Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Shopportunity For Everyone and Anyone

Hello LilyOnTheLam.Com Readers!

For my US readers, this is the first day back to work after the Labor Day holiday weekend.  Or as some people refer to it as "Memorial Day weekend."  Those people tend to be ones with short attention spans or calendars frozen on the month of May.  Seriously, I have had like six (OK three?) people tell me "Happy Memorial Day."  Maybe they're just really, really late on their holiday greetings?  To them I say "Happy Easter!"

I will be gradually easing back into the work day after a holiday weekend by only working half a day.  The ever tasky Kiki Von Vellum (who now suddenly has decided he is my personal assistant as well as the Lofty Cardamom Monroe's assistant) has scheduled my appearance at a house inspection for Cardamom Monroe's anticipated new purchase.  Evidently my appearances cutting ribbons at new grocery stores and shopping malls were NOT enough.  My "Boat Show Spokesmodel" skills are also now required at house inspections.  Oh how the fabulous have fallen!  And yes, by "fabulous" I am referring to myself.

This particular house that will be a-inspectin' is a house I fondly have named "Lily East."  Cardamom Monroe thinks I am joking when I say that I am ordering monogrammed towels with "Lily East" emblazoned on them.  Cardamom Monroe is in for a rude awakening.  

Side Note:  I don't really see this as the opportunity to help Cardamom Monroe with his new Floridian home purchase as much as I see it as an opportunity to flirt with more waitstaff in Orlando.  A girl has to have her priorities.  

And if that my mad flirting doesn't turn out, Orlando has different "shop-portunities" than Tampa does (like Cost Plus World Market!) so there's always that.

I was recently in the Twin Cities - that's Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota - to those of you not familiar with the American Midwest.  One of my favorite shopportunistic places there is the deluge of stores along Grand Avenue in St. Paul.  I spent a lovely day with the cool blondie internationally known as "Little Jen" and her newly produced offspring, a young infant boy I have named "Ja'Lily."  

Don't be surprised when "Ja'Lily" becomes the hottest baby boy name of 2015.  You heard it here first!  (Side note:  the baby actually does have a respectable "normal" name, but why be normal?)  

Ja'Lily likes the outdoors and constant movement, so I took on the role of "young mother" (I'm only 987 years old!) and pushed him around in his stroller to keep him from fussing.  People kept smiling at me as I walked around talking to Ja'Lily.  I may need to borrow a baby so strangers will be nice to me.  Just a thought.  

My Fitbit pedometer/activity monitor registered 2.4 miles from my stroller-tastic attempts to create "Ja'Lily Non-Fussy Time," so I was pretty pleased with that since after Ja'Lily fell asleep I ate and drank up a storm while chatting with Little Jen.  Calories galore!

One of the stores, Little Jen, Ja'Lily and I visited is Bibelot - a store I stayed away from as a child because I had the misconceived notion that it was a Christian store.  Bibel, Bible ... yeah maybe I am a dyslexic heathen!  (Not to be confused with Minnesotan singer-songwriter Paul Westerberg's song "Dyslexic Heart.")


After I returned to Tampa, I went to Bibelot's website to check to see if they sold a product I wished I had bought while shopping in the Twin Cities.  (I love to shop ... sigh.)  But they did not (my wallet is happy).  However I did see this product:  a box of matches that says "I think I'll just be happy today."

Now I am all for people being happy.  I think we spend way too little time focusing on our own personal happiness.  (Unless you're me and then you spend a great deal of time and money focusing on your own personal happiness - two vacations booked for 2015, yay!)  

But I am confused what a box of matches paired with a slogan about choosing happiness has in common?  Is this the perfect gift for the sad arsonist in your life?  Today choose happiness AND burning down that vacant barn on the corner?  Is there a gasoline can with the same slogan too?  I mean seriously, what's next?  A prescription vial "cozy" that says "Today, I choose to black out unhappiness"? It just goes to show you that there is a shopportunity for everyone and every occasion!

I hope this Tuesday finds you being the best "You" that you can be ... and I hope that "Best You" is incredibly, over the top happy ... but maybe leave the matches at home!

Happy Tuesday, LilyOnTheLam.com Readers!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

To All My Real Housewives Friends and Twitter Friends

Happy Tuesday, LilyOnTheLam.Com Readers!

Yesterday, I declared it "New Product Wednesday on a Monday" and today I am declaring it "New Product Wednesday on a Tuesday!"  You are very lucky ... or I need to get a calendar.

If you are a regular reader of LilyOnTheLam, you will know that many times my posts are pretty much "what you see is what you get and what you get is crazy and wacky!"  I could write about myself in a self-aggrandizing light, but self-deprecating is a wee bit more true to form in a "why do these weird things always happen to me???" way.  

So in other words, why waste my breath or my fingers' typing away by trying to make myself sound better than I am?  It's better to just tell the truth and laugh along with everyone else ... who are laughing at me, hysterically laughing at me.  Sigh!  (LOL!)

