Feelings, Stores

So Long, Safeway

I’ve had a strange attachment to the grocery store Safeway ever since I moved to Canada. I think it’s because my home grocery store of choice was part of the Safeway chain, but it went under the name of Dominick’s. Dominick’s was a 2 minute drive from my house and, frankly, my happy place.

That grocery store gave me so much comfort. When my husband was visiting my hometown I took him inside and he said, “Oh it’s a Safeway” to which I replied, “Um no it’s Dominick’s.” But he was right, I just didn’t know it.

When I moved to Victoria, I found a Safeway close by and when I walked in, I almost cried. It was almost an exact replica of Dominick’s except for the fact that it was smaller and more Canadian. But still, it gave me a great feeling of comfort and familiarity. Any time I felt homesick, I could just enter those sliding glass doors and pretend I was in Dominick’s.CHANEL_Paris_AW_15-55

Recently the Safeway chain was taken over by a different company. When my mom told me that the Dominick’s by our house was closing down I had to have a moment of silence. That place had been such a staple in my youth. And then the harsh reality hit me–the Safeway in Victoria would soon close down as well. And it did.

My security blanket is gone. But it’s okay because I don’t need it anymore. I will survive without it because now my little corner of Canada is familiar to me. The whole town is my comfort. However, there will always be a place in my heart for Safeway.

Now I can totally relate to that saying, “If you love something, let it go.”

 

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Beauty, Stores

Lush Review

Sorry about all the girly posts recently. Whenever I go through a blogging dry spell I have to find ways to inspire myself over again and sometimes that process involves writing about bath products. You know where the unfollow button is.

I rarely go into LUSH because the salespeople are obnoxious to a severe degree. Like, they will follow you around the store explaining every product they have. It’s the all-time worst. But I do love me some bath bombs so occasionally I have to sacrifice any shred of self-worth I once had and let people talk to me about essential oils and vegan soaps.

While I was there, wishing I had been born deaf, I managed to pick up two items for myself. The first one was a bath bomb called Twilight. It’s a pretty purple-pink color with stars and moons on it and a blue-colored core. I’m usually a fan of the Sex-Bomb bath bomb that’s also a purple-pink color, but it’s more ombre in shade than Twilight. What I’m trying to say is that I like purpley-pink things. Unlike Sex-Bomb though, Twilight has a center full of glitter. Yes. Most people wouldn’t buy a bath bomb with messy glitter in it, but I’m not most people. That’s actually one of the things I like about LUSH’s products. Their bombs are so unconventional–they always have a fun detail about each one.twilight

Twilight has a nice lavender scent and it releases this soothing oil into the bath which makes your skin feel silky smooth afterwards. I was kind of freaked out (in a good way) that the bomb gave off oils in the bath. Usually bath fizzes always seem so chalky and powdery. This one was different. However, I was promised that the glitter inside wouldn’t stick to me and that it would rinse down the drain with the water easily. Not so. The glitter stuck to me a little bit. I mean, it wasn’t that much. A couple pieces here and there, a lot around my neck. And you kind of have to man the bath water as it drains because the glitter will dry against the tub otherwise. But other than that, I really enjoyed it. I thought the glitter and the purple color gave my bath a real magical, intergalactic look. Afterwards I was ready to snuggle into a deep sleep.

The other product I picked out that day was a bath melt–something I’d never tried before–called You’ve Been Mangoed. Bath melts are essentially natural butters and oils in a solidified form that melt in the warm water of your bath. The only qualm I had with this product was that it had Mango in the name, yet it only smelled like lemons. Even on the website LUSH describes it as lemon scented. Why not call it, You’ve Been Lemoned? It still smelled good, and it was relaxing, but not as much as Twilight was. Bath melts are no where near as exciting as bath bombs, but it was still fun to try.479-you've-been-mangooed

Have you tried any LUSH products?

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Stores, Work

Jobs That Shouldn’t Exist

Occasionally when my husband and I sit down to watch Jeopardy, we catch a bit of Wheel of Fortune beforehand. While I was studying the show, I noticed Vanna White dressed to the nines. And by nines, I mean wearing dresses that someone her age should not be wearing unless they’re up for an Academy Award.

What kind of prestigious job does Vanna do that requires her to wear such gorgeous uniforms? Why she touches panels that have been lit up, of course! In all seriousness folks, do we really need to keep paying Vanna to do this? Honestly? We live in the 21st century for crying out loud! Can’t the panels show the letter on their own now? She really has to go up to each one and touch it? Update your set, Wheel of Fortune. How can you be able to give away “fortunes” but not have up-to-date technology?6001_Vanna_11-16-12

Also, do we really need to keep paying for extras in movies and TV? Can’t they just film shows and whoever ends up in the background is just part of the show that day? Is it really necessary to pay people to walk from one end of the set to the other? I know what you’re thinking, What if the show is a period piece and the extras need to be dressed up and go through makeup? You bring up a good point. If people want to be extras then they can get dressed up and be in the background and their payment is that they get to be in the background of a really cool movie or TV show.

