Mallrats

Several weeks ago, Brianna and I made a plan to travel to Pittsburgh for an all-day shopping extravaganza. We planned for the weekend of Veteran’s Day and began devising a shopping strategy so we could hit the places we wanted. That plan got scrapped, so we decided to wing it.

We headed to Pittsburgh on Saturday around 10:30am and made it to Washington traffic-free. Unfortunately, due to fate’s wicked sense of humor, we hit bumper-to-bumper traffic right before the Bridgeville exit. We saw the cones, we saw the merging, but we couldn’t see what the actual construction was. We discovered 30 minutes later that the cones were clearly leftover from work during the week and that we were wasting our day in the car for no real reason. Terrific. Brianna vented about everyday happenings while I contemplated risking our lives to drive down the median at 90mph in a black out-rage.

When we finally arrived at the mall (and finished stalking a young couple and their small child for a parking spot), we made sure to walk in by the Cheesecake Factory entrance. Earlier in the week, I had mentioned to Brianna that I had never been to one, so she immediately declared that was where we would be dining. That changed as soon as we spotted the California Pizza Kitchen. We immediately made a plan to hit both for a well-rounded meal of pizza and cheesecake.

We proceeded to the shopping portion of our day and had decent luck finding cute clothes. We tried on a dozen outfits, but eventually walked out with less than five purchases each. It must be said that Brianna is great to shop with. I actually gave this a lot of thought and wanted to share what makes her such a great shopping buddy.

1. She doesn’t waste time. Brianna, a fast-paced gal, walks in a store, assesses, and starts her shopping immediately. If she can tell she isn’t going to find much, she’ll do a quick run through and then she’s out. She’s definitely not a shopper who spends a lot of time combing through racks of clothing.

2. She isn’t on my heels.Although we normally start off in the same section, Brianna will usually venture off to a different part of the store. This allows us to cover more ground and avoid bumping hangers.

If only I could shop like this...

3. She’s an objective shopper. I have to try stuff on because what I think looks good on a hanger almost never looks good on me. Brianna is also like this and lends an objective opinion when I’m trying to stuff myself into an outfit. She’s great about saying, “Do not buy that,” and “No Bailee, that turtleneck doesn’t scream ‘come and get it.’”

4. She’s fashionable. I have a pretty conservativeclassic style. I generally don’t venture outside of my comfort zone, so this when Brianna helps me the most. She’s great about showing me how to pair things (even though I waste money every few months buying Vogue and In Style magazines) and convincing me that I’m not the chunky B I think I am.

5. We wear the same size shoe.This is great for trying on stuff at shoe stores. We can pick out a few shoes, ask the clerk for one size, and then trade off. It makes life much easier.

Unfortunately we have one flaw: it’s easy to lose each other in stores due to our pint-sized physiques. Brianna’s solution: wear a hat!

After we finished shopping, we headed to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch. The menu was a lot bigger than we had expected (24 types of pizza), so we settled on splitting a roasted vegetable salad and a wild mushroom pizza. We had to pace ourselves, because we knew we had gigantic slices of cheesecake left to devour. We boxed up the remaining slices of the pizza and headed over to the Heaven, I mean Cheesecake Factory. We got our slices to-go, since there was an hour wait and picked out three slices each. I got two slices of Snickers cheesecake for Alex and his sister and nabbed a delicious slice of Chocolate Coconut Cream cheesecake. Oh em gee. Brianna opted for the Lemoncello Cream Torte and Pumpkin cheesecake for herself and got a slice of Red Velvet cheesecake to take home to her sister. We could only manage half of our designated slice and took the rest home for what became my breakfast the next day. (Can you name each piece?)

CCF--Choc-Coconut-Cream-CC-CongratsGP-Pumpkin-CC-Slice-2007

menu_Lemon_Cream_TorteRed Velvet

All in all, I’d say this was a very successful trip. Oh except for the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way home that resulted in more road rage and the further consumption of the Lemoncello Cream Torte.

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Blazer and tee from H&M and hat from Forever 21

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