Friday, August 9, 2013


Today I've been inspired by my blog bestie Colleen

Guilty pleasures.

Apparently Colleen has a lot of them. I was thinking about judging her for that fact, but then I kept reading and realized that a) there is a lot of overlap with things I myself count as a guilty pleasure, and b) she invented and used the phrase 'cowgirl with a shaky moral compass' to describe the fit of certain jeans, and I think we can all agree that that is the most amazing descriptive phrase ever and obviously I am going to try to use it myself as much as possible in the near future. So rather than judging her for having so many guilty pleasures, I'm going to take her up on her suggestion to share about a few of my own.

Guilty pleasures, according to Colleen, are those things that you are willing to be snobby about. To pay more for, or adhere to higher standards than would be expected. I guess that guilty pleasures are all relative, really-- what shoe brands I would consider to be 'above my status' and guilty pleasures would probably be 'low-brow' by someone else's standard. That's okay. 

So. Given my are a few things where I take liberty to be snobby. And let's be honest: I don't really feel guilty about it. There are just as many areas where I am hopelessly cheap, so it all probably washes out in the end.

1. Makeup.

This probably isn't a surprise to anyone, but over the last few years I've slowly snobbed up my makeup collection. It started off with foundation/powder snobbing, accelerated when I discovered how much better high-end eyeshadows truly are, and has now trickled down into practically every category in my makeup bag box(es). Gone are the days of L'Oreal and to stay (for the time being, of course. All guilty pleasures will probably be tossed out the window if we have a money-sucking baby come along, of course!) are the highly superior Smashbox, Urban Decay, and bareMinerals. Relatedly, I got my 'Ulta Rewards' certificate in the mail the other day. You should have seen the look of shock and horror on Matt's face when he saw what level I'd achieved this quarter ('levels' are broken into $50 increments...). Bless him.

BUT- so far I haven't been sucked into buying high-end mascara. Target all the way for that, buddy, and I'm trying really hard to keep it that way. 

2. Coffee.

Again-- guilty pleasures are relative. I know some true coffee snobs...they like...research it. And roast their own beans. And buy $1000 coffee makers. That's not me. What I mean is...I won't drink store brand. Or Folgers. Or Maxwell House. Or the kind that they hand out for free in office lobbies or what-have-you. And if you saw my tiny grocery budget, you would probably question why I'd choose to spend the extra $4 on better (still not fancy) coffee. But I'm serious. The cheap-cheap stuff? That's just nasty. I also require good condiments to go with my coffee. No nasty powdered 'creamer' for me. Ick. I would much prefer to pass on coffee altogether than to drink nasty coffee with powder in it. I'm convinced that most of the people in the world who say that they don't like coffee only think that because they've only been exposed to the bad kind. Which leads right into my next guilty pleasure...

3. Beer.

I'm not a big drinker, and I didn't really bother trying to drink ANY beer until I was in my mid-20s. But Matt's a fan of good beer, and after enough sips of his, I eventually came to like it myself. But only GOOD beer. Nothing in a can. Nothing that has half-naked ladies advertising it on TV. No Bud, Miller, PBR, Coors, or whatever other crap they hand out at frat parties or ballgames. That stuff is disgusting, what few sips of it I've sampled in my life. If I'm going to bother drinking a beer, it's gonna taste good: a pale ale, brown ale, or stout would be my preference. Like with coffee-- I bet that many people who think they 'don't like beer' have only sampled the bad ones. 

BUT- my snobbery has not yet extended to wine. Ha. I have absolutely no discernment whatsoever when it comes to wine, so that's a great money saver, right? Totally happy with Two Buck Chuck...that'll get me far in life.

4. Toilet Paper.

I know. A weird thing to be snobby about, but then again...I just don't understand why people cheap out there. Such a delicate situation...let's give it the care it deserves! If I'm at your house and you have nice hand soap but cheap TP in your guest bathroom, I JUDGE THAT. For the love of all things holy-- feel free to cheap out ANYWHERE but on the TP! Washing my hands with store brand soap will not kill me. Using sandpaper might. Of all the things I choose to spend a little extra on, TP will be the last one to die. There are few things I wouldn't do in order to make an extra buck to get some decent Charmin, if it came down to it. 

