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My winter wardrobe

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

You know your heart is shifting in a hearty direction when you say “It’s only 10 degrees” and then go walk your dog because “It’s only 10 degrees” means “not that cold.”

But honestly, my first Minnesota winter has not been bad. November and December were almost warm, most days in the 30s and 40s; it snowed once or twice, but then melted (an anomaly, so I hear). Some lifelong Minnesotans have said that it’s been the warmest winter they can remember.

But it is only January 5.

I had a hunch that when I came back after the holidays, winter would really start — and I was right. We’re staring down a high of 1 degree (one singular degree) on Sunday, and in preparation, I’ve been doing some online shopping. I got almost everything on sale, because is pays to shop post-holidays.

So without further ado, I present to thee: Annie’s Winter Wardrobe (most of which has yet to arrive and thus be tried on, so there’s a chance I might not keep something).


I am over-the-moon excited to receive this Patagonia parka. It looks to be crazy warm, and the wind/waterproof layer is going to save my hide. Plus, how cute is the grey/green combo?


I purchased Sorels two years ago, and last winter the rubber split open, rendering them a tiny bit useless in the snow. Given that I had just passed the 12-month warranty mark (13 months, to be exact), they wouldn’t replace them (cool, Sorel). I’ve been limping through with an extra pair of wool socks, but it’s time for new boots. I like this North Face pair because they are basic and have zero fur. No boots with the fur for me.


I have CHAT (Cold Hands All the Time, copyright me), so I got these. They also come in neon green and I thought maybe I should get those so I would always be able to find my hands, but then I thought… they’re my hands. (SO DUMB PLEASE FORGET I EVER SAID THAT.)


I got this pom-pom hat last week and basically haven’t taken it off since. I’m wearing it right now. I will be wearing it tomorrow. I never want to be without it. Ashley knitted me an cream-colored infinity scarf a few years ago, and I’m living in that, as well.


And since one can never have too many pom-pom hats, this one is on the way. The little metal plate will be removed immediately because it is dumb.


And I’ve decided to wear more fuchsia, so here you go.

Bonus items: I got a down blanket for Christmas (my heart’s desire), and also a microwaveable rice bag from Aveda from a gift exchange. If you come over, chances are I will be wrapped in one or both. I’m also traveling with a down sleeping bag in the trunk of my car. I’m also hanging tough — as is Foxy.

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Thursday, March 17th, 2011

It’s been a long time.

I’ve searched and searched.

I’ve been scammed.

I’ve been disappointed.

I’ve been tempted to give up all hope.

But yesterday, my dreams came true.

Because when it comes to a car hunt, you can’t just be ruthless.

Be Subaruthless.

Game plan

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

On this little blog, I don’t really talk in specifics about my dating life (do I have a dating life? You’ll never know). In the event that any given romantic endeavor doesn’t work out, I can handle my own disappointment – but the collective devastation of us all? That would just be too much.

I actually approach a lot of things like this. Unless something is a “done deal,” I don’t really volunteer much information about it. I have a secret project right now that will be blogged about at some point, but not yet. I have some upcoming plans that you’ll hear about, but not until they are fleshed out a bit more. I have some big ideas and dreams and such, but right now, they’re just that: ideas and dreams and such. Blame it on the fear of everything coming crashing down, but for now, my lips are sealed.

So with that said, maybe it’s a risky thing of me to talk about something that is by no means a “done deal.” But tomorrow, I have an appointment to go look at a car – one that, from the ad, looks like it very well might be “the one.”

And I have no idea how to buy a car.

And my dad is out of the country.

And I’m afraid of making the wrong decision.

Mike already pointed me toward a very helpful video of Cliff Huxtable and his game plan for negotiation. I plan on showing up looking one step above homeless, and talking about the moment that I realized I was poor (when I started eating the heel of the bread). But beyond that, I’m nervous that I’ll overlook the important things.

So, blog readers, tell me. What is a Carfax? What are the important questions to ask? What repairs should be red alerts? And when all else fails, is “going with my gut” as good a plan as I’ve typically found it to be?*

*Except for that time when I spent $400 on a date at a date auction.  But I don’t talk about dating here.

Update: purse

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Some of you have been asking about my search for the ideal purse.*

Listen, all I want is something dark brown and genuine leather, with no silver buckles or gold chains, small enough to carry into a bar, but large enough to lift a bottle of wine from a wedding reception. That’s all. And I can’t find it.

*Total lie. No one has asked. I wanted to talk about it anyway.

Update: car

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Since the Honda died 4 weeks ago, here is what I have been doing:

1) Checking Craigslist incessantly for cars. I am on the hunt for something that is Colorado-worthy, will do well in snow, and has high enough clearance to get into the mountains in the summer – however, I also want something with decent gas mileage that will cruise like a champion on long road trips. It needs to have low enough miles that I will be able to drive it for a lot of years, but high enough miles that I can afford it. And I definitely want a manual transmission and keyless entry. Is that too much to ask?

2) Test driving cars on lots. I don’t plan on buying from a lot, but it’s kind of fun to explore my options. I’m finding that car shopping can be a lot like dating, if you take your cues from, you know, the Spice Girls: “I won’t be hasty, I’ll give you a try / If you really bug me then I’ll say goodbye.”

