The day after Valentine’s Day my friend and I decided to take on the “Treat Yo Self” mentality from one of my favorite shows – Parks and Recreation – as we made our way to Laguna Beach for our first visit.
It was a gorgeous day, and we had a wonderful time browsing the many beautiful shops, including C.J. Rose, where we outed ourselves as the small town gals we are when we were completely dumbstruck when the shop owner offered us champagne – for free.
And that – one unexpected glass of pink champagne – my friends, was the beginning of the end for me on that day… at least when it came to making logical, responsible decisions.
We continued to wander after that visit, making financial decisions Carrie Bradshaw would surely approve of, but probably not my parents… or any sound financial mind.
Eventually we stumbled upon a place that offered wine tasting, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love a good wine tasting.
It was especially cool because it was one of those wine-serving system stations, where you use a pre-paid card to access various sizes of samples from a machine.
Now, I won’t say that I regret the tasting, because it was great, but I will say that I’m not entirely proud of what I did afterwards.
See, the town also happened to have this adorable vintage candy store, which I thought would be fun to explore. We’d seen it a few times earlier in the day, but of course following our wine tasting I was all the more keen on another shopping venture.
Originally I recall I was merely hoping to find a blue raspberry Blow Pop. However, once we got into the store and saw the impressive display – Pop Rocks, candy necklaces, caramels, etc. things may have gotten a bit carried away.
We carried our little baskets around the shop and had a good laugh as we checked out the displays, taking photographs of items that particularly tickled our fancies. But, checking out my loot weeks later I’ve realized I may have gotten a bit carried away (read: no, definitely, I absolutely did).
Here, in no particular order, are some of the items I found necessary after a few glasses of wine (and champagne…):
– Pumpkin Patch Orange Pop Rocks: Yes, they exist, although to be fair they aren’t marketed with the word ‘spice.’ They’re pretty great, in the sense that Pop Rocks are great, because they’re wild and loud and I don’t really understand how they work. Flavor-wise, I’m not really sure if I’m tasting anything other than sugar?
– Cherry cola Pop Rocks: Oh yeah, my obscurely flavored Pop Rocks purchases did not end with Pumpkin Patch Orange. Being a longtime lover of Cherry Coke, I’m honestly not surprised I picked up some Cherry Cola Pop Rocks. And to be fair, they’re pretty on point. I mean, it’s not necessarily something you’d want to have all the time, but if you’re talking authenticity, it’s definitely reminiscent of cherry cola, or at the very least you would guess soda. Not bad. I also got Watermelon Pop Rocks, but they’re a pretty normal pick, so we’ll just let that be.
– Gummy worms and sour watermelon: Solid choices, but also candy that can be found at most grocery stores. So I can’t quite say it was the best choice for this kind of nostalgia-driven specialty store.
– Candy cigarettes: Yes, the kind you used to feel like a little bad ass buying from the ice cream man because, um, smoking’s totally bad for you. Except… um, smoking is really bad for you. Why is this still a thing? Also, it basically tastes like chalk. Why is this so alluring? Asking for a friend.
– A box of Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly jellybeans: Yes, this is actually a box containing only buttered popcorn flavored jelly beans. I distinctly remember being thrilled about this.
– A buttered popcorn air freshener: I am not kidding. This is a real thing, and it is a thing that I voluntarily purchased. I don’t understand this on any level. Now, I love popcorn, probably more than most people you know. But here’s the thing: why would anyone want their car to smell like popcorn?! 1) It’s not a clean, refreshing, or calming smell. 2) Wouldn’t it just make you want popcorn? Nevertheless, I am now the proud (read: not) owner of a buttered popcorn scented air freshener.
– Cocktail Classics Jelly Belly jelly beans: Back to the jelly beans now, with another themed pack, this time: alcoholic beverages. Of course there wasn’t any alcohol in it, but I will say that the candies seemed to pretty much hit the nail on the head. The pack comes with: Margarita, Peach Bellini, Pomegranate Cosmo, Piña Colada, Strawberry Daiquiri, and Mojito. Again, it’s not really something you’d want to consume a lot of (unlike the beverages they’re modeled after… you know what I’m saying?) but they were some pretty impressive copies.
– Empowermints: Lastly, I couldn’t seem to pass up their cleverly arranged upsell-promoting tables by the counter, with their joke candies and sassy mints. I came across a tin of “Empowermints,” and I was sold. I mean, how clever is that…. like empowerment… but empowermints, because mints. Are you getting what sort of state I must have been in? (Wine, how dare you betray me so?)
Unfortunately that isn’t actually the end of it, with my bag also being filled with a few Blow Pops (no, they did not have blue raspberry, the one thing I actually went in there for), some Blow Pop knockoffs, a giant candy necklace, and Zotz fizz candies.
A particularly incriminating Instagram post from the night in question also reveals that I spent $48 on all the loot. No, that is unfortunately not a typo. Well, at least I had fun, and that’s what Treat Yo Self is all about, right?
Message here is, don’t drink and buy, kids.
Until next time,