5. Vacations.

Kind of like beer, vacations are go-big-or-go-home for me. They're a frill. A perk. Not something I expect, not something necessary, not something I deserve or need. But if I'm gonna do one, I'm gonna do it right. If I'm gonna spend the money, I'm gonna save for long enough that I can get exactly what I want. I don't do cheap motels. I would much much much rather stay home and never go on vacation if it means sleeping in an icky hotel. I really don't like even NICE hotels, they totally creep me out anyway, but they're a necessary evil if I want to go more than 100 miles from my house, so...the more stars, the better. (That makes me think they wash the comforters more often. May not actually be true, but I tell myself that.) If I'm on vacation, I do not want to work. I do not want to 'road trip' because I hate being stuck in the car. I do not want to cook, do dishes, be around any sort of drama, or drive myself around. I do not want to share a room or tight living quarters with another couple or family members or children (unless they're my own, which none of them are). I do not want to do things I don't want to do, like look at museums or battleships. So this basically means that Matt and I have gone on very few vacations- but the ones we've done have been AWESOME. And to me, that's worth it. I'd much rather go on a freakin' awesome trip every 3 years then a semi-meh one every summer. If I had unlimited vacation days, I would probably make exceptions for trips on someone else's dime, like family vacations. But since those still cost me my precious few vacation days, I can no longer even make exceptions. I will (and have) pass(ed) up a free vacation that doesn't meet my standards in order to fund my own that does. That's my guilty pleasure, and I don't feel guilty at all about it. Vacation is VACATION! By nature, it's indulgent!! Obviously, when money is tight (or non-existent), we don't vacation at all. So when we are able to...I'm gonna do it right. By my standards.

So! Five of my not-exactly-guilty pleasures. Since I feel like I'm painting myself to be some kind of indulgent lush, let's quickly review a few of the things I am NOT snobby about:

Clothing brands, cars, shoes, electronics, yard sales, thrift stores, and dessert. 

What're your guilty pleasures? Anyone wanna fess up to buying cheap toilet paper? Bonus points if you can JUSTIFY that heinous crime... 



  1. TP all the way... ughhh! What is up with people and their grody 2-ply toilet paper? Sam always points out the savings and I walk right by as I head for the Chramin UltraSoft.

    I loved Colleen's description of jeans... kind of snorted/inhaled my drink this morning reading that!

  2. Heck yes to the toilet paper! I wonder if maybe it's a conspiracy to keep people from visiting too often? Because IT WORKS!

  3. Totally with you on the coffee. We were just discussing the levels of coffee snobbery this morning--my husband and I have achieved the "buy whole beans and grind at home" level, but it is doubtful we will ever reach the "French press" level.

    As far as the TP goes, like Amanda above I have had many arguments with my husband on how it is not acceptable to buy the cheapo Kroger toilet paper just because it will save me 30 cents. With that being said (and I am a little afraid to admit it given your very strong feelings on the topic)...Costco sells a pretty darn good product, and you can't even tell it's cheap. It's a compromise I am willing to make.

  4. SO true about the TP!!!.... and the make-up... and the coffee... and the vacations. Basically, we're the same person :)

  5. I'm with you on the TP. I try to buy the generic brand of just about everything, but not when it comes to toilet paper! (Although recent desperate times have made me consider this option more... I'll let you know how it goes if I have to go over to the dark side.)

    Oh and as for a guilty pleasure of mine, one word: FRAPS.

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed this list--what a fun way to start my Friday! I'm right on board with your coffee quirk...I don't drink much, but what I do drink had better be good! And I think it's safe to say that my hubs is the biggest TP snob I've ever met; it's the silliest thing I've ever seen.

  7. This is interesting, as I've always defined guilty pleasures as something you're embarrassed to tell people about. But with this definition, I guess my guilty pleasure is Anthropologie. Yes, the clothes cost more but they are always my favorite, so that is my justification. I have bought the expensive mascara, but went back to my Target one. I haven't yet made the leap into other expensive makeup.

  8. hhhmmm I would say I don't penny pinch on my lotions and body sprays and NEVER EVER on my cheesecake :)

  9. Oh you've GOT to snob up on the mascara. It's totally worth it. The one makeup item I still buy at the drugstore: eyeliner. I even bought the "holy grail" UD 24 hour eyeliner and was unimpressed for the price. I ended up returning it to sephora and have kept on with my drugstore liner. I also use drugstore moisturizer and body wash. It's my little contribution to our budget... considering everything else aint cheap.

