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Let’s go shopping!

Shopping can bring a visceral reaction to most. For some it’s therapy. For others it’s torture. Like when I shop with my daughter at Forever 21. That is torture. Okay, I admit, I got a really cute sweater there with the Union Jack on it. I have an Anglo obsession. It is perfect for me to wear on whatever day Great Britain celebrates their 4th of July that isn’t the 4th of July.

When I was a little girl, my mom introduced me to the hunt of the bargain. She would take me to a department store’s bargain basement and we would comb the racks and shoe aisles for hours. We got there early. We arrived with our bellies full and our bladders empty. If nature called in the middle of a tag sale, you might miss out on those black and white polka-dot Zodiac oxfords that are 50% off. Yes- I did buy those in the 10th grade.

But she also taught me the value of the piece. In those days she still sewed clothes for us from time to time. She even knit and crocheted sweaters for us. But there came a day when she found a good deal on a Karen Kane pleated skirt marked down so much, that it beat the price of any yardage at a fabric store.

These skills carried with me throughout my adult years. On my college burrito budget days I would spend a free afternoon shopping sale racks with my hard-earned paycheck from working retail part time. I knew what to look for- a silk blouse, an Italian sweater, double ply cashmere, a white cotton shirt.

When I moved out to my own address the excitement of receiving catalogs in the mail was a new experience. This opened up a whole new world of purchasing! This was before the internet. I didn’t shop online then. I called in my order to the 1-800 number provided on the customer page! This was the early 90s. I didn’t even own a computer. One of the first catalogs I remember receiving was the Spiegel catalog. It was over-sized and had a nice heft.

I had left the retail world and was working in an office setting. I worked a 9 to 5 job and was an executive assistant. I tried to look the part. The Spiegel catalog was perfect. Within budget and classic pieces that would wear well.  I remember a trench coat I ordered that I loved! I probably wore it until my post partum days when I put on a few pounds and it no longer fit.

Nowadays, I think a majority of my shopping is online. I still love the hunt, but so many websites offer such great shipping and handling deals as well as  the convenience of trying things on in my house, which beats an ill-lit dressing room.

And one of my latest online websites I’ve discovered is called Ultimate Outlet. It’s like the clearance racks of both Spiegel, Newport News and Shape FX combined! The deals are incredible. Pants for $8, pencil skirts for $7, even a cute tote bag for $11.

How had I not heard of this site before? If you’re not familiar with Shape FX, it’s clothing that has the shape wear built in. From jeans to swim wear! Once I ordered a really great pair of white wide-legged jeans and they were so cute for the summer.

Things to keep in mind; Ultimate Outlet sales are final. These are bargain prices but not all sizing and selection is available. The merchandise changes, just like the way markdown or clearance racks change in stores.

Thanks to the people at Ultimate Outlet for introducing me to their stuff and sponsoring this post. All the words and stories belong to me, of course, because who else would write them?

Happy hunting!

Ultimate Outlet online discount shopping website


What’s on that mannequin? Yes, you did just see that.

Once upon a time there was a little girl. She was a very precocious, inquisitive little girl. Okay- this girl is Emma. Let me just put it out there now. She is/was and will always be wicked smart, clever and with a wit that smacks you up side the head.

For example- Many years ago, she and I were shopping at the mall. I stopped in to Victoria Secret to purchase some of their bras on sale. We were standing in line. She was 5 years old. There was a mannequin placed near us where we were standing dressed in the usual VS lingerie. She takes the waistband of the underwear on the mannequin pulls it out and peeks down inside the panties. Snapping them back, she looks at me and says, “Why don’t mannequins have hair down there like you mommy?”

***pause for comedic effect***


Are you still laughing? I’ll give you a minute…..

Fast forward to today. American Apparel has placed in their New York store window display, get this- mannequins with pubic hair!

The 5 year old Emma would be so thrilled!

American Apparel is a very uhm, shall we say, fashion forward, clothing company. First there was their period tee. I’ll let you just click on that and it can sink in.