3) Feeling generally cantankerous about having a car payment. The last time I had a car payment was… basically never. This is both a life shift and a major budget shift, and in the meantime, I’m figuring out some ways to cut costs and cut corners. It’s all going to be fine, but still – who wants another bill?

4) Driving my sister Sarah’s ’94* Corolla. While she’s in Haiti, her little ruby red sedan has been parked in front of my parent’s house. This is lucky for me, because if she hadn’t offered, I’d be hoofing it. And in case you were doubting the cool factor of the Corolla, I should tell you that it’s name is Gene Parmesan. If you know the reference, you win the day.

*UPDATE: Sarah tells me that Gene is, in fact, a ’97.  My entire life has been a lie.


Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Yesterday, I swung by a girly store to look for some negligee for a friend who is getting married.  As I browsed the skivvies, a woman came up to me and pointed to a particular bra.

“This one looks SO GOOD on,” she declared.

“Excellent!” I replied.  And… awkward? I thought.  Because who likes to talk to strangers about their undergarments – I mean, besides Southwest Airlines, and Annie Parsons on her blog?

“In fact,” the woman continued, “I’m wearing it right now!”

Oh gosh oh Lord oh no no no no –

She pulled down her shirt and showed me not just a strap of the bra, but an entire boob of the bra.

And what can I say?  I bought it.

Frugality has its limits

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

You want to know what the lamest thing to spend money on is?  A vacuum cleaner.  I am currently researching the suckers, and it’s even less exciting than spending money on a beige bra.

Speaking of annoying purchases, I don’t think that dryer sheets make any difference.  They are a scam – a dishonest scheme to make you spend more money.

For a lot of years, I followed the instructions on the tube of toothpaste: “Squeeze 1 inch of toothpaste onto brush.”  One inch?  One INCH?  I was going through a tube of toothpaste every 3 weeks.

We are encouraged to get the oil changed in our cars every 3,000 miles.  I will typically wait until somewhere between 4-5,000.  My car is swiftly approaching the two-decade marker, but I never pay the extra money for the oil for my old (I prefer to call her “mature”) car.  And guess what: the Honda is holding together just fine.  Still.

I wonder how often we’re supposed to change our Brita water filters?  I’ve probably had the same one in my pitcher for a year.  I might as well just strain my water through some rocks or something.

I can’t help it.  I like to make my money go as far as it can.

However, there is one thing that I have recently decided is worth letting go of before I’ve squeezed every possible ounce of use out of it.  And that is…

The bar of soap.

When it reaches that flimsy, frail thinness, and you can’t use it without breaking it in half, then just let it go.  Because it’s gone.

Never 21

Monday, April 13th, 2009

On Saturday, I had an idea: “I should go to Forever 21!”  This always sounds like a good idea – cheap clothes, cute ruffles, trends that will go out of style tomorrow but you must have them today, etc.  However, upon my arrival at the front doors, I was reminded of the cold, hard truth – a truth that I already knew, since I have learned it many times before, but I always forget when I get swept up in the moment.

I HATE Forever 21.

It is my own personal hell.

First of all, is there any rhyme or reason to the way that the clothes are arranged?  It is impossible to find anything in that store.  Racks of magenta clubbing attire next to bins of mesh t-shirts beside half-clothed mannequins on top of tables piled high with plastic belted cardigans…  It’s like the cast of “High School Musical” set off a dirty bomb.

Secondly, the music is unbelievably obnoxious.  I can’t decide if it makes me want to curl into the fetal position or open fire.  Must shoppers be subjected to songs that include panting?  Panting?

And finally, do any of the clothes even fit me?   I mean, I know that technically, these items are made for pre-pubescent, hipless anorexics, but I have plenty of curvy lady friends who find treasures there.  I don’t expect that a Forever 21 medium will fit me like an Actual Normal Sized Woman medium might, so I have no problem looking at the larges, and even extra-larges.  But honestly?  Extra-extra-large?

That’s just rude.

I bought nothing.

Ode to the boy who works at Whole Foods Market

Friday, November 21st, 2008

I’m in the grocery store of dreams
No less than once a week
To sample cheese and hummus dips
And try to sneak a peek
At you, the tall and scruffy boy
Who works the checkout lines;
You scan the produce and the bread
But sadly, not the wine
(For Tennessee is far too strict
Regarding grocery sales:
No wine or liquor on the shelves,
But only Pumpkin Ales).
You’re cute and quiet, have good shoes,
And always wear a smile,
I wait in your line even if
It’s backed up for a mile.

The end.

Oil issues?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
Last week, I did something that I am not proud of. I went somewhere that I try to avoid at all costs – except, of course, LOW COST. Where else am I going to get my toiletries and gum (and wire, as it were) at a fraction of the price?

But if there ever comes a day when I bring my shoe-less, pajama-clad toddlers with me to Wal-Mart at 11pm, please stage an intervention.

And can I just say that the other Annie (the cooler Annie) is the video-blogging queen? She is. I laugh SO HARD with her around; I’m so glad that she is my friend. And notice my shout-out to Sarah Markley, who I have yet to meet, but who writes so beautifully about her daughters and her life in Southern California. She makes me excited to be a mom someday – is it awkward to say that sometimes after reading her posts, I feel my ovaries churn?

Yeah. Probably awkward.