Friday, May 29, 2009


I don't have shoulders. I mean, I HAVE shoulders, but they're not all they could be. I've been trying to work on my posture, in hopes that my shoulders might cooperate and take on a more becoming shape. Hey, it's not easy to sit up straight when you have the weight of double-D's on your chest. I just really don't want to be a sloucher (sigh).

So shoulders. They're very narrow. So narrow, in fact, that I have to be very choosy about the kind of shirts I wear. Women's shirts fit in the chest and midsection, but the shoulder seams are almost always too big, droopy, sloppy-looking. Junior's shirts fit in the shoulders, but not in the chest or midsection. I know, I know, "make friends with a tailor". But realistically, I'm not going to take everything with a shoulder seam to a tailor. I'm just not doing it.

Glory be, the raglan sleeve is an option that is gaining in popularity. The raglan sleeve has a seam that goes from the underarm straight to the neckline. The sleeve is only one piece, instead of several pieces sewn together and attached to the shell of the garment. This style makes shirts easy to move around in and very comfortable. It is the perfect way to avoid a shoulder seam.

You'll likely find many raglan sleeves in sportswear, maternity, and women's plus sizes. But I've been paying attention and am seeing raglan sleeves in smaller sizes and dressier styles. Keep it up, designers! It's a winning style for everyone. This makes me very happy.

Here are a few raglan styles from Old Navy:

Raglan Sleeve

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Road Trip Treasures

I'm back from a brief hiatus. I've spent the last four days with three lovely girlfriends on the shores of Lake Superior. We shopped, explored, hiked, biked, and chilled a bit too. I'll post pictures soon.

Our hotel was in Ashland, Wisconsin, but we spent most of our time in and around Bayfield. There, we found the most wonderful used book store I'd ever experienced. Rows and rows of beautiful old books begging to be purchased. I decided on The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway and a 2-in-1 Sherlock Holmes. Also in Bayfield, we found a sweet antique shop. Elaina and I each picked up a few vintage buttons for our collections.

We stayed at AmericInn. It was no Hilton, but it had all the amenities we needed, including a huge Walmart literally seconds away. After only a few hours, our hotel room was a sight to behold. Our mothers would've been mortified, it was in such disarray. When I couldn't find my sunglasses, it wasn't worth the time and effort to look for them in the piles of girl-things, so I picked up a new pair at Walmart for $5 and they haven't fallen apart yet!

We arrived back in the Cities mid afternoon. Instead of going straight home, we stopped in downtown White Bear Lake for tea. I love this area for it's homey character and charming boutiques and restaurants. We browsed the shops and stumbled upon (what appears to be) a fairly new boutique located just off of 4th Street (the name escapes me, but I will find out for my MN readers). From the outside, we were anticipating prices well above our comfort zone, but to our delight this was not the case. Elaina bought a ring for $10, Keely earrings for $8, and I this fun necklace for $18. We even made friends with the girl working there, she was so friendly and helpful.

It's a joy to travel and acquire treasures from different locations. I know the real treasure was the time spent in the company of my wonderful friends. As life takes the four of us in different directions, I'm hopeful that these relationships will endure.
Thanks, girls, for a great weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Have you seen Penelope?

This post comes a bit late seeing as the movie was in theaters over a year ago, but better late than never. It is one of the sweetest films I've seen in a very long time.

Poor Penelope is the victim of a family curse, having been born with the face of a pig. The only way the curse can be broken is if "one of her own kind" accepts her as she is (in matrimony).

Penelope's journey to self-acceptance is absolutely beautiful and completely relateable.

It is a very family-friendly movie with a mere PG rating. There is only one image of a pig-girl that's rather frightening, but there is no cussing (that I recall) and the romance comes in the sweetest of forms. There is also a great moral to this story: "It's not the power of the curse, it's the power you give the curse."

Warning: Jame McAvoy oozes sensuality, but your kids don't need to know that.

As for fashion, you will love Penelope's lovely garments from start to finish. Original, whimsical, and harmonious with the fantastical setting, you will embrace Penelope's style, snout and all.

When I saw it in the theater, I knew it was one I had to own. Oddly, I could not find it at any of the regular department stores. I finally purchased it online at and had it shipped to the store at no extra cost.