I’m actually not sure if this is a job or if volunteers do it, but either way I hate them. Those bell ringers at Christmas time who want money for the Salvation Army or whatever? Like, do you really need to stand there? Why don’t you just leave a box accepting donations at the registers of the stores you’re standing outside of? Also, don’t you think people would’ve donated money already if they wanted to? Are you supposed to put me in the giving spirit? Because you’re putting me in the murder someone spirit.red_kettle_and_bell11

I’m kind of torn about this next job because I appreciate them, but I also feel like they’re unnecessary. Models–do we really need people to show us how expensive clothes look on someone way skinnier than the person buying the clothes? Probs not. Like, if I wanted to buy something, I would try it on, not see how it looks sashaying down the runway. I actually think models are gorge, fun to look at, and almost an art form really. That being said, their job entails walking and posing for pictures. I do that every day so where are my millions?

Lastly, I hate the people who stand by the side of busy roads and wave signs that say “BLOWOUT SALE” or “BUY TWO PIZZAS GET ONE FREE!” How hard is it to find signs that stick in the ground? You really want to pay someone to stand outside holding a sign? Is that being proactive? No. Stick the sign in the ground and then you’ll save money, save your business from embarrassment, and save your employee from wanting to throw himself/herself in front of a moving vehicle.

Why do I constantly have to tell the world how it can improve itself? These are simple solutions to dumb problems.

Can you think of any unnecessary jobs?

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canada, Stores, victoria b.c.

Movin’ On Up

Ever since I moved here, Canada has really tried to step up their game for me. They’ve added H&M, Forever 21 (not that I shop there, it’s just comforting to know it’s around), and in Spring 2013 Target will finally arrive. How has Canada survived this whole time without Target, you ask? Well, they haven’t. No one takes them seriously as a country, but maybe with Target on the horizon, things will start to improve.Target-loves-Canada

My little slice of Canada is slightly behind the times. Toronto’s Target is already open for business. And they also have rumors of getting a Nordstrom soon. Lucky bastards.

The first Target to open in Canada was the Guelph, Ontario location. The first customers to make purchases were two scruffy guys. They made a mockery of Target by purchasing things that no one would need to buy: a Michael Bolton CD and a Tarzan DVD. Yes, you read correctly.

Don’t get me wrong, Target is the place where bad purchases are born and where money vanishes from your account. I’ve walked into Target for a notebook and come out with shoes, a board game, gummy bears, 5 lb weights, and nail polish only to realize that I never got my notebook. So trust me, I KNOW.

These guys have made headlines: “Target’s first two customers shop ironically.” They probably thought they were being hilarious. This is super embarrassing for Canada. Do you see how cheesy people are here? I can’t deal. I for one, will treat my Target location with the respect it deserves.

At least I’ll be safe here if the US gets nuked. Bonus. Oh and I don’t  have to deal with pennies anymore. Silver lining.

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Holidays, School, Stores

My White Leather Gloves

I enjoyed the finer things in life when I was 19. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy the finer things, but they’re just out of reach now that I’m in Canada. I think it’s usual to want something new and beautiful for Christmas, and I had a very long list when I was 19.

I remember the day that my dad took me downtown into Chicago to go Christmas shopping. I wanted to pick out my gifts before I got them because that’s how I rolled back then. Now, of course, I realize that surprises and the unexpected gifts are the best ones but I digress.

After wandering up and down Michigan Avenue, we eventually ended up in the Coach store. I didn’t need a new purse so I don’t even know why I was in there. We were looking around when a pair of white leather gloves caught my eye. They were so soft and had three buttons going up each side. I asked my dad if I could have them for Christmas and he said yes.

Am I Mary Tyler Moore with that hat, or what?

Am I Mary Tyler Moore with that hat, or what?

As the employee rang us up, she asked if we were boyfriend and girlfriend. I pretty much threw up in my mouth and walked out of the store after that. The only thing that made me feel better were those gloves. Driving gloves, as I liked to call them. But seriously, what 19 year old need driving gloves?

Christmas came and went and I loved my gloves. I used them through the long Chicago winter. I was going to a community college at the time, so I actually was doing a lot of driving back and forth.

One of my least favorite classes that semester was Speech. Our teacher was like, a hundred years old and made us speak super loud whenever we were performing. I hated that class, but my teacher loved me. Probably because I put really old fashioned cheesy jokes into all of my speeches. I knew how to cater to my audience.

After school one day, I got home and realized that I didn’t have my gloves. I knew that I put them under my seat in class and I must have forgotten about them. Since I went to a community college I pretty much assumed that I would never see my gloves ever again. How would I even drive comfortably after this?!

