Fashion Changes, But Style Endures ~ Coco Chanel


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Having put on a few pounds since last year and therefore unable to fit into any of my Summer dresses, I was in desperate need of a new work wardrobe.

So I paid a visit to my usual retailers: Mr Price and the local Chinese shops. Unfortunately the quality of the former’s clothing had deteriorated since last I purchased there; and the latter’s prices had become unreasonable; therefore I left empty-handed.

I came across on on-line store on Bidorbuy [where I bid and buy a lot – all my recent vintage purchases are done in this manner.] and despite my reservations of purchasing clothing without trying them on, I decided to buy two dresses as a trial run.

Two days after my payment was made, two very stylish dresses arrived by courier. Even more surprising than the fast delivery was the quality of the garments.

Firstly, they looked exactly as they did in the advertised pictures above. Quite a rare feat for internet shopping. Secondly, the quality was far superior to that of Mr Price and the other retailers I tried. Oh and best of all – prices ranged from R180 to R230 a dress. Quite a bargain.

What a pleasant surprise! So pleasant, that I decided to reward the online store with four additional purchases.

Since wearing the some of the outfits to work, I have been showered with compliments at how well the dresses hug my figure, and the overall style that I pull off.

Don’t believe me? See for yourself!


Harmony in houndstooth dress


A Conversation in Silence


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Silence is the language God speaks and everything else is a bad translation.
Thomas Keating

Empty yourself of everything. Let the mind rest at peace. The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return. They grow and flourish and then return to the source. Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature.
Lao Tzu

Be still, and know that I am (God).
Psalm 46:10

Be quiet in your mind, quiet in your senses, and also quiet in your body. Then, when all these are quiet, don’t do anything. In that state truth will reveal itself to you. It will appear in front of you and ask,” what do you want?”

The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.

This silence, this moment, every moment, If it’s genuinely inside you, brings what you need.  There’s nothing to believe. Only when I stopped believing in myself did I come into this beauty. Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say, ‘Be more silent.’ Die and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign that you’ve died. Your old life was a frantic running from silence. Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence.

Raise your words not voice. It is rain that grows flowers not thunder.

Silence is ancient. Silence has been in the space you
are at this very moment for longer than anything else
has. It will remain after you leave and exist long after
all other things have faded.
Pagan reflections Yule: The Silence of Winter 

Carry your baggage towards silence, when you seek the signs of the way.

Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment; that background which the painter may not daub, be he master or bungler, and which, however awkward a figure we may have made in the foreground, remains ever our inviolable asylum, where no indignity can assail, no personality can disturb us.

In silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and watch how the pattern improves.

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.

Take a Hike


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One [of many] things Kevin and I have in common is our love for the great outdoors. In particular, we really enjoy taking long leisurely walks in nature.

Our recent 6km  hike in the Modderfontein Reserve yielded delightful views; rivers, swamps and dams; paths, bridges and campfire circles; birds, nests and skulls – we were not disappointed with the sightings and left in the late afternoon with our souls recharged.

The Angels Have Spoken


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I have been feeling very out of sorts lately, with my moods pivoting on a pendulum, oscillating upon high and unable to reach equilibrium.

Happy, sad, disappointed, bored, hopeful, apathetic, ecstatic, pissed off, agitated. Cape Town may boast four seasons in a day, but Harmony suffers with at least six emotions from dawn to dusk.

I’m currently in a state of apathy, with a dash of boredom and sprinkle of irritation for good measure.

I intentionally put it down to the birthday blues, however with celebrations [or lack thereof] being over for almost a lunar cycle already, my current malaise must have an alternate cause.

Being the good little spiritual being I am, I consulted the cards for answers. Instead of choosing one of my Angel / Tarot packs for a ready, I took one card from each, in the name of covering all angles [and all Angels].

FIVE OF PENTACLES [The Lovers’ Tarot Deck]

On a psychological level, the Five of Pentacles may indicate difficulty with your relationship to money and material things.  For example, if you are unfortunate enough to encounter financial difficulties such as the loss of employment or an investment gone belly-up, you may fall into the trap of losing faith in your ability to recreate a positive financial situation for yourself. Therefore, you should not only consider your actual financial circumstances but also your attitudes toward money.