See Penelope. You won't be sorry.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

To Fill a Suitcase

I try to pack things that can be mixed/matched. I begin by selecting a key color and work from there. On my trip to Niagara Falls, I went with yellow. Even though I didn't know where I was going, Steve hinted that we'd be walking a lot and that it might rain. So I did my best to prepare accordingly.

Once I've established a color, I go to the basics. I never travel without a jean jacket. I packed 2 pairs of skinny jeans. One pair I wear cuffed with flats, the other I tuck into my boots.

It's hard to pack not knowing how the weather will go, so layering is vital. I packed a couple of tank tops and a few t-shirts, both short and long sleeve, as well as a few light weight sweaters. In addition to my 2 pairs of jeans, I brought casual, light-weight capri's and walking shorts. Figuring it might rain, I also threw in my yellow trench coat.

I try not to pack many accessories. I love hats and always bring at least one. Who wants to deal with hair while on vacation? Not me, obviously. One scarf/pashmina does multi-duty. One necklace and typically my diamond stud earrings is all I bring for jewelry on a casual trip. I might remember to pack a watch.

I made the mistake of not packing hike-friendly shoes. I had 2 pairs of little tennies, but they weren't as comfortable as I expected, so I was glad I had my boots for back-up. Truly, my flat, brown, slouchy boots are likely the best footwear purchase I've ever made. I don't know what I ever did without them.

I'll be packing up again tonight for my journey to Lake Superior. The adventure begins tomorrow. No matter what, I always feel a tad under-prepared. Laundry. Must do laundry.

What am I missing? How do you decide what goes in your suitcase? Is there a fool-proof formula I'm not aware of?

Jean Jacket: Gap, thrifted
Sweater: H&M
Walking Shorts: Express
Boots: DSW
Purse: Avon

Hat: H&M
Scarf: Walmart, $5
Coat: Target
Jeans: Forever 21, $15
Tennies: Deb

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I was expecting a road trip. Maybe to Wisconsin Dells or Redwing or Duluth...

At work, 4:55 pm, Friday, May 15:

Steve: Hello, Receptionist. (I am the receptionist, so I play along)

Me: Hello Steve, what can I do for you today?

Steve: Well, I'm taking my wife on a little vacation this weekend for our anniversary...

Me: Oh, that's nice.

Steve: So I was wondering if you would call me a cab to the airport...

Me: What?!

So that was the first surprise.

Me: Where are we going?

Steve: You said you wanted to see Niagara Falls....

Me: Awesome! (or some such response of delight)

I have this gypsy friend, Erika. She's not really a gypsy, she's a dancer. But she's one of those "free" people, ya a gypsy. She just kind of goes where God leads her. I envy that about her.

Anyway...she moved to Rochester, New York a while back. I'd been wanting to visit her since she left, but things just hadn't come together.

Me: Steve, do you think we could get in touch with Erika while we're in New York?

Steve: Uh...probably not. She's still a few hours away from where we're staying.

Me: Aw...bummer. OK.

We flew into Buffalo, NY and drove a short distance to Canada (my first time in Canada!). We stayed in one of the best rooms ever - a suite overlooking Niagara Falls complete with jacuzzi tub and plush, king-sized bed...oh yeah.

Saturday morning we took to the gift shop for items I didn't know to pack. Steve excused himself to the restroom. When we met back in the lobby, he looked at me funny. I thought maybe he wasn't feeling well....

"Excuse me." A tap on my shoulder.

You already figured it out. There was Erika.

I laughed. I cried. I couldn't believe Steve and Erika had plotted it all out, having no idea it would be so special to me.

The three of us spent the day together and had an absolute blast taking in all Niagara Falls had to offer. We went behind the falls, practically IN the falls, hiked along the rapids, cabled over the Whirlpool, and soaked it all in (pun intended).

Steve has always been good at surprises, but he really outdid himself this time. I'll cherish the memory of this surprising weekend forever.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Celebrate Three

Three years ago today...goodness, how time flies.

I promise I won't revisit this occasion in detail every year, but this is the 1st anniversary I've spent as a blogger, so you'll just have to endure. Thanks. :)

Steve proposed on February 11, 2006 - you can read about that here if you wish. I knew I didn't want a long engagement. In my mind, engagement = torture. Conveniently, my Maid of Honor, Katie (not to be confused with Matron of Honor, Elaina), had plans to travel abroad in the summer, so it only made sense to have the wedding before she left. We decided on Friday, May 19, 2006.