Then there is the window display like this:

American Apparel pubic hair mannequins

photo credit

To be honest with you, I don’t have a problem with this.

Here’s why.

I’m used to seeing a garden area on a lady. My own! Never waxed, never will.

What’s the big deal about a toupee shoved inside lady’s underwear? Come on, this is what it looks like, admit it!

Hey, Donald Trump called, he’s looking for his comb-over.

It’s liberating to know that between these mannequins and Cameron Diaz’s declaration for not removing pubic hair, we can know that the movement of ‘au natural’ is approaching.

Somewhere there’s a mannequin wherehouse in India figuring out how to add extensions to the crotchal region of their mannequins.

Small forest creatures can stay warm inside display windows in Manhattan.

We can now have more awkward conversations with our kids waiting in line at department stores if this catches on.

How has this not already happened in Europe?

Who is in charge of keeping those bushes tidy and tangle free on those mannequins?

I’m guessing that in 20 years those mannequins are going to resemble the Midge Barbie that still sits in my doll case from childhood with what looks like a lump of fuzzy plastic pubic hair on her head.

Well sorry. Not sorry.

We can’t be ashamed of some pubic hair. Come on people. This is how nature intended it. Embrace your hairiness. Or schedule an appointment for a Brazilian. You decide.

My question- what is next then with male mannequins? Oh Lord…. I see a blog post in the future…..

Mannequins with pubic hair- it's true

I have Downton Abbey fever. And my blogging friends have it too!

It’s not just me. A whole bunch of us bloggers are in a tizzy over this Masterpiece Classic. But before you get yourself overly concerned like Mrs. Crawley, keep calm like Mr. Carson and be a good and loyal servant, like Mr. Barrow. Oh wait, scratch that. His loyalty is somewhat vexing isn’t it?

Well, whatever. The only fix for this fever is more episodes. So get a cuppa (that’s British for cup of tea) and read all these fabulous posts from my friends while we wait for Sunday’s latest episode. From Twitter to the blogosphere, our Downton friends always amuse us-

And don’t forget last Sunday’s post of mine and all my Dowager Countess zingers.


It’s like a Downton Abbey party- and you’re invited!

Downton Abbey returns. Bloody hell it’s about time.

And thank goodness tonight’s premiere is 2 hours long.

I am in withdrawals over all the goings on with the Granthams, the Crawleys and O’Brien and Daisy and the rest of the folks downstairs.

How will Mary be after Matthew’s death?

Will we see sweet little baby Sybill?

Will Edith be in love with that married man?

And of course, what will the Dowager Countess say?

I will be tuning in with tea and biscuit in hand.

Shh… mom’s watching Downton Abbey.

lady violet quotes Downton Abbey



Frugie blog downton abbey quotes


lady violet downton abbey quotes

2013- The Year of the Book

Author! Author! Read all about it. It’s hard to believe that this was the year I became a published author. What. The. Hell? No, really, I’m cool with it.

But not only did I want to remind you if you haven’t already picked up your copy of I Just Want To Pee Alone and You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth, but to point out some other hilarious authors that made 2013 the year of THEIR book.

To begin-

Moms Who Drink And Swear by Nikki Knepper. I met Nikki this spring at MamaCon and then again in Chicago at BlogHer. Nikki is love and sweetness and sass and wicked smarts wrapped up in a 5’3″ package of F-bombs and tequila shots. Her book is entertaining, hilarious and poignant. Without sounding contrite, it will make you laugh and it will make you cry. Nikki grabs you by the balls and doesn’t let go. She believes in the power of friendships and venting. I love her. I think you will too.







Next-from Paige Kellerman, writer/humorist comes- At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles. Paige finds out she’s pregnant with twins and her journey of incontinence, gestational diabetes and well, cankles, will have you having your own bouts of incontinence by laughter. I know Paige and follow her blog and her Facebook page. Every freaking time I read something of hers I guffaw loudly. It might annoy those around me, but I don’t care.  And I love any woman who owns her relationship with her cankles.








