items are always high frequency items on my list. So most recently, since I'm home most of the time, I went shopping at MAC online because I was out of concealer and had to restock. No, I couldn't just get the concealer and check out. I HAD to get the other things that I've been "needing" and the grand total came out to $170. At least I qualified for free shipping, right? LOL Just last Friday, hubby and I went shopping at the new Ikea because the kids were spending the weekend over at my parent's house and we needed to get some curtains for the living room. Back pains and achy legs weren't enough to keep me from hobbling around the store and getting my shop awn! I was dying when we finally paid and got into the car, and couldn't wait to get home, but no...we didn't just get the curtains and go. We slowly made our way around the store (which is purposely built like a maze) picking things up here and there and spent over 2 hours and 20 minutes there shopping...which after the 15 to 20 minute car ride was 2 hours and 20 minutes too long for me to be out! Two shopping bags full (remind me to get a cart next time because we never just get a few things at Ikea!) and one plant, and almost $400 later, I was too sore but happy that I got to be out and about and shopping in one of my favorite stores.

Hi! My name is Staci, and I have a shopping problem.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Good Ol' Childhood Comforts

I am in comfort food heaven right now! My family doesn't know this, but I've been pretty home sick lately. We haven't been home to Hawaii since 1998 and being that my brother, sister and their families are still living there, not to mention close friends that I grew up with in that island paradise, it gets harder to be away as the years go by. You would think that it would get easier to be away, but nothing truly beats the comforts of home and your childhood. So what did I do? I ordered myself a care package of comfort snacks from Crack Seed Center! Mmm...onoliscious! I guess I got a little carried away $48 later (not including the $16 in shipping because of the weight) but I'm loving it now! This is what I ordered:

1/4 lb. of sweet sour lemon
1/4 lb. of shredded li hing mui
1/4 lb. of rock salt plum
1/2 lb. of pickled peach
1 lb of pickled mango with li hing mui
1/2 lb. of pickled apricot
1/4 lb. of komaru senbei
1/2 lb. of hachimitsu balls (kimi balls)
1 box (60 pcs) of Fusen Gum

Now I wasn't being a glutton...although I probably will have a taste of everything. I ordered the senbei for my husband to try and the hachimitsu balls and the gum for the kids. Yesterday my package of delights arrived and I not only had to tear into it right away, but couldn't stop eating! HAHA My husband had to pry the package out of my hands! First I thought that I would just have a little taste of the tourist seed sample that they included, but there was just no way that I could stop at that. One pickled peach, two pickled apricots, two pickled mango pieces with a li hing mui seed that was in it, one sweet li hing mui, and red fingertips from the pickled mango later, my husband was intervening for the sake of my high blood pressure and hiding the box from me! It may not sound like I ate much, but I had all of this AFTER we had gotten back from Alex's birthday dinner at the Outback Steakhouse and AFTER we had his Haupia birthday cake that I ordered from Zippys. (Sidenote: Outback's french onion soup, bleu cheese chopped salad and lamb chops are all soooo delicious and mail order from Zippys is always worth it, even if the price of shipping is more than the item ordered!) I was sooo full, but I had to have a taste of home. :) It was nice! Aaah...love it!

When I was younger, I would go to the crack seed store every single time we went to Pearlridge or Ala Moana Shopping Center or would always wind up getting some from Gibson's whenever we were there. You could kind of compare it to Pavlov's experiment with the dogs and the association with the bells, because just seeing those huge jars with the bell-shaped dome lids would be enough to make anyone's mouth water! If you grew up from Hawaii or have ever been there, you would know what I'm talking about. They always had such a HUGE selection to choose from and sometimes it was hard to decide what to get. Would it be the juicy li hing mui? Pickled apricots? Rock salt plums? Ahi jerky? Oh the decisions! When you tell them what you want, you order by weight. For example, "I'd like a 1/4 lb. of li hing mui and a 1/2 lb. of shredded ginger please." I always found it funny how the counter person would always get it to the precise weight, picking and choosing the size of the seed or just the right pinch of the shredded stuff to get you to that amount. I would never think about complaining about paying a little extra because it came out to be a few ounces over. LOL It's interesting how they take such care in precision, and if it was over, they would take a little out and put some back in until it was exactly that weight! What customer service! And as for the gum that I ordered? I used to buy it for 2 cents a piece from the candy counter at the shopping center that I rode my bike to when I was little. I loved the little Japanese blue tatoos that were on the other side of the wrapper and the gum itself is so yummy! Anyway, it was nice to be transported back to my childhood for a little while. :) If anyone needs me, I'll be here with my goodies! ;)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Doin' the Happy Dance

Ikea opened in West Sac today! WOO HOO! :) I've been watching the local news coverage of the grand opening and it's quite an event. I wish I could be there! I WILL be there as soon as my back is healthy. I loooooove Ikea! We bought a lot of our furniture from them when we first moved into our house...3 couches, coffee table, 2 bookshelves, computer hutch, tv cabinet, lighting, etc. We got up early, drove all the way down to Emeryville, had breakfast there, and did our shopping thing. We ended up having most of the things shipped because of course we couldn't fit all of that into the Forerunner, but it was so much fun...not to mention the fact that we saved a lot of $$$ because they are such reasonably priced. Some people might think that Ikea is cheap, but the things that we bought still look brand new, are working out well for us, and we love it...AND I loved putting everything together. Aah, the Ikea phenomenon!

My new laptop is here and I'm in love :) It arrived 2 days ago and I have been in techie heaven ever since. Dell is the bomb! I swear we got it in less than a week! Last night we hooked it up to the TIVO to start transferring some of our saved programs to burn onto dvd. We got it with the media center package, so it has a built in tv tuner and a remote so we could use it as an extra TIVO to record some of our favorite shows. It also has a built in wireless card so I've got internet while I'm here on the living room couch. Now it's not that I can't be away from the computer and the internet. It's just that now I don't have to struggle to sit in the desk chair for a few minutes while I use the computer. YAY!