I was not the girl who had her dream wedding planned since age 8. The only thing I knew was that walking down a long church isle, wearing a puffy, white dress, with hundreds of eyes watching me was not my idea of a good time.

Eloping might have been my first choice. Destination wedding second. But for the sake of close friends and family members we decided to stay local but still do it small. Choosing an outdoor venue in February, in Minnesota, was a bit tricky, but as soon as I pulled up to Irvine Park, I knew. This sweet little treasure spot bordering downtown St. Paul was better than anything I could have dreamed up.

As any outdoor-bride would do, I anxiously followed the weather forecasts for weeks prior to the big day. Rain. Rain. More rain. Mr. Sun decided to temporarily show his lovely face on the afternoon of the 18th as our wedding party gathered for rehearsal. That night: more rain.

I chose to spend my last night as a single person at Katie's house squished into a double bed with both her and Elaina...loved it. Woke up in the morning to more rain. Called the city to make sure the park's grass would be mowed. Blinked back at my reflection in the big, red zit in the center of my nose.

Katie's parents made breakfast and we took our time getting ready. By the time we left, the rain had ceased, the clouds parted, and the sun shone brightly. It was about 70 degrees, and hardly a breeze. Perfect.

I really wanted my wedding to be as practical as possible in all aspects. Katie and Elaina chose to wear a ruffled shirt from Arden B, a cotton skirt from Limited, and shoes from Target. I think Steve and his groomsmen's clothes were from JCPenny's or Sears. The little ones (our niece Kara and best little friend Greyley) wore dresses made by my mama. I've been so happy to see these items worn after the wedding - knowing that money wasn't spent on one-time garments. Even Sabrina (teacup poodle) had a dress (not shown) that she's worn a few times since the wedding!

I had a less than wonderful time shopping for my wedding dress. I don't do fluffy, formal or white very well. Require all that from one garment and you've got one bummed out Jillie. I'm also uber modest and didn't want to go strapless or halter. And on top of all that I really wanted a tea length dress that wouldn't drag in the dirt and would display my cute peep-toe shoes (randomly bought at a liquidation store a few months back, having no idea when I'd wear them). Alas, I settled for a plain, strapless, ivory and rum colored, tea-length gown from David's Bridal purchased off-the-rack in hopes that I could find some sort of shirt that could be tucked into the sash. At the last possible opportunity, I found a lace shirt...I don't even know where...and it worked. Now, breath.

Flowers: Pink Gerbera Daisies beautifully arranged by Steve's cousin Janice.
Photographer: Showed up and did us proud.
Decorations: Tulle, flowers, ribbons.
Programs: Handmade by the groom.
Pastors Mick and Nate: Thoughtful words of wisdom.
Rings: Carefully tied to the ring barer...Sabrina, the dog.
Music: Three-string orchestra.
Transportation: Rented, white Hummer driven by dear friend, Tony.

Oh, the list of details could go on and on.

We had our reception at the historic Forepaugh's Restaurant located next to Irvine Park. It was a perfect fit for our Shabby Chic theme. We partook in the most delicious hors d'oeuvres and German Chocolate wedding cake (my mother-in-law MADE the cake!).

I hear a lot of "if I could do it over, I would do such-and-such differently". I don't feel that way about my wedding. Of course there are some minor details we would fix, but in all, it was my perfect day. In the midst of all the wedding madness, I was able to focus on what was really taking place. I think I might have even tuned in to a heavenly choir singing. :)

Our first three years together have been even better than anticipated. I'm so excited for what's to come in year 4 and beyond.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Feelin' Mushy

With spring comes weekend getaways and road trips. Different scenery often provokes renewed inspiration. My husband has planned a little vacation this weekend - the destination is a surprise to me. :)

Memorial weekend will be spent at the North Shore/Lake Superior with a few girlfriends. Perhaps I'll come back with some new thoughts and treasures to share with you.

My lover said to me,
"Rise up my darling!
Come away with me, my fair one!
Look, the winter is past,
And the rains are over and gone.
The flowers are springing up,
The season of singing birds has come,
And the cooing of Turtledoves fills the air!"