I went to the lost and found just to make sure there were truly no good people left in this world, and I was right. My gloves were gone. I didn’t have the heart to tell my dad that the gift he gave me was gone because I didn’t take care of it.

I always felt bad about that.

 

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living in canada, Stores

Extreme Makeover: Canada

So I think Canada finally looked in the mirror and said, “Wow we’re like, a super gross country. Let’s fix ourselves!” I knew it would be baby steps after I heard the news about the Canadian introduction of Target, but never in my wildest dreams could I imagine that Canada would take their country’s makeover to the next level. Friends and family, may I have the pleasure of being the first to announce that Nordstrom is coming to Canada!

I heard the news when I was volunteering, and I thought I was going to faint. My supervisor asked me if I’d ever been to Nordstrom. That’s like asking me if I’ve ever breathed air. I told him it was only my favorite store in the world, duh. And our conversation pretty much ended after that.

It’s like God keeps answering all of my really important shopping prayers. I’m so blessed. There’s just one problem. I don’t have any money. And in order to even look at a Nordstrom parking lot you have to have some dough. I might be exaggerating a bit.

The sad thing is, I’ve almost gotten used to not spending money here. I never buy clothes for myself anymore. I never have the urge to. See what happens when you move to Canada? It changes you.

Maybe the new introduction of Nordies will light a fire within me to shop more. Even though the closest one to me will be in Vancouver. So basically I’ll have to take a ferry or plane to get there. How rude. Clearly they didn’t have my best interests in mind. Actually, I don’t think they had anyone’s interests in mind since there will only be 4 locations in all of Canada (Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver).

Canadian Nordstrom Pros: More shopping for me, more street cred for Canada, I will feel a sense of normalcy in Canada, and thousands of new jobs for Canadians.

Canadian Nordstrom Cons: Canadians working in Nordstrom and ruining everything, no actual Nordstrom close to where I live, I have no money so nothing even matters.

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Stores

Customer Service

Why do employees have to be nice to customers? It’s so fake. Customers obviously don’t want to be talked to because whenever they enter a store, their eyes dart around the room to avoid the burning gaze of the employees.

I realized today that I’m the worst at pretending I’m interested when I’m really not. I think the people I work with have taken note of this because I get comments like, “So have you worked in merchandise before?” or “Do you want to organize those t-shirts?”

I think my supervisors try to give me jobs where I don’t have to talk to people. Which is fine by me. I got to Windex some shelves today and it was definitely a highlight.

I love talking to my co-workers or should I say my co-volunteer-ers. I actually talk to them for most of my shift. Ignoring customers is a gift that I have. It’s just that whenever I ask someone if they need help finding anything, they say “nope” or “just browsing” or give me an intense death stare. So then I just leave and wander around some more. I don’t understand why no one needs my help, but then they’ll strike up a conversation with one of the other employees.

The thing is though, whenever people do have questions for me, I never know the answer. Unless it’s “How much does this cost?” I’m the champion of finding prices. People are always scared to pick up delicate things. Hell, I’ll juggle it if that’s how you find the price.

Could I force people to buy things if I break them trying to find a price for them?

I have a lot of good conversations with the people that I work with, but I don’t have anyone to make fun of customers with. I noticed this today actually. A guy with a really gross long beard came in the store and I needed to comment on it desperately, but everyone I work with is too nice. So I had to make fun of old long-beard in my head. It turns out that he didn’t speak English so I could have just said how gross his beard was to his face and smiled. But that’s just too mean. I would be like the Vietnamese women who give me pedicures. They say nice things to your face–”Ohh you so tall, you should be model” but then all of a sudden they start laughing and speaking Vietnamese. Borderline abusive behavior.

No one ever warns you about your feet and legs hurting from all that standing. Mine always hurt after I work. I feel like a modern day Cinderella but instead of an evil step-mother and step-sisters I have a supervisor and co-workers. And instead of being forced to clean, I’m forced to talk to random people about Native American art. My life is basically a Disney movie. Actually one of my co-workers told me that I reminded her of Cinderella. Not my top choice of Disney princesses, but I’ll take it.

The resemblance is uncanny. Especially when she's making that face.

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living in canada, Stores

My Shopping Experience

I used to be a shopaholic. I went to the mall on a daily basis and almost always came home with a new article of clothing. This addiction lasted for years. I’m bearing my heart, people. Not counting Christmas, I have gone over 5 months without any clothing purchases. It’s kind of refreshing. I don’t need new clothes. I have so many that it’s not even funny any more. Okay, its kind of funny.

One of the real reasons I’ve stopped shopping is because I literally have no where to go. Here in Canada, my malls are slightly below par. Their department store called The Bay is actually nice, but they sell Lourdes/Madonna’s clothing line and way too much of Jessica Simpson’s line. And lets face it, who wants to dress like either of those people? Unless there’s a Nordstrom around, I’m truly not interested.