In that viewpoint, I will admit to those of you who do not already know that I ... watch ... reality television.  

As in, my TV is permanently tuned to Bravo TV.  

(Side note: Hottie former Marine male Kelley from "Below Deck" favorited one of my tweets, which I think means he is in love with me.  Yep, pretty sure of that.)  

Now in my free time from being perma-glued to the reality TV line up, I also like to shop.  Yes, I am a walking stereotype. I know it.  I own it.

Now the reality TV stars of Bravo really do know that their audience loves to both shop and watch and there are all these side items they are constantly referencing on episodes.  

I feel like it is one part reality TV, one part HSN home shopping informercial.  I've never had a burning desire to buy Nene Leakes' clothing, Ramona Singer's Pinot Grigio, Vicki Gunvalson's vodka or have any of my pets buried and/or eulogized by Phaedra Parks or Sonja Morgan.  (I have tried Bethenny Frankel's Skinny Girl Margarita but found it too sweet.)  However, there is ONE product that has been touted AD NAUSEAM on "Real Housewives of New Jersey" that I was slightly curious about ...

I give you... the Manzo Boys' marketing company promoted BLK water!

  
It's water.  And it's black.  It is "alkaline fulvic trace mineral infused water" which basically to me sounds like the Swedish Chef talking.


Unfortunately, we live in a world where in most settings appearances count.  I know you should not judge a book by its cover, but I was really having a tough time looking at the BLK water,  When I look at a bottle of black liquid, I don't think "refreshing" or "hydrating."  I think "murky" and "swamp-like."  But I was also curious ...

So when I saw a bottle of BLK water on the shelves of Southern Season in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; I gave out a shriek of reality TV joy!  I may have to work 9000 hours in NC on a business trip, but there would be some BLK-water drinking time squeezed in there too!

I chilled the bottle to icy cold temps.  Not so much on purpose but because the refrigerator in my hotel room was straight outta Antarctica!  I opened the bottle and just stared at it.  Black water.  Hmmm.  I slowly raised the bottle to my lips and took a sip.

It tasted like water with an earthy aftertaste.  

It tasted like water from a really old house's kitchen sink.  

It was ice cold and yet tasted tepid.  How is that possible?

I have been in mud baths and thermal pools in Pamukkale, Turkey and hot springs in Taiwan and Malaysia, so I am not afraid of some minerals in my water.  But BLK water was not in the same vein.  It's hard to explain but I felt like it was anti-hydrating.  One sip and I didn't feel quenched or refreshed.  My mouth actually felt drier.  I have had alkaline waters before (I'm still looking for Shahs of Sunset's Asa Soltan's Diamond Water!) and have not had this sensation.

I forced myself to finish off the bottle.  When the bottle is empty, one sees that there had been black writing on the bottle that is only clearly visible once the bottle is empty.  It said "DEFY EXPECTATIONS" on the bottle.

Did BLK defy my expectations?  Sort of, but not in a good way.  I actually had high expectations for a mineral-infused water.  I was thinking that this might be a "good thing" for my body ... and maybe it was, but it certainly wasn't a treat for my taste buds.  Plus for some reason "DEFY EXPECTATIONS" made me think of "SURRENDER DOROTHY" from "The Wizard of Oz."  


Side note:  My Mother bought me Wizard of Oz bed sheets when I was little, a real life picture of the green Wicked Witch scared me so much that I ripped the sheets off my bed, balled them up and shoved them in the back of a drawer.  The life lesson there is: "Don't go to bed with things that scare you."  Which should be handed out on cards to people leaving bars at 3 a.m. with strangers.  Just sayin'.

Side Note #2:  I am pretty sure I think of "SURRENDER DOROTHY" when I see "Defy Expectations" because of the song "Defying Gravity" from the Wizard of Oz musical wicked.


I'll take Idina Menzel singing over drinking a bottle of BLK water ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.  Ms. Ohio and I saw her both in a one woman concert and in the pre-Broadway showings of her musical "If/Then" in Washington DC with a one Mr. Cardamom Monroe.  While I ADORED Idina Menzel in concert, I found "If/Then" to be rough, lackluster and uneven.  I hope it was polished more before it appeared on Broadway.  

Anyway, I found BLK water to be like my reality TV show watching.  Full of sturm und drang, signifying nothing.  Which also has been an appropriate metaphor for my dating life recently.  I had high hopes for "The Commissioner."  A man who kept telling me how honest, forthright, caring and compassionate he was.  Did I also happen to mention he works in sales?  Lots of words about how wonderful he was and little action to back it up.  You're a bottle of black water that tastes crappy and leaves me dehydrated!  So buh-bye Commissioner and on to the next one!   

Happy Tuesday, LilyOnTheLam.Com Readers - thanks for reading!