- Song of Solomon 2:10-12

Now, go kiss someone you love. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I love wearing vests as part of my Business Smart-Casual dress code. It's carries a clean, professional effect without being a full suit. Vests can be worn comfortably throughout all seasons with a t-shirt, turtleneck, or oxford - skirt or pant - denim or poly-blend. Versatile layering at it's best. I don't think it's a look for everyone, but definitely worth considering if you work in a corporate setting.

Who came up with this vest idea anyway? When I think about it, it's a rather odd item.

Insert here: I clear my throat, put on teacher specs, flip over a chalk board and point with the pointer-stick-thingy to....

King Charles II. Who made a Royal Proclamation on October 7, 1666 introducing the vest... waistcoat... whatever. I'm going to call it a vest. Apparently, King Chucky was sick and tired of the extravagant French style infiltrating his kingdom, so he threw a royally political fit and started donning the simple vest. And the peasants rejoiced.

Back then, it had a few of the same attributes of today's vest: simple design, fit close to the body...And that's about where the similarities end, because...

It had sleeves. And was made to be longer than the coat worn over it. Then sometime in the 1700's, some brilliant individual decided to lose the sleeves and crop it to waist length. By then it also came in single and double-breasted styles. And the peasants rejoiced.

Enter King Edward VII who reigned from 1901-1910. Rumor has it that dear King Eddie was a bit pudgy, so to be comfortable he left the bottom button of his vest unbuttoned. Taking this as a fashion statement, his subjects began doing the same. To this day, many men's vest, suit, and sport coat bottom buttons are not designed to be buttoned. I personally tend to let the bottom 2 buttons go so there is no bunching when I sit. Hail King Eddie.

This concludes lecture 1.1 on the History of Vests. More than you ever cared to know, I'm sure.

Shirt: Dots - $10
Vest: H & M - $25
Pants: Gap - $9
Belt: J. Crew - $13
Shoes: Chinese Laundry via DSW - $20

Spread the Lovely

Thanks Lydia of Fashion Philosofy for this lovely award. How very fun!

If you're looking to expand your blog-following horizons, I would suggest checking out Girly Muse and Wife, Mom, Woman. These brilliant ladies bring forth insightful, spiritual words about life in the family lane. I never miss a post.

Fashion blogs galore! It's become an addiction for me, really. I've recently added Just My Style, Q's Daydream, and Liebemarlene Vintage to my must-reads. Fashion inspiration abounds!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Like a Butterfly?

OK, little follow up from the weekend: Star Trek ROCKED. I only had to close my eyes a couple of times (I have violence/ugly monster sensitivity). AND I can't believe it myself...but...I have a major crush on Spock. Spock! Of all characters! You'd think I'd be all about studly Kirk, but noooo, I like the pointy-eared, eyebrow-angled, Vulcan boy. Just goes to show it's truly what's on the inside that counts, huh. No seriously, in the movie, he's dreamy. Did anyone else get that, or is it just me?

Oh, and in further news, I started reading Dune. Yup. This is me, experiencing the metamorphosis from your average girl-next-door to true ultra-geek. I am like a beautiful butterfly...morphing in reverse. Please friends, don't judge.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Shampoo Share Session

This subject is a tad gross and embarrassing, but I'm going to share anyway.

I suffer from a mild case of Seborrhoeic Dermatitis, aka Scalp Eczema. I've sought medical advice twice on how to combat this annoying condition, but the doctor's imply that "it's not that bad", prescribe a nasty, red shampoo and send me on my way. Much of the research I've done suggests it's treatable, but not curable. Some people only suffer with it periodically, but this has been an ongoing thing with me for nearly 10 years. Some times are more mild than others, but it's always there, torturing me. It's gross.

I've tried many, many, many, many different shampoos, scrubs and conditioners. The last few have really dried out my hair. It's had straw-like consistency for some time now. Total bummer.

Alas, I may have found a friendly shampoo. And I hate to say it because it comes from a network marketing company. And it's expensive.

I've been using the Arbonne FC5 Shampoo and Conditioner for about 2 weeks now. No sign of my scalp condition going away, BUT my hair looks and feels SO much better, and my scalp maybe a little less dry too. I always take what representatives from NM companies say with a large grain of salt. So when I was told how wonderful it was, how good it feels, how little you need per wash, the only thing I thought was,"Well it better, for the price!"

So far, I'm very pleased with this product and admit that the rep spoke truth. It does feel very good and it takes very little to get a good lather. It leaves no icky build up and my hair looks and feels shiny, healthy and soft.