Remember my review of I Heart My Little A-holes by Karen Alpert of Baby Sideburns fame? This woman is on fire. I first reviewed this self-published tome of hilarity back in the fall and whattdya know, she’s already got a publishing deal with Harper Collins and a re-release of the book this spring, and she made the NY Times best seller list. Obviously this book is freaking funny about all things ugly, funny and wonderful about being a mom. No sugar coating here. Give this book to any expecting parents and parenting delusions will go out the window.




I’m recommending these books because 1) I read them and laughed my ass off. 2) I know the authors and their blogs and 3) know you will be tremendously entertained like I was. This post is not sponsored by them in any way. I wrote it because they are awesome and that is all. Happy New Year! And here’s to more funny stuff in 2014.

2013 The Year of the Book- books you should read

The Frugie Christmas Letter

If you read my blog, it’s almost like getting one of those annual Christmas cards where you get to read all about the goings on in my life.

If you don’t read my blog, then you’re not reading this, you don’t know what goes on in my life, and since I’m not sending a Christmas letter, I guess you won’t know anything about us.

What style Christmas letter should I write? A calendar where it lists each month and what happened? Too long and I don’t even know if I can remember back to last January. Highs and Lows of the year? Who wants to revisit the lows? No thanks.

I’ll just dig in with talking about the kids and their accomplishments and how awesome our lives are. Sound good?

Okay, here it begins.

Dear friends, family, and people I don’t know,

Wow, the holidays are here again! Let’s grab a cup of mulled wine and you can read all about the amazing Gallagher family and their fabulousness.

The kids have lost some of their cuteness. It’s true. Now they are old enough where they are described more as ‘handsome’ or ‘pretty’. Emma has gotten to that point in her appearance where she’s 13 but can kinda pass for 16 and we try to keep her as homely as possible and in the house instead of combing the mall with her peers checking out boys.

Owen is tall and lanky and has none of his baby fat. I think that was gone in 3rd grade anyway. But as a 5th grader (thank God no signs of puberty yet), I noticed in his class picture, his cheeks are slender and there’s nothing to pinch. His front teeth are big and crooked and he spends most of his time playing FIFA on the Xbox or sharing fart and penis jokes with us. There’s a lot of mention of privates. And let me say, the sharing of the fart jokes, is not considered good manners, yet I giggle anyway. Apparently I’m a 10 year old boy as well.

James hasn’t changed at all. He’s not aging, while I am. I don’t see any more grays or crows feet on him than last year. Although I’d say his cholesterol will sneak up on him if he’s not careful with his nightly bowl of ice cream. And his knees don’t seem to hold up to soccer drills like his high school days.

He is coaching like a mad man. Well, not a mad man. He’s more the Vince Lombardi type then the Bobby Knight type.

He’s been coaching soccer and it’s not even Owen’s team. He’s just a great guy that way. Oh, and they won their last 9 games straight. So suck it!! Ooh, the language. Sorry.

Speaking of soccer, Owen is playing soccer almost as much as he goes to school. I guess that’s what happens when they get this age. He loves it though and hopes to play for the English Premier League one day. Fine with me. He said he’d buy me a place in England so I can live there when he plays.

Emma is still doing a lot of nothing. But also performing in musicals. When she does decide to do something, it is usually creative, wonderful and brilliant. But don’t hold your breath for that to happen often. She was just cast in her school’s production of Annie as, wait for it- Annie. Yeah, I’m pretty proud. No, she is not getting a perm and going as a red head.

As for me, well, I have tried to maintain my level of awesome throughout much of 2013. I think it’s working. I had two best selling books I was part of. I’m not bragging, I’m just, well- bragging! I got to be on TV. I went to Chicago and attended my very own book signing with many other fellow authors! And I managed to still fit in last year’s pants- this year. That is huge, right? Because I also professed my love for cookie butter. I’m still stalking Daniel Craig. On the internet only. Which is called, being a fan. I did end the year with a broken digit. My pinky. You can read all about that here. It is still in a cast, or splint I should call it. It will come out in the New Year. I will make a video for you.