Well now that you mention it, Kevin is unemployed … again, having recently resigned from his new job in order to avoid being let go [read: fired] pending a disciplinary hearing. Whilst I’m sure he is feeling the pressure beneath the rough and tough exterior; I know that I am stressed as I am was finally back on my feet financially after many years of struggle and strife. So the uncertainly of Kevin’s employment means I no longer have free spend of my salary or the additional income of his “rent” which I had been investing. Damn it. 

The Five of Pentacles can also point to a time of being alone, feeling abandoned, ignored and unwanted. You may be excluded from group events or you are being ostracised by others. You are in desperate need of support and comfort from those who actually care.

Alone, abandoned, ignored. That pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling for several weeks. What with my regrettable, but unavoidable resentment towards Kevin and the knock to his confidence and ego, we’re tiptoeing around each other to avoid harsh words. and since he just about sums up the total of my social life, loneliness is inevitable.

MANIFESTATION POWER [Angel Therapy Oracle Cards]

Use your spiritual gifts and natural abilities to attract your desired outcome.

You’ve got the power! With this card, the angels remind you of your innate spiritual abilities. Perhaps you’ve been complaining about something or have been feeling like a victim under the influence of someone else’s will. This card is a reminder that you do have the power to change everything in your life by using your natural spiritual gifts of manifestation.

Yes, definitely feeling the victim of someone else’s actions. But what is my desired outcome???

THREE OF ARIEL [Archangel Power Tarot Cards]

Do what you love! It’s important to follow your passions and do your very best work. There is great talent and skill present The task at hand can be a joyful experience and may bring recognition or financial rewards. this is a time of great personal growth in your career or artistic endeavours. Working with others in a happy, cooperative manner is important. Get the input of those around you, but don’t be afraid to confidently share your ideas.

The “Do what you love” instruction struck a cord, and the immediate thought that came to mind was blog.  It’s definitely top of my list of activities that I take absolute delight in, and I have severely neglected my blog for several months.  In fact I note it’s been nearly a year since I regularly wrote. Tsk tsk.

So here I am. A somewhat forced effort as my current occupation does not involve writing whatsoever hence I am really out of practice. As much as I despised my previous job, at least I wrote for a living. That being said, I am enjoying tremendous financial success in my rather dull new career, and as much as I love writing – it never paid the bills. Certainly not all of them.

PLAYFULNESS [Healing With The Angels Oracle Cards]

The angels know that you have a lot of responsibility and that you need a steady flow of time, money and other resources. By drawing this card, the angels want you to know that regular doses of fun can help you accomplish your goals.  You may protest that you don’t have enough time, money, or energy to pay. Yet your angels assure you that playfulness is a wonderful investment that yields immediate returns.

When you have fun and laugh, you relax. This relaxation gives you a greater inflow of ideas, spiritual connections, Divine guidance and energy. With the new inspirations and energy, you can better manifest your desires.  Your relaxed and radiant personality attracts wonderful and helpful persons to you. Your positive outlook creates new opportunities for you. When you look at life in this way, you can’t afford not to have fun.

I have the time and the money, it’s the energy that’s been sorely lacking. I won’t claim to work long unreasonable hours, but those that I do put in are rather draining. 

But the angels have spoken and I am listening, so tonight I have a date with my beautiful daughter. We’re going to watch Mother’s Day on my newly upholstered couch [post for another day] and pig out on buffet of junk food. 

And if that isn’t the definition of fun, then I don’t know what is!


Kevin Continues


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So what else has been happening in the Life and Times of Harmony besides fantasizing about a new kitchen.

On Kevin’s side, his daughter moved out of his folks place and in with her other grandparents and the boyfriend wasn’t very far behind. We havent had contact with her since. To be honest I enjoy the peace it brings, but Kevin pines for his little girl and that breaks heart.

Shortly thereafter his mom passed away from emphysema. A mere 4 months after my own mother. From the same disease.

The only good that came out of that tragedy was Kevin finally giving up ciggies. And he was eternally grateful for my consistent nagging when he competed, and placed very well, in the recent Midmar Mile. And yes, I was at the finish line cheering him on.