  10. Sadly I cannot think of one thing that I splurge on - I'm pretty much cheap on about everything single thing I buy. :)

    I do splurge on nice nail products, but that's b/c I do my own nails and don't get manicures. So is that even a splurge!?

    And, no need to buy good mascara. No one can beat Maybelline!!

  11. Cheap TP here. Septic system. I'm too cheap to take the chance on that fluffy stuff clogging up my tank faster.

    I have silly things I won't skimp on....

    Peanut Butter - has to be skippy. Store brand is god awful.

    Hair gel. I buy the pricy stuff to tame these locks. I got some really thick curly stuff!

    Shampoo & Conditioner - only paraben free for me. And I have I mentioned my locks are out. Of. Control?

    I'm with ya on the beer! Although my FIL always has some Busch in the refrigerator and I can class it down if need be. But absolutely NO BUD OR MILLER LIGHT. gross....

  12. Things I won't skimp on...
    - athletic shoes (Brooks for running and Naot sandals for walking)
    - laundry detergent(Tide only)
    - vodka (because, hangovers)
    - ice cream (loyal to ben, jerry, and godiva)
    - nail polish (i know you get this one! cheaper is never better)

  13. My argument is always that cheap TP feels awful and isn't even really cheaper bc it's so thin that you need more of it each time. We go Cottonelle though, bc I like it better than the extra thick smooth kind.
    I think I'm the person you described about not liking coffee AND beer. Maybe I should borrow sips more often...
    I'm going backwards in the makeup dept. Used to get everything at the mall and now I'm down to almost all of it at Target. But getting an Ulta in down does have the potential to change that, I suppose.
    I think expensive haircuts are a guilty pleasure for me. People are often so terrible at cutting curly hair that I'd rather pay extra for someone who's had special training and won't screw it up.

  14. Yes to your beer/wine argument. Cheap beer tastes like urine. Cheap wine tastes like expensive wine...only better because I still have money leftover for a pedicure.

  15. Heck to the yes about vacations! I never understand those who work hard for their money only to turn around and dump it into a brothel with thin walls, hard mattresses, and a locked mini-fridge!?!?!?!

    Now, my guilty pleasures are pedicures and dental work. I get a spa pedicure at least once a month and I refuse to sit in one of those mall "salons". I also frequent the most expensive dentist in town. But her perfectionist work ethic is soooo worth the money!

    So my teeth and my toes are always looking good. Meanwhile, I'm covered in costume jewelry, Target sandals, and a pair of shorts I "splurged" on at The Loft.

  16. Haha, love this! I'm right there with you on makeup and vacations. While I'm not the biggest beer snob ever, I can totally respect those who appreciate legit beer. My other guilty pleasures are expensive shampoo. I feel similarly about my hair products as I do my face products. And ... I'm an annoying food snob. I'm also the annoying "everything organic" girl. You're not going to like this, but I buy the cheap TP! Fun post; thanks for sharing.

  17. YES to the powdered creamer! Via events I won't go into, someone spilled their coffee with powdered creamer all over me in church a few weeks ago and that smell. UGH. The worst.

  18. Yikes. Your visits to Bulloch County are obviously disappointing and not vacation worthy. We use cheap Angel Soft tp and buy Folgers and Maxwell House, whichever is on sale..

    Perhaps we can tempt you with fancy coffee (does 8 o'clock count?) so you'll visit us!

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  20. If I'm a coffee snob. But I NEVER drink coffee out. I love my keurig and even bought the refillable My KCup so I could put Starbucks coffee (bought on a slammin' deal at Target WITH a coupon--- hello I have some restraint!)in it. Although, I may have been won over with Godiva's $10 birthday coupon that made a bag of their coffee $4. Ballin' on a budget!

    I only use liquid creamer too. And usually a candy flavor. LOL York Peppermint Patty is my favorite.

    I never skimp on baby wipes. Huggies all the way. Pampers maybe. Store brand? OH HELL NO. But I'll use Target brand diapers. When you change THREE butts multiple times a day, these things matter. LOL

    Makeup-- I have key items that I am snobby about. But I may have just been won over with my free mascara for my birthday. (Thank Sephora birthday club!) Nail polish? Not loyal at all these days.