So from my messy house to yours (not that yours is messy too!), I wish you a very Merry Christmas and whatever else you celebrate. Keep smiling, keep shining, knowing you can always count on me. For sure.

Oh wait, I might be plagiarizing Dionne Warwick, but I just needed to express my sentiment.

Here’s to 2014.

Peace and love,


Merry Christmas from Frugie

It’s called, being a FAN, and it’s totally legal.

Show your school pride in Dockers® Game Day Khakis.

This is a sponsored post by the lovely people at Dockers®. I have been paid in cold hard cash, not just pants.

The Dockers® brand has announced the US launch of its Game Day Khakis collection, a
new line of khaki pants specific to 10 college partners including Louisiana State
University, University of Minnesota, Oregon State University, Texas A&M University,
University of Georgia, University of Illinois, University of Kentucky, University of
Michigan, University of Missouri and Washington State University.

I’m a University of Washington Husky, my husband is a Washington State Cougar. When I was asked to get the Dockers game day khakis and write a post about it, I saw they offered pants for the Cougars. I thought how perfect to get them for James. When they arrived they were a size too big. He’s a skinny fella.

I confess- I didn’t waste any time customizing them for me. I’ll just hide the gray cougar on the flank and no one will see the Go Cougs on the inside of the waist band. With wedges and a cute top, they’re the perfect ‘cranberry’ color for spring. Don’t tell anyone they’re crimson! And don’t tell anyone my husband’s ass is smaller than mine!

Shhh, this is the secret I speak of.

Check out all the fun colors to show your alumni pride! And bowl season is just ahead and Christmas is around the corner- it’s the perfect gift for your die hard college fan!

Dear Dockers®, make University of Washington pants next!

Dockers® Game Day Khakis will be available for men on, and
at select Macys stores. The Alpha Game Day Khaki will have a suggested retail price of
$78.00 and the Classic Game Day Khaki for $68.00.
*If you go to, many of the Game Day selections are marked down!

Preparing your home for holiday house guests- Frugie style


Use closets, the garage, the office and the master bedroom to hide all the shit that’s been piling up all year. I’m talking about the kids’ Easter baskets and trick or treat bags; you know what I’m talking about.

Practice the phrase, “And I just cleaned it this morning, and look at it already!”

Fill your house with wafting, tempting scents that will distract guests. Like bacon.

Put out plenty of alcohol, spirits and alcohol. This is also a good distraction.

Wear clothing that isn’t covered in pet hair.

Remove the bra from behind the couch cushions your teenager shoved there one night while she was watching YouTube. (What? 13 year olds get tired of those things too you know!)

Try to remove cat or dog hair from the butter dish. This is hard, I know.

Do a quick once-over to check for any ‘surprises’- used band-aids, underwear and popsicle sticks shoved under the coffee table or on chairs. Trust me on this. The day you don’t check for that stuff is the day it will be your son’s band aid face up on the chair Aunt Susan sits on and she’ll have it stuck to her skirt unknowingly.


Holiday Lip Looks and Introducing the Naked 3 Palette

I made a super duper extra big makeup tutorial for you. I was so excited to try my new Naked 3 palette from Urban Decay.

And then I got to thinking, I’m going to show you all the festive lipstick colors for the season. They’re bold, they’re bright and sometimes quite dark.

But they’re all pretty. And they will make you feel in the holiday spirit. So don’t be afraid- jump in and get on your fancy face. Wait, didn’t Bo say that to Hope in Days of Our Lives?

You bet I’m blogging this- my teenager is in headgear

Last week Emma got headgear. Yes. Headgear.

They still do the same kind of headgear for kids today that they did in the 80s.

She has an overbite that needs correcting. This is the first phase of her orthodontic adventure.

I do not envy her. The poor thing. So what do I do? I take a video of her doing simple tasks made difficult while wearing headgear.

I think it’s funny. Like really funny.