I'm not letting her live this one down.

I’ve walked around the mall here searching for some kind of shopping solace but none exist. There’s a store called “Garage” which terrifies me. If I wanted to shop at a garage, I would kill myself and go to hell. Because I’m pretty sure that hell consists of endlessly picking through trinkets at garage sales.

They do have one of those stores that sells toys and gadgets and stuff like that. It’s called “Seeing is Believing”. Heh. I used to love those stores when I was little. I liked one in particular called “Imaginarium”. I don’t know why, but I was always intrigued by those water wiggly things. Those were a top seller.

Trust me, they're more fun then they look. (Okay, no they're not)

I love creative store names. There’s a store in the mall called “Things Engraved” and I’m baffled about how they came up with it. Seriously, I hope whoever thought of that name got a huge raise. The store, however, doesn’t interest me because I went through a phase where I needed everything engraved and monogrammed. Sorry that LKL is the best monogram ever.

I don’t know how many of you watch How I Met Your Mother but there’s a character who is originally from Canada and she used to be an 80′s pop star and sing in malls. Kind of like every pop star in the 80′s. I think HIMYM stopped being funny after I stopped watching. It always works out that way for me. Or at least I hope it does. What if its still funny and I’m missing out on prime jokes?! Actually, I refuse to watch because they cast Allison Hannigan to play a character named Lily and she really doesn’t do my name justice.

Anyway, here’s a clip of Robin and her secret Canadian identity Robin Sparkles. The main reason I like it is because she says “sorey” and “aboot” and mentions Canada Day.

Note: I cannot wait until Canada Day. It’s going to be so blog worthy I can hardly stand it.

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Stores

Ikea, ja?

Is that what Swedish strawberries look like?

The last time I went to Ikea was when I was 12. I ventured there yesterday for the first time since then and I have to admit that I was fascinated. I’m pretty sure Ikea is the closest thing to Sweden without actually having to go to Sweden.

I never really cared about decorating before now since I didn’t have anywhere to decorate. But now that we have an apartment, it’s kind of fun looking at bits and bobs for our little place. When I stepped through Ikea’s doors, I was slightly overwhelmed. So much stuff for so cheap! I weaved through what seemed like 100′s of staged rooms, amazed that I could make my apartment look like these. The store literally sells kitchens. How is this possible? Don’t most places come with kitchens? Maybe in Sweden houses are sold sans kitchen and people have to go to Ikea and buy one.

The people who made Ikea were smart because they realized that after shopping for a while, Americans get tired and hungry. There’s a strategically placed food court in the middle of the building that serves Swedish cuisine. And chicken fingers. I ate french fries and reflected on my Ikea adventure, and I couldn’t help wondering if this was a typical day for a Swede. I tried to picture Lisbeth Salander eating at the Ikea food court, but it just didn’t seem right. Only because she didn’t really eat.

There were a surprising amount of kids at the store. They were running in and out of rooms and being yelled at by tired parents. I was surprised that Ikea sold toys. Except most of the toys were food themed. Healthy food themed, actually. Some kind of sick joke if you ask me. Okay, the broccoli guy is cute.

The worst part about Ikea, and probably the reason why the stuff is so cheap, is that you have to build everything yourself. Not only that, but you also have to go down to a scary storage room and find what you’re looking for. Seems easy, but when the labels are in Swedish and there’s no one around to help, it’s enough to make a poor customer scream. I don’t think Ingrid Bergman had to deal with this crap.

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Stores

Target

See how much cooler Target is?

In Illinois, Target was a big part of my life. It was the perfect place to go when I was bored, or felt the urge to spend a quick $50 on who knows what. It’s almost impossible to go to Target and come out empty handed. Even if you go in looking for one specific item, chances are you will have found 10 other items that you all of a sudden desperately need. Or does that only happen to me?

Canada has a Target-like store called Zeller’s. I don’t go there a lot because it’s called Zeller’s. I also don’t go there a lot because it’s attached to a mall. That’s just downright dangerous. If my home Target was attached to a mall, I would literally be gone all day every day. I would have no money and live in a box. So I have to avoid Zeller’s as to not spend my life savings on random items.

In the next year or so, it’s going to be insanely easy to avoid Zeller’s because it won’t be Zeller’s for much longer. Canada finally has wised up and decided to change all of their Zeller’s into Targets. I cannot even express how excited I am! A brand new Target to call my own!

I can see why Target attracted Canadians–the colors are red and white. Zeller’s colors are also red and white. Easy transformation. I think it might have something to do with the guy who owns Target also owns Zeller’s as well.

If you don’t have a Target (I’m looking at you, England) then you are a lost nation. And basically dead to me.

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