Stuff We Bought


Have any of you ever made a large (or large-ish) purchase without consulting your better half? It’s not like you intended to hide it, of course. You just “had to have it” and your significant other wasn’t available? Then, by the time your “had to have” item was delivered, you’d forgotten you hadn’t told them? Well…

As a rule of thumb, if an item is over $50, Greg and I make sure to run it by each other before purchasing. Ever since we were married (a little over 3 years ago), this system has worked for us. Keeping the lines of communication open makes certain our budget stays balanced and there aren’t any surprises when either of us checks the bank account. There aren’t many times we don’t agree on a purchasing decision. But once in a while it’s easy to forget to talk to him first. At least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it ; )

In this month’s Favorite Things roundup, you may remember me talking about buying two lamps from ZGallerie. They were originally $200 a piece, but they were on sale for $99! The $200 price tag (I wanted to buy 2 of the lamps) was above our $50 “let’s-chat limit”, but Greg was already asleep. However, he knew I had been stalking those lamps for months and I was afraid they would sell out. I’ve experienced sale items on the Pottery Barn website selling out right before my eyes. Ever since then, I’ve been a little impulsive when something I’ve had my eye on goes on sale. With certain online stores, you’ve got to snatch it up, or it’s gone. ZGallerie is one of those stores. I absolutely HAD to order them… right? So I bit the bullet and clicked the “Checkout” button.

A few days later, it was time to write our Favorite Things feature. As usual Greg wrote his portion first then I logged in and wrote mine. Only this time, Greg didn’t read the entire post before I published it. At this point, I totally forgot to tell him about buying the lamps and he didn’t read the post. The only problem was I totally forgot to mention the fact that I had ordered them. Let’s just say he found out a few days later when two huge boxes from ZGallerie arrived on our front porch.

This reminded me of one of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes. Lucy found living room furniture that was so “dreamy” she just had to buy it. Without telling Ricky, she bought the furniture, sold the old furniture, and had the new furniture delivered to the apartment. When it was delivered, she still hadn’t mentioned it to Ricky, so she decides to hide the furniture until she can tell him. This is what happened…


As a result, Ricky decides to make Lucy cut her expenses to pay for her new furniture. Taking matters into her own hands, Lucy decides that instead of buying a new dress and getting her hair done, she’ll DIY-it. What else would a self-respecting 50’s housewife do, right? Well, let’s just say it didn’t turn out as she expected…


Luckily, I didn’t have to go through all that trouble. After a slight flicker of, “Uhh… How much did you spend?” in his eyes, he helped me un-box the lamps.

This isn’t their permanent home – I’m thinking about putting them in our bedroom or my office. Aren’t they awesome, though? They look “very Jonathan Adler” at a fraction of the cost. I also love how large they are. In my book, big table lamps rule. Greg really likes them, too – even though their arrival was a bit of a surprise. I keep reminding him that they could have cost us double what I paid! ; )

Plus, it’s not like I bought a living room full of furniture like Lucy, right? Or did I…? Just kidding, Greg! I probably just made him have a heart palpitation. I’d better call his office and make sure he’s okay.

Got any funny/insightful stories about a time when you bought something without your significant other knowing about it? How do you manage the financial lines of communication in your house? Share in the comments section…

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  • Reply
    Deena Lorne
    July 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Yes, Ashley, I can definitely relate with your lamp story! I have many lamp staories! Ha! The worst was when I bought a sofa without telling my husband first. He got over it though and we recently celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary:) I love your blog and wish you and Greg many more years of wedded bliss!

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Been there, done that and lived to tell about it! 

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    One time my husband put a bid on a video camera on ebay not thinking he’d actually get it. Right after we finished having a conversation about how well we’d been doing on our budget and re-evaluating our spending, he found out he actually got the camera. It actually wasn’t very expensive and I probably would have been ok with it had he told me originally, but it was all pretty funny the way it worked out.

  • Reply
    Vee C
    July 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Very relatable, love your blog!

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Gorgeous lamps! They look tall. Are they? The taller the better in my book.

    • Reply
      July 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      Yes, they are 32″ tall and the base is 16″ in diameter! I can’t wait to find a place for them : )

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    My husband and I have a similar rule, except ours is $100. He’s broken it before, for a vacuum cleaner and two dog harnesses (of all things). But the lamps are gorgeous, and I wouldn’t have been annoyed if he came home with those!

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Absolutely Gorgeous!! Do they have a 3-way switch? That would be a great plus.

  • Reply
    Lyndsay @ Mr & Mrs
    July 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    we don’t have a specific $$ limit, just anything we feel is a bigger purchase…which is probably anything $40+

  • Reply
    [email protected] A Pear to Remember
    July 18, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I simply have to say I am so grateful I read this on vacation where I could enjoy the full Lucy episode—I hadn’t seen the show in so long (ever since Full House took over Nick at Nite). I laughed at loud and enjoyed it so much!

    Today, Mom and I bought gorgeous lamp shades for these twin elegant $200 Stiffel lamps. Truly exquisette, thankfully the lamps are from my parents’ former home and we get them for free : )

    I did purchase a laptop table (oil-rubbed bronze with glass top) at World Market—identical to CB2 and West Elm’s but only $70. Still a little steep to jusitfy to the hubs, I’m always using it and saying, “Don’t you just love this table, honey?” “How nice an extra space for our company to rest their drink!” Desperate to make a case ; )

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Love them!!! I am so jealous.
    I now have a monthly budget – rather than a limit. So I can buy one big thing, or a lot of little things – with out asking permission. We did this because there were one to many purchases 🙂

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