After spending an incredibly magical weekend in a delightful hippy house atop a hill in the Midlands and a day frolicking on the beach.

Last December Kevin also started a new job.

After his mom’s death he and he father were further estranged,  to the the point of a regretful war of words over rhe phone on New Years Eve, and so in January of this year he moved …

Too Many Cooks Spoil The Broth


Those who know me know I’m not one to spend much time in the kitchen. It’s a standing joke that I consider the kitchen a glorified coffee station.

However since Kevin and I cook together several times a week, and make each other tea / coffee on the mornings he’s here; I have started noticing a lot wrong with the nook. (It can hardly qualify as a room)

A cupboard without a door. Loose handles on drawers. Lopsided shelves. Chipped countertops. Rotten kickboards.

And the damned humungous peninsula in the middle of the living room, tendering the kitchen small and awkward and the dining room obsolete.


Or WTF as I used to say.

How did it deteriorate to this point?

I realised that it was the one area in the house which other than new blinds and a paint, had never had any sort of upgrade in the more than 16 years I’ve been living here.

Soon a desire to redo my kitchen was borne.

And we really need violin music here cos this is ME talking. ME actually wanting to spend time, money and attention remodelling my kitchen.

I kept picturing my dream white cottage / French chic inspired glass doors, antique pewter cup handles on the shaker style doors.

I didn’t depress myself by obtaining quotes, which would no doubt be ridiculously expensive and as far as Mars out of reach.

But that didn’t stop me from dreaming. And collecting hordes of pictures for inspiration.

I could actually want to cook in some of these kithen.

// hi!

SARS Scares


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The last month at my previous company was the most pleasant I had spent in my 6 years and 4 months employment. Partly due to Boss Lady being overseas [globe-trotting around Europe, because the company doesn’t make enough to offer its staff decent increases] and in part because I went on a go-slow, in the name of training my replacement.

My assistant wasn’t able to handle 1/10 of my work and so a second assistant was hired to help with the workload. She too wasn’t coping [and I hadn’t even handed over all my “problem children” as yet] so before I left they were conducting interview for a third person to fill my position.

And no-one believed me when I said I was doing the job of four people. Oh well – they live and learn. [Last I heard, they are looking at another person to help out in my department, as the three ladies are drowning. Hehehe.]

Boss Lady returned to the office two days before my final hoo-rah, and was kind enough to give a fitting farewell, which I found rather touching. We had a fabulous lunch [which everyone sat in their respective offices and ate] and I was handed a goodie-bag with make-up, perfume, clothes, chocolates, a brooch and a weird looking wooden doll [WTF].

Oh, but before my grand exit, there was a bit of drama.

On the Tuesday, my penultimate day at Hell Hole; I received a call from our HR consultant, which as the past has taught me, never bodes well.

Hi Harmony.

Hi Nasty HR

I have some bad news for you


I can’t pay you your salary today

[noting that it was already 4 days late, because my expired contract stated that I was to receive my salary on the 25th of the month]

Why not?

SARS have contacted me and because you owe them R16,000 in penalties, the company is legally required to deduct this from your salary.


So I suggest you urgently go see them and sign come to payment arrangement, otherwise we have to deduct that money and pay it over to them.

Seriously? Seriously!

I’m not disputing that perhaps I hadn’t submitted a return or two over the years, and I’m also not doubting the validity that SARS contacted the company – however the timing [the day before my last day] had me thinking something was rotten in the state of Denmark [one of the many European countries Boss Lady had recently visited].

As for owing them R16,000 in penalties alone – how is that even possible???

Having no choice but to visit our delightful government organisation, I roped in the cavalry, in the guise of good old faithful Kevin.

Fortunately my office was a block away from the local SARS office, so I didn’t have to battle with finding an elusive parking space, and took a short walk down the road. Thankfully too, I was uncharacteristically wearing flat shoes that day.  [Sometimes, the Universe does like me.]

I entered the building, received my number: 892, and took a seat to await my summons.