I'm pretty sure this is a product I would buy again. But like most hair, makeup and cleansing products, I'm not a very loyal customer. I'd rather something I can pick up at my local Ulta store. So I want to know: Do you have any products that you swear by and won't use anything else? Do share.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mini Dress

Who will be seeing Star Trek this weekend???

I'll be there.

My husband is "one of those". One of those who booked the VIP suite at the AMC Theater several months in advance. One of those who has planned a birthday-sized party for the release of this movie. One of those who expressed desire to dress in costume for the event. One of those who didn't exactly marry one of those....

For as much as Steve has tried to explain, I don't know squat about Star Trek. I was all excited and proud of myself for knowing who Captain Picard and Data are, only to find out that is a different Star Trek which has nothing to do with the new film.

Ok, so there's Captain Kirk who does the Priceline commercials. Then there's the guy with pointy ears...what's his name? He's a Vulcan...or something like that...

I must admit, what I've seen of Star Trek: The Next Generation is pretty darn good. Certainly no fashion inspiration there though. The uniforms are terrible. Poor Deanna Troi.

Then I do a little research on the 60's Star Trek (the one with the pointy-eared-Vulcan guy). And who'd a thunk it...the ladies are rockin' mini-dresses! Yes! Something I can work with!

Now, this is a little much, I know, but certainly worth addressing. Use your imagination. Replace the sheer hose with leggings or skinny jeans. Maybe give the girl a belt. I don't know what kind of shoes she's wearing, but I'm thinkin' Go-Go Boots. I'd personally keep the boots, but there are other shoes that could work too. Bring the hair down (just a smidgen). Keep the false eyelashes :) .

Oh, I don't know...I'm likely insane...but I genuinely like this look.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Buttons of Mass Proportion

I love buttons. The bigger the better. They add personality. They make a statement. I have a plain, red shift dress purchased on the 75% off clearance rack at Target. I'm inspired today to add some big buttons to give it some pizazz. I've thought about this in the past, but hesitated knowing the buttons wouldn't be functional. I think I'll try it out, take before and after pictures, then you can tell me what you think. Get ready for buttons.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Working Giggles

I'm sadly under the weather today with a sinus infection and sore throat. But I'm faking wellness - and doing a pretty good job of it too. Even though I wish I were at home, in bed, with a cup of chicken noodle soup, I'm going to make the best of this work day by focusing on a few of the little delights that make my being here a little bit better.

Top 10 things that make me giggle at work:

1. The guy who wears pajamas to work. Everyday. No joke.

2. French accents.

3. My pink coffee mug. Currently containing my Green Tea.

4. Lars Lawson.

5. The cute contractor named Bill who doesn't look anything like a Bill.

6. Steve messing with the Visitor Log. Apparently, last week, Lindsay Lohan stopped by to see the SVP of Human Resources. Hmm...

7. People who can't figure out the security door. Ring the doorbell. Wait 2 seconds. Push door. It's more complicated than it seems. I didn't get it at first either.

8. CNBC's constant "breaking news".

9. Guests who take their picture with the "Bans Guns in These Premises" sign.

10. The lady from the Legal department who is never without a Venti Starbucks cup in her hand.

Oh, just got another giggle. 11. Keith, one of our mail room guys. Wears headphones while delivering the mail. Sings along out loud. Sometimes dances too.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Saturday Outlet Outing

You already know I've been looking for a fun pair of sneakers. I'm also in want of a scooter jacket. I found a plain, white leather coat at that I really like, but I'm not sure about the sizing and it's just beyond what's comfortably affordable for me. I think surely I can find a good deal on both Leather and Sneaker at the Albertville Outlet Mall. Getting there is a bit of a haul for me though. I drive straight through both cities (St. Paul & Minneapolis) and a ways beyond. It took the length of a Sara Groves album to get maybe an hour.

We have several Outlet Malls on the outskirts of the cities here, but Albertville is by far the biggest and the best. I'm fairly certain that amongst Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and Converse Outlets I can find my perfect sneaker. And actually, I did. At Nike. On clearance. Not in my size. Strike out.

And what better place to look for leather than at Wilson's Outlet, right? Indeed, they do have some cute jackets. I was surprised, however, that the Wilson's brand was incredibly sparse. I don't even think leather was the primary material in the store. Huh. Weird. Oh well, moving on.