    PAINT! Low/NO VOC only. Perdy paint brushes.

    And vacations. I love my Disney but you know what I love more? FLYING there in 2 hours, not having to pick up my luggage off the carousel and being driven to my bubble, where I never leave or drive for the next 7-8 days. If I can't go with those qualifications, I'll stay home, thankyouverymuch.

  21. Girl. Benefit's They're Real mascara changed my life. It's totally worth the money in my opinion. But I also save my money on beer because I totally love me some PBR. Like, love it. And I'm not ashamed.

    My other guilty pleasures? Eyebrow waxing, some cleaning supplies (lame, I know), and makeup foundation.

  22. I agree with all of yours... especially hotels, coffee and beer..(however I am ashamed to admit my lack of beauty products and make up)

    I would also like to add...

    1) Bras - please ladies do not skimp on these do yourself a favor and get a GOOD bra with a proper fit

    2) Raincoats, jackets, ski gear - I hate being cold so I will spend money on getting good quality equipment that keeps me toasty warm

    PS - did you see that the Pakistani TV show that gives away babies as prizes was on the TODAY show this morning. I think you should get credit for bringing this to the attention of the masses.

  23. Totally agree on TP! BUT I also have to say that if you shop at Sam's (though that's a little crazy with only two people in your household right now), they have an AWESOME Charmin knock off TP for much cheaper. And its still nice and soft :)

  24. Ahhh! I love yours, and I found myself agreeing with a lot of them, you cowgirl with a shaky moral compass. I would like to put in a formal request that you blog about your favorite makeup items (must haves), because I would like to upgrade my make-up and I'm not sure how. Also, you and my husband could talk coffee. He won't even consider a Maxwell House or Folgers. Annddd..more proof that you should come to Colorado, we are the beer brewing capital of the world.

  25. I love this post!

    Ok so I don't drink beer but Brandon is a total beer snob and will only drink the good kind you mentioned such as certain pale ales and IPA's etc.

    I am a total shampoo/conditioner snob. I will pay for a huge $25 bottle of Nioxin any day (that lasts forever by the way). I will NOT buy/use the crap $2 Suave or whatever it is that just leaves more buildup and crap in your hair than before you used it. The lady that has been cutting my hair for years tells me that hair would be better off never being washed, that using that cheap junk. :) So. . . there ya go.

  26. Another thing. . . would totally love to see a post from you on your skincare and makeup routine. When I turned 30 I said enough and ditched the cheap makeup and spent like 2 hrs at Sephora with a makeup specialist trying to upgrade my products (and help me look my age as opposed to a 16 yr old.) :)

    Also, not sure if you have naturally clear skin but I am STRUGGLING over here with clogged pores and breakouts and think its time to update my skin care regimen. Not sure if prego hormones are to blame but oh my gosh I am going crazy! Would love to hear what you use to wash/moisturize etc.

  27. I buy organic everything at the grocery store, and I always buy the softest TP I can find. I'm pretty cheap when it comes to everything else, and I haven't had a real vacation in five years. least we eat really well!

  28. I am totally with on you on the beer (and coffee,'ve seen my Starbucks bag collection). I've only had good beer, and accordingly, will only drink good beer. If it comes in a can, the smell alone makes me gag.

    What else do I have no trouble spending more Old lady Clarks and New Balance running shoes all the (only) way. And jeans. Since I hate wearing them so much, I justify that the two pairs in my closet might as well be okay.

  29. We drink Community Coffee, which is known around here as the best coffee ever. We love it. I will drink Starbucks & other coffee too. But we can be snobby in that we do not use a coffee maker. Brad makes it on the stove, the old fashioned way, in one of those old drip pots. We swear this is the secret to great coffee. People come over & RAVE about our coffee, when usually they drink community at home too! It's the way we make it!

    I feel ya on makeup. I searched for years for the perfect mascara & finally fell in love with Mary Kay's mascara. It is PERFECT. My only complaint is i feel like it doesn't last long enough? But maybe that's me. I recently bought maybelline - the kind in the pink/green tube that everyone swears by - HATE IT HATE IT! It's awful! LOL.

    TP - totally agree. And we went on a mini-vaca this weekend and they had cheap TP! Nice nice condo - cheap TP! What the heck!? LOL.


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