Kevin took almost an hour to get to me, as he was on a job in the South and still had to drop his father off at another client before coming to my rescue. But I hadn’t moved, and I was nowhere near to having my number called.

Kevin decided that since he was at SARS, he would take the opportunity to have a consultant assist with doing his latest return, so he too obtained a number.

Another sixty minutes ticked by and finally my number was called.  I entered the office of elderly lady, and hoped that her age equated to experience, and we could quickly resolve the matter.

However it seemed that my luck had run out, as the news wasn’t good.

There were returns from 2008 and 2011 outstanding, and somehow that had accrued to R16,000 in penalties. I explained my situation to the consultant and requested how to go about coming to a payment arrangement in order to still receive my full salary without the government taking it all via the evil HR.

Madame Aged said that I shouldn’t sign an acknowledgement of debt, and should rather file an appeal with the view to having my penalties reduced.

Great! Let’s do that!

First you need to get an affidavit to state why you didn’t submit your returns.

No problem, I’ll quickly write something out if you can sign it.

No can do. You need to get it certified at the police station

By this time it was 15h15 and the SARS office were closing in 45 minutes.

Wasting no time, I dashed out of the building and power-walked backed to the office where I speed-typed a semi-accurate letter of excuse and then stuck my head in Boss Lady’s office with a hasty update and then flew in the Feisty Fiesta to the nearest police station.

Luckily everyone in the queue was there to have docs signed, as with only one police officer in attendance, I’d have been there until midnight had anyone been there to report a crime.

With signed and stamped letter in hand, I texted Kevin and asked him to obtain a secondary number for me, so that I wouldn’t have long to wait in the queue; and with 7 minutes to spare, I sped a hasty retreat back to SARS. Small mercies for residing and working in a small town.

I made it through the doors in the nick of time however I couldn’t find Kevin and I had run out of airtime so couldn’t contact him, and had no idea how to send a please call me. With no other option, I took another number.


Fortunately I was called not long after taking a seat, and after entering another office, I had to repeat my sob story to another consultant.

My name-sake [a sure sign that the tides were going to turn] was aghast at the run-around I had been given by the old lady, and said that I didn’t need an affidavit or even a letter, as any of the consultants on duty could merely lodge the appeal on the computer system on my behalf.


Harmony2 was also taken aback that the ancient one had given me the incorrect information; it wasn’t 2008 and 2011 returns that were missing; it was 2001 to 2015 [oops] and H2 kindly submitted all my missing returns whilst I was in her office, in order to prevent the accrual of any further penalties.

She also submitted my appeal and had the head of SARS provided me with a formal letter for my employers to release my salary pending the outcome of the appeal, noting that even if it wasn’t successful, I could pay it off at R500 a month.

It was after 17h00 when Kevin [who’d been having his own returns submitted – with a wonderful refund which has since paid for a new fabulous bamboo memory foam mattress for us] joined me in the office and it was close on 17h30 when I returned to the office with letter excepting the HR cow from retaining my salary.


Oh and did I mention that HR offered to do my returns at R450 a piece …. a reduction from R750; which would have seen me R6,750 out of pocket. And I wonder how she thought I was going to pay that after almost leaving me salaryless.

When there’s a single thief, it’s robbery. When there are a thousand thieves, it’s taxation.
~Vanya Cohen

What at first was plunder assumed the softer name of revenue.
~Thomas Paine

Another difference between death and taxes is that you don’t have to work like fury to pay for the dying you did last year.
~Robert Quillen

Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today.
~Herman Wouk

Weakly Week


My resignation went well. Very well in fact. Boss Lady was neither surprised, nor upset and she heartily agreed that it was an opportunity not to be missed and so I will be leaving with her blessing. Not quite the reaction I was expecting, but I’m pleased that no bridges have been burned.

Boss Lady is overseas for the month, so luckily my last month is rather quiet and peaceful, for a change. I am handing over as much as possible to my poor assistant who is not coping under the pressure. Good luck to her next month when I’m not here to hold her hand anymore.

There has been a major change in the family dynamics. Kayla and Kevin had a humongous fight last week. She was being her usual obnoxious, disrespectful self; and so Kevin grounded her and forbid to her to return to Scouts.

