Posted by: Rachael | March 27, 2011

5 faves: Things I bought with my 2011 tax return

Hi friends!

So as excited as I am for Spring to finally arrive in Upstate NY (read: that groundhog lied about not seeing his shadow and it better get warm soon) , March also makes me think of a much less desirable time of year. Yes, it’s time to bust out the calculators folks – tax season is upon us. This year was actually relatively painless for me thanks to the help of Turbo Tax and my own personal number cruncher (Dad) but I still dread the whole process. You’d think that a person who’s day job is akin to a statistician  would love numbers enough to enjoy this, but simple adding and subtracting has never been my strong suit. Give me logistic regression equations and cluster analysis any day.

But I digress. Even though I do dread tax time, I was prepared this year and within 3 days of a quick and easy online submission, my rather large tax refund was promptly direct deposited into my account. This is obviously the upside of filing your tax return. Of course, I put most of it into savings immediately, but I just couldn’t resist making a few key purchases with my new dough. The following items are the 5 fabulous things I picked up this week as a “you did your taxes early” present to myself. I highly recommend you file your taxes immediately so you can go get them too!

5. Blood, bones & butter

Blood, Bones & Butter

I was so excited when I walked into the Albany Public Library and saw this book sitting on the shelf last week. I am NEVER lucky enough to get a book at the library right when it comes out, so I was only mildly disappointed when I took it to the check-out desk and was told it had been “accidentally” returned to the library floor. Would I like to put my name at the end of the 50+ person waiting list? Pshhh, not when I can buy it for 13$ on Amazon and have it shipped to me in 2 days! This is a fabulous food memoir that any true foodie would appreciate, and I highly recommend you get yourself a copy STAT – whether you take the instant gratification route of online ordering (if I was really thinking, I would have bought the Kindle edition) or sign up as #51 on the que.

4. Maranatha raw cashew butter

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We all know I have a bit of a nut butter obsession (duh), but it’s usually limited to peanut and almond butters. For one, I never really thought I liked cashew butter all that much. Also, it’s generally the most expensive variety on the shelf, and although I’m a self-proclaimed addict, even I have a limit to how much I’ll spend on a jar of creamy goodness.  I have to admit, when I picked this bad boy up at the supermarket, I had pretty low expectations for how it would pair with my morning apple -the only other time I’d eaten MaraNatha nut butter, it was an almond variety and I hated it.  The jar itself was $12, but the tax refund burning a hole in my pocket told me I could treat myself and not feel guilty, even if it was disgusting. Well let me tell you people – this stuff may have just jumped to the top of my all time favorites list!! It is nothing short of AMAZING! Rich, creamy, salty and 100% delicious, this is like no cashew butter I’ve ever tasted before. I’m convinced it’s the combination of raw and roasted that makes it soooo good. My only regret is that I may have initiated a very expensive habit – I’m honestly not sure I can live without one of these in my pantry for long!

3. Benefit Erase Paste

Erase Paste

I love Benefit cosmetics, and I always use my Sephora VIP Beauty Insider status to purchase whatever the latest and greatest product they have is. I bought this on a recommendation from a friend and it has literally changed my life. I am not kidding when I tell you that I have some serious dark under-eye circles (I am a chronically stressed PhD student after all!) and this product makes them vanish like nothing I’ve ever used before. I use it for everything now…including on my lips as a nude base for lip-gloss. If there is one thing I hate more than dark under-eye circles, it’s red lips. Thanks to this erase paste, I don’t have to worry about either!

2. Nike Lunafly+ sneakers

When Nike and Apple teamed up to create the Nike+ line of shoes, they had me hooked for life. I was never into a particular brand of running shoe in the past, but as soon as the technology nerd in me discovered I could track and design workouts through my sneaker, it was all over. I’ve gone through about 6 pairs of Nike+ shoes in the past couple of years (I still have a pair of Nike Free+ shoes I loooove), and all of them have been amazing! I got these guys off Zappos the other day and they came in 2 days with free shipping. Might I just add that these are the most comfortable shoes I’ve had in a long time and I can’t wait to break them in just in time  for the St. Anne’s 10K and  Iron Horse Half Marathon.  They aren’t my usual colors of choice, but I thought it was time to switch it up a bit. Plus, I have a strange obsession with matching my shoes to my running clothes, and these go perfectly with my #1 favorite tax return purchase…..

1. Lululemon down time jacket

I have no words to describe this jacket except that as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it. I am a total Lululemon fanatic and would most definitely be broke and homeless if I shopped there as much as I wanted to. Lucky for me, there is an amazing outlet at Woodbury Commons about 1.5 hours south of Albany where I usually get everything at a steep discount. I’m not a fan of buying full price stuff or spending money on name brand things, but in the case of Lulu, the clothes are so well made and downright amazing that I can make an exception. This running jacket is the bomb diggity – and the fact that the print is called Unicorn Tears just rocks my socks off. The pattern is almost as cool as the hidden music pouch and built in fabric cuffs with thumbholes! I cannot wait to take this out for a spin with my new kicks! Hey, if it’s gonna be this cold out I might as well run in style right!!

Maybe doing your taxes isn’t so bad after all….

 Winking smile

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