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Shopping Haul in Nashville - A 55 Minute Mall Dash

Wednesday 20 November 2013
Necklaces from Urban Outfitters

I usually have a few anxiety dreams in rotation. There's the classic 'Just about to go on stage but don't know the choreography' one. Also, the 'I need to leave for the airport in 3 minutes and have packed nothing' which is a doozy. There's also an ever-changing 'teeth crumbling' classic.

The final one, which is perhaps the biggest first world problem version of anxiety, puts me in a city, usually New York, with something like an hour to spare before I head home. With this time frame, I need to go shopping.


Anxiety central.

I got to live out this dream last week in Nashville. While I did have a fair bit of free time on this trip, downtown isn't exactly a shopping spot. There are cool little shopping zones in East Nashville (great little vintage and antique stores, plus funny signs about wieneries and fannies) and Hillsboro, but I'm afraid I needed a mall.

I should be cool enough to only want to go into thrift stores, but I'd estimate only 78% of me is that cool. The rest needs MAC, and it needs it now.

Part of this stems back to a trip to Florida a few years ago, and the post-shopping regret I felt on my return. Not wanting to go too crazy with my card, I barely bought anything, and only realised on my return how good the savings in MAC were.

This wasn't going to happen again.

On Friday afternoon, a few of us went to the mall. Time was tight - we knew that traffic was about to go mental, and also needed some time at the hotel before heading to the Grand Ole Opry that evening. So when we scattered in Macy's, we knew we had only an hour before we had to leave again.

Oh, the rush!

I flew to MAC, replaced my beloved Hot Gossip cremesheen, and then put myself in the hands of the hipster shopgirl.

"Find me something new, something jazzy, something I'd never pick for myself!" I cried.

She came up with Lickable, a lip colour that was very jazzy indeed. I managed to find the time to tell her about the story I'd heard, of a girl who tried on a MAC lipstick and got herpes. She was concerned. Then she sold me a lipliner, too.

MAC Cremesheen in Lickable ($14)
I ran on.

I half-heartedly flicked through the Levi's section, but couldn't find my size, and didn't have the TIME TO WASTE. To Sephora!

Sephora is one of those stores that I always go mad for, but never actually end up buying much in. It seemed like that pattern was going to continue, until I saw that they sold Ole Henriksen. I'd had my eye on their Nurture Me moisturiser, since seeing Liberty London Girl rave about it as a rosacea dream cream. So that fell into my basket, and looked a little lonely... so I threw in a fibre skin saving mask, roll on spot remover and some individual false lashes.

Ole Henriksen Nurture Me ($40), Sephora Ultra Soothing Fiber Mask ($6)
Sephora Individual Lashes ($10) and Sephora Spot Gel ($12)


I decided that I was in the mood for tiny limbed sales people to make me feel like Hagrid, whilst blasting my eardrums with some God forsaken dance music. Abercrombie and Fitch it was!

Do you remember when A&F was this really exciting store? Only the coolest people would wear their graphic tees, with an inch of belly fat protruding from the bottom (in my case). Now it just makes me think of employees forced to work topless in the freezing rain.

When I went in, I instantly felt like a 70 year old. It was too dark. And too loud. Oh, and if you dare to wear a size 12/14 (or an 8/10 in US sizes) the jeans are put on a top shelf so high that you're shamed into calling a buff young employee over to climb a ladder and get the big girl sizes for you.

Two minutes wasted. Wasted! And in fact, that's where my haul ended. I popped into Banana Republic, Nordstrum and a few others, but I was in a battle against the clock.

There were whisperings of a trip to the outlet mall the next day, which I was trying to be nonchalant about, while secretly DYING to go. Now that would have been a dash.

Instead, I headed to The Gulch, where I'd discovered an Urban Outfitters. This is another shop that used to be super exciting - remember when there were none outside the US? I used to spend hours in there when I was in America. It's lost a tiny bit of the thrill now it's in Dublin and London. But I still make a dash for it in its homeland, where the prices aren't so jacked up.

At this point, spending remorse had kicked in ever so slightly. Thoughts of a dwindling bank balance meant I didn't blitz the place. But I did pick up this top, that I've had my eye on forever, and a few nice necklaces. Bargain!

Urban Outfitters Circle Necklace ($14 - €19 at home) Geometric Necklace
($4.99) and Grecian Headband ($4.99)

I also knew I had to hit the drugstore pretty hard - Essie nail polishes are a bargain at $8 (almost half the price of home) so I picked up a few Ballet Slippers, a base coat and a vampish winter red.

I stood in front of the make up counters, half of me thinking "The prices! The prices!" while the other half pointed out I didn't actually need anything. So I got a few Maybelline bits, some Jergen's and GUMMY VITAMINS WHICH ARE THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER.

My final supermarket sweep took place on Broadway, with an hour left before departure and a stinking hangover. I'd been obsessing about caramel apples, inexplicably, for a month or two. How I happened upon the idea of them I don't know, but as soon as I did they became my food porn. I'd spotted them lining the window of the Savannah Candy store, and had been holding off until my last day to give them the best chance of survival.

There was also a Jelly Bell wall. Enough said.

I wish I could tell you that the apples became presents, and that I didn't buy two, hide them in my room, and then eat them in bed, ruining my white sheets.

I wish I could tell you that.

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