There are certain outlet stores that I can count on. Banana, Gap, Old Navy being the primary ones. I rarely ever shop at Banana or Gap unless I'm at the outlet. Old Navy is hit or miss. I've been doing really well with Gap trousers lately. I picked up another pair for under $20, a light-weight sweater, and a tank top. At Banana, I purchased another pair of trousers for a whopping $9! Old Navy was a disappointment, but I was OK with that after it's higher-end sibling stores treated me so well.

Another stop I always make at the Outlet is Rue 21. I briefly worked at a Rue 21 many years ago and still feel a little loyalty to it. Really, it's cheap stuff and the shopping environment is stressful - crowded and loud. I don't even bother with their regular priced merchandise. I go straight for the clearance racks knowing I might come across a treasure for under $10. Get in and get out. I walked away with 2 dresses - one for $5, the other for $9 - and a hat for $3.

By mid-afternoon, I was exhausted and very hungry. Instead of going all the way home, I called my friend Katie who doesn't live far from Albertville and told her I was coming over to chat and eat. We also ended up going to the local Super Target. We found great clearance there as well. Katie bought an old Hayley Mills movie on the $5.50 rack that I'd never seen before (and I thought I'd seen them all). After dinner, we watched The Trouble With Angels. It was a riot! Hayley Mills was the cutest I'd ever seen her, and the girls' 60's outfits made me wish I could go back in time.

Shopping, friends, food, and a good, clean flick. Yes, Saturday was a very good day.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Shopping Shipping

Know this about me: I abhor shipping fees. Utterly despise them. I understand that it costs the shipper to send an item, but it seems more and more I come across shipping charges that blatantly rip me off. At this, I feel insulted and abused.

I'm a lover of Target. It draws me in and makes me spend money I didn't know I had. I go in for toothpaste and canned soup and leave with a dress, two pairs of earrings, a DVD, new stationary, a throw pillow, a spatula, and a storage bin to carry it all in. I likely forget the toothpaste and soup, have to make another trip, and the madness is repeated. I love Target.

I wish I could say I loved Sometimes, one bad experience leaves me exasperated and it takes many many months to get over it. Perhaps I'm still not over it. I hate shipping fees.

So, I'm doing some home organization last spring and I want a very specific item: a small, one or two drawer file cabinet in maple or pine. I find the perfect one on clearance at for $45. I'm thrilled. That is until I go to check out and find my total bill is about $90. What?! That can't be right! So, I start over and go through all of my selections again. Same result. How can the shipping costs be as much as the item? It doesn't even come assembled! I'm sure there must be a mistake, so I call their help desk. The person also seems surprised at the shipping fee. Perhaps I selected 'Next Day' Shipping? No, I did not. "Well then that must be the cost, sorry." I kindly tell the representative that this was not acceptable and Target would be losing my sale. I also send a kind but firm e-mail to explaining my trouble. A cold, blanket response was all I received. I haven't attempted purchasing anything from since.

This past January I attended a home (network marketing) jewelry party with a friend. We each order a pair of earrings. We put both items on the same bill so we could split the shipping cost. Naturally, if I pay for shipping, I expect it to be sent to ME. This was not the case. I never see the friend who hosted the party but maybe once or twice a year. The jewelry was sent to her, not me, and I have yet to see my order. It's...uhm...May, people.

In March I attend another home (network marketing) party. The item that I purchase is $18. I fill out the information and hand it to the representative. She fills out the rest and points me to my total charge: $28. REALLY!? I'm sorry there is no flippin' way it costs nearly $10 to send a bottle of shampoo. NO. WAY. I express this to the rep and she acts surprised. "Well, that's just what it costs." This item was also sent to the party host, not me. Needless to say, the next time I placed an order with this company, I pooled with a friend who had a discount, who I see often. I'm not stupid.

Here's the good news: There are companies who cater to anti-shipping fee shoppers such as myself. You can have your order shipped to your nearest Walmart store at NO COST. They send an email when your stuff has arrived, you drive a few short blocks/miles, you pick it up. Easy as pie. No shipping fees EVER. No return shipping fees EVER.

There are numerous other companies that either run Free Shipping promotions, have reasonable shipping costs, or both. Amazon, Half, and J.Crew come to mind. And to like companies who put the customer before greedy shipping costs...thank you. You have my business.