She made it clear that she wasn’t going to be prevented from being with her boyfriend [seemingly her only reason for going to Scouts] and the argument escalated to the point where he gave her a hiding.

I don’t agree with corporal punishment under any circumstances and pride myself on having successfully raised two children without ever raising my hands. However I can actually understand it getting to this point, as Kayla does not obey instructions and I have never in my life met such a insolent teenager before.

Anyway, after the smack she told her father that she would rather live with her mother [a drug addict whom she left last year due to constantly being left home to fend for herself] because her mother lets her do whatever she wants. Including sleep at the boyfriend.

So, last Friday night the mother came to fetch Kayla. However she has since moved in with the mothers folks, as parenting was getting in the way of the drugging; although she told Kevin that she was entering rehab. This remains to be seen.

*sigh* It’s been a week from hell for Kevin, with the mother sending the nastiest messages to him, and pushing all his buttons hoping for him to snap. Her parents have also jumped on the bandwagon and are all making Kayla out to be an Angel and her father a monster.

Oh well, they’ll soon see what happens when she doesn’t get her own way. So either they’ll have to let her run riot [which seems to be happening], alternatively they’ll face the wrath of one contemptuous teen. Good luck to them.

I’m staying out of the drama and am merely offering Kevin my support in his stance in that unless she apologies for her past behaviour, and agrees to comply with the rules in our respective houses, that she is not permitted back.

I don’t see that happening anytime soon as she spends every afternoon and weekends at the boyfriend now, so I don’t see her giving that up for anything. And we all know where this roads leads …

In other news, I finally relented and bought a new cellphone. I am the proud owner of a new Samsung A5 that I am still trying to figure out. I won’t make the mistake of giving it to Angel to figure out and then teach me; I did that with an iPhone 4 and needless to say, I never saw the phone again.

Anyway, no time to dilly daddle; Kevin and I are leaving shortly for a much welcomed weekend away courtesy of none other than Boss Lady. Yup, as a birthday gift she gave me a weekend away voucher and we will taking advantage of it this weekend.

Deneysville here we come!



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Dear CEO,

A great many thanks for the offer of employment and opportunity to join your company.

I do have a minor concern that the proffered salary will equate to less than my requested minimum gross requirements after tax deductions.

If you will kindly permit me the weekend to review same, so that I may ascertain the tax implications as well as investigate permissible allowances so as to maximise the tax benefits, and to thereafter calculate my estimated gross salary and I will revert on Monday morning.

That being said, I am pleased to note that commission would be considered in due course, as I am confident that my unique set of skills and work ethic will be a great asset to the company and I am more than prepared to prove myself worthy.

Once again, thank you for the offer and sign of faith in my potential, and I look forward to being a productive member of the team!

Kind Regards,



Hi Harmony,

…Thanks for your reply…we’ll try make your decision easier for you….see our revised offer…

Just a note…not sure if it was mentioned in your interviews. This job involves being thrown into somewhat of an “organised chaos”…so if you are counting on all things being stipulated and formalised it’s not for you…we are looking for personnel who can work in vacuum areas and create procedures and processes where needed…

Awaiting your feedback




Monthly Package:
15% more than their initial offer, which equates to an 80% increase on my current salary.


So not only will I be earning almost double what I have been; I will have no-one looking over my shoulders, nit-picking what I do and how I do it; or even telling me what to do period.

The company is expanding rather rapidly so not only will I be challenged on a daily basis, but there is so much room for growth.

I am so excited I could pee!

Finally I am joining an organisation that recognises my potential and has faith in my abilities … AND is willing to compensate me accordingly. Unlike Boss Lady who has taken advantage of me for six years so that she can live in the lap of luxury whilst I’ve been surviving hand to mouth.

Well no more! On Monday morning I had in my resignation and a week later BL leaves for a 3 week trip to Europe so I don’t know how she’s going to find a replacement for me whilst she’s globe-trotting – the timing couldn’t be worse – for her. Ah Karma, she works in mysterious ways.

Anyway, that’s not my problem.

I will leave at the end of September with my head held high knowing that despite not being treated the way I deserved, nor adequately compensated for my slog; I gave always gave 200% and went over and above the call of the duty.

