Old Navy – How I Love and Despise Thee

Every once in a while I’ll go into Old Navy and just be overwhelmed by how much stuff I like and how cheap it is.  Of course, I say and mean cheap – not inexpensive.  Their stuff doesn’t last long, but typically I get tired of my clothes before they wear out, so that’s not a big deal.

Then sometimes I walk in and am overwhelmed by the fact that they have nothing in my size (no longs?? only XS and XXL??) and their quality sucks.  All their jeans only wear well once.  There’s no telling how much they will stretch AND shrink.

Currently I’m in a spell where I like their stuff a lot, but, not in the mood to deal with the sizing issues or the horrible, hot flourescent lighting, I ordered online.  The package arrived today.  I got some long Dreamer jeans, which were too long (although regulars are too short – argh) and too high-waisted, some shorts which were too short and too baby-puke colored, and two amazing t-shirts for $4.40 (Womens Tri-Blend V-Neck T’s).  These have an excellent drape, are nice and long, and very soft.  I got grey and black and love them both.  Hopefully they won’t lose too much length in the wash.

I also got another dress (toldja I’m only wearing dresses from now on – especially since all jeans ever made are stupid, and I hate them). It’s a Women’s Floral -Chiffon Keyhole Dress in Blue Oracle.  It is very feminine and pretty.  When I went to Old Navy tonight to return the jeans & shorts (you can order online and return in the store, which is super awesome), I noticed that the very same dress was $9 cheaper in the store!  I went to pick one up, intending to later return my expensive one, only to note that the size gremlin had struck again-only XXL left.  Oh well.  It made me feel better for paying more for it online.  Any time I wait for sales at Old Navy, my size is always gone.  I just have to ante up.

So, to summarize, Old Navy both sucks and is awesome.  If you are looking for some cheap summer duds (that will probably only last the summer), check them out.

Primal-ish

I am starting my 3rd or 4th cycle of the 21-Day challenge. When it finishes, I just start over at the beginning.  It gives me some structure, which I sorely need.  I’ve been doing pretty good on the plan so far.  I feel good, have good energy levels, I’ve lost weight.  Losing weight is both a good thing and a  bad thing.  It’s good because I’m healthier. It’s bad because I have to spend money on new clothes.  And boy have I!  I’ve recently rediscovered dresses.  I bought this hot little number at Old Navy last week.  When I tried it on for Tim, he said I looked like a hot Mexican cleaning lady, which I think is a good thing.  I wore it out today for the first time and was amazed at how cool and refreshing it is!  I may never wear shorts again.  In fact, I ordered another dress from Old Navy today.  This will be the summer of the dress.  Shorts be damned.

Back to the whole primal thing.  I’ve been sloppy this week.  Tim’s been on Spring Break this week, so we’ve gotten out of our regular routine and habits.  I’ve been eating more and worse food (buns! bagels! popcorn!) and drinking more beer.  I’m not sweating it too much, however.  I know I can and will get back on track when Tim’s schedule gets back to normal.  I feel so much better when I eat strictly primal, that I’m not too tempted to fall off the wagon permanently.

To keep myself from overindulging in non-primal sweets (hello Whitey’s Moose Tracks malts!), I made Caramel Pecan bars from this recipe.  I have to say, they didn’t turn out half bad.  You can see a photo of one in my Instagram feed to the right.  Tim even professed to like them and said that no one would guess they were “primal.”

With a food processor they were not difficult to make; although, I did dirty a tremendous amount of dishes.  Also, the “caramel” sauce on top is really made of ground up dates, mixed with vanilla and a few other ingredients.  I have bad luck putting dates in the food processor.  I assume they are supposed to get all chopped up into tiny pieces, but whenever I do it, they get chopped into medium size pieces that form a huge clump above the spinning blade.  I scrape the chunks back down to the bottom, turn on the processor again, only to have them spun above the blade again a few seconds later.  I don’t know what I am doing wrong.  Maybe I need to chop them up into smaller pieces before putting them in the blender.  I soaked the dates in water for an hour like the recipe stated and everything.    Oh well, they still turned out pretty tasty.  I may have actually overcooked the base. The recipe said to cook it for 20-25 minutes.  I cooked it for 20 minutes, at which point it was already a little overcooked.

So that’s been my week in a nutshell – eating, exercising, shopping, cooking.  Good times.

Best pajama shorts ever

I’m conflicted about Old Navy.  I never used to shop there when I was in high school.  The store was too loud, too busy, and too colorful.  I preferred the laid-back blue and gray tones of the Gap.  But, over the past few years I’ve wandered in and found some things I like.  I like their lounge pants, for one.  But,  you have to be careful to not dry them; otherwise, they will shrink at least 2 inches with each drying.  That’s the complaint I have with most of their clothes – they are inexpensive for a reason – they’re cheap.  No matter how awesomely they fit when you first put them on, if you dry them, they morph into a boxy, short, bastard version of their original selves.

So, I shop there with caution.  But I found some shorts I liked there last summer, so I went back last month to get some more.  I discovered 2 gems.

1.  I have a hard time finding pajama bottoms that I really like.  Is it just me, or do other people have issues with PJ bottoms that ride up while they sleep?  Maybe I am a really active sleeper.  I roll over a lot or scooch up and down the bed.  I don’t know.  I just know that the wrong pair of shorts can give you a mean wedgie.  You cannot get a good night’s sleep with a wedgie.  So, I thought I would try out the Women’s Jersey Lounge Shorts – for $5 if they didn’t work out, no harm no foul.

But, work out they did!  They are awesome.  They are the perfect length, super comfortable and very cute.  At least Tim always tells me I look cute when I wear them.  I liked them so much that I bought too more pairs.  Best…PJ…shorts…ever.

2. I also love these Mid-rise Zip Pocket Shorts.  The hem around the bottoms pulls in the legs of the shorts so they don’t flair out and make one’s hips look even bigger.  They are a great length – not mom-long and not hoochie-short.  They also have nice, deep pockets that will fit a cell phone.  I went back to buy them in additional colors, but of course they now only have sizes 0, 4, and 16.  Online they are out of size 10s in every color but white.  I am not a person who wears white below the waistline.  That is my other HUGE pet peeve with Old Navy.  They are always out of my size. Whatever I look at there are racks of miniature sizes and huge sizes and nothing for the plethora of us girls who are an average size.  Super annoying.  Hopefully Old Navy will bring these back next summer, so I can get some more then.