Thursday, June 10, 2010



gray studded bag (Marshall's)
OPI nail polishes - from right to left: Russian Navy (matte), Jade is the New Black, Pamplona Purple, An Affair in Red Square, My Chihuahua Bites!, Japanese Rose Garden
sting ray charm necklace

After my semester ended, I decided that I needed some serious retail therapy.  A lot of big stuff happened during spring semester 2010, including getting into a PhD program, defending my MA project, and getting my MA degree.  So, with seminar papers and my thesis behind me, I decided that I wanted to buy a present for myself.  Normally, I gift myself with shoes, but after scouring the usual sources - Zappos, Piperlime,, ShopItToMe, etc. - I couldn't find any pair that I really wanted.  Ahem...with the exception of these Betsey Johnson wedges (size 7) which I am utterly obsessed with and have been for some time.  However, I am a graduate student, and I'm in two weddings this summer, so I'm not in a financial situation to really indulge myself.  So, I had a splurge lite (a diet splurge?), which sounds like a contradiction, but welcome to grad school reality.

I love shopping at Marshall's because while they tend to be, in my experience, hit-or-miss, I almost always manage to find at least one or two items that I really like for low prices.  I never particularly liked the bags with a lot of hardware, but I've been looking for a non-black neutral bag, like a light beige-y brown or gray, like this one.  I was drawn to it for the color and the size - big enough to hold my essentials, plus a small notebook and/or books, essential for class going, but small enough that it's not a Bermuda Triangle bag where my lipsticks can never be found.  The metal doesn't overpower the bag; it just gives it enough interesting texture to separate it from a plain neutral purse.  And for $30, a major steal.

Since I got a great deal on the purse, I decided to get a second "self gift."  Liz and Anne-Marie always have cute manicures, and they've inspired me to pay more attention to my nails.  I consider buying several new nail polishes a splurge for me since I would never normally spend money on them - thus, making them the perfect, relatively inexpensive "Woo-got-my-MA" present.  In total, I spend less than half of the cost of the aforementioned Betsey Johnson wedges.

The necklace was not a self gift, but rather part of my (early) birthday present from my boyfriend.  I love all aquatic animals.  I jump and coo and generally act like a 5 year old when in an aquarium.  My roommates joke that I missed my calling as a marine biologist.  Of all sea creatures, I particularly adore sting rays.  I think that they are so cute and adorable (yes, I realize that I am in the minority here).  The chain of the necklace is the perfect length, and the charm is just quirky and cute and totally me.  I love it.  Normally, I'm wary about other people buying jewelry for me.  I have my signature necklace and ring and some other fun pieces, but I'm pretty particular about what I wear.  This necklace, though, is a great little piece that I'll definitely use to switch up my necklace choice.

  • Do you buy gifts for yourself?  Do you call them gifts to justify spending money, like me?
  • What style related gifts do you receive?  Do you get them from men or women?  Do you like your significant other to pick out jewelry or clothes for you?


Katie from Interrobangs Anonymous said...

I'll admit it - I squealed when I saw the necklace! As a former zoologist, I'm a huge animal geek, and stingrays are super cool. In fact, my boyfriend has a stuffed stingray named Sea-dric that I gave him.

I love how the necklace looks so delicate, while still have the stingray awesomesauce advantage!

Scholar Style Guide said...

I love your idea of a "diet" splurge. I wish I had diet splurged-- I regular splurged, and then I got hit with some serious car repair bills, which have left me feeling guilty about my graduation gift to myself. So, to answer your question, yes I do gift myself things! But I don't think this is the same as "justifying" other purchases. For me, it's important to find ways to commemorate things I've already accomplished instead of always focusing on what is ahead (as I often do). Obviously buying yourself things is not the only way to commemorate accomplishments, but I do like to have something tangible that I can associate with the accomplishment.

More specifically, these are great nail colors! I'm looking forward to noticing them IRL and in your blog photos. I also love the bag, and I am curious how long it took the bf to find an appropriately dainty but still awesome stingray necklace. : )