I am so damn proud of myself.

Watch this space!

Shop Hopping


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Back to Birthday Weekend.

On Saturday morning we were all up bright and early, as Kevin was taking Kayla to visit a friend in their neighbourhood, and I was meeting with a friend of Angel’s mother and a bunch of kids to assist them with a school project.

And believe it or not, Kayla made her bed without being told. Yay, progress!

I also had to fetch a few kids from a secure estate nearby, as well as drop them off afterwards, and knowing that security protocol has the guards checking the boots of all vehicles, we “hid” one of the girls in the boot whilst waiting our turn at the gate, with strict instructions to look dead.

Pity we couldn’t hold our laughter in, as it was very obvious to the security guard that something was fishy with a car full of girls giggling hysterically. Still, he had a good laugh too when he opened my boot to a non-moving teenage girl.

We had a restful afternoon, with Kevin and I spending most of it sitting in the garden chatting and attempting to reconnect – which we successfully did. But not before I let go my built-up resentment from the previous week.

Yup, I really struggle to let go of issues and I can hold a grudge tighter than Gollum with The Ring.

Late afternoon Angel wanted to go the mall as she had to fetch something [I knew it was related to my birthday present, but didn’t let on that I knew]. Kevin didn’t come with us as he had to go fetch Kayla, so I had an hour alone to window shop.

Which was the intention, until I walked into Pick n Pay clothing. All good intentions flew out the window when I saw that they stocked short playsuits. I’ve desperately been looking for a set, so I didn’t hesitate to grab a handful of sizes and try them on until I found the perfect fit.

Happy with my pending purchase, I made my way to the counter when I was distracted by the sight of brown boots hiding under a table.

I had searched the whole of winter for a pair of brown boots. Not to say I haven’t come across brown boots; but they’re either too high, too low, too dark, too light, too pointy, too rounded. I knew what I wanted, but hadn’t seen anything close to my vision … until Saturday!

I decided to leave it up to fate. The chances of having a size 3 when shoes are on the racks are slim to none; the chances of finding my size among a few pairs of shoes discarded after the season are about a million to one [trust me].

I could see several very large boots, and lifting them out found them to be size 7 and 8 respectively.

I dropped them and picked up a tangled trio and found two to be a size 4. I could work with that! With a few pairs of socks to buffer the feet and prevent them from slipping out – no problem.

With my mind make up I untangled the third shoe and out of curiosity turn it around.

Size 3.

Oh my god!

I dropped to my hands and knees and not caring that my short red dress was creeping precariously high up my thighs, I hunted between the remaining galoshes for the boots mate.

Found it!

My slip-slops were slipped off and the boots slid on. Perfect fit!

My newfound excited was quickly extinguished when I looked at the price. R399. Now I know that is a reasonable price for a pair of high good quality boots, but being the penny-pincher I am, I squirmed all the way to the till.

The sales assistant rang up my purchases and when I saw R199 being rung up, I quickly told the guy to halt as the price tag of the playsuit was R159, NOT R199. He reviewed the monitor in front of him and pointed out that it wasn’t the playsuit that cost R199, it was the boots.

They were on sale for half price – but for reasons unknown to me, weren’t marked as such. Bargain!

Now all I was missing was a pair of white high heeled go-go boots that I recently saw at the flea market but had no money at the time to purchase.

Angel and I returned home after our mutually satisfying shopping experiences, and Kevin and Kayla weren’t far behind us.

We spent a relaxing family night in the lounge watching movies together, in anticipation of the big birthday the next day!

No decision should be made on an empty shopping bag.
~ Donita K. Paul

Women usually love what they buy, yet hate two-thirds of what is in their closets.
~ Mignon McLaughlin

The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.
~ Erma Bombeck

When I shop, the world gets better, and the world is better, but then it’s not, and I need to do it again. (Confessions of a Shopaholic-the movie)
~ Sophie Kinsella

Buy what you don’t have yet, or what you really want, which can be mixed with what you already own. Buy only because something excites you, not just for the simple act of shopping
~ Karl Lagerfeld