I Bought a Mini Trampoline to Work Out in My Apartment, and It’s the Best

The single most expensive purchase I made in 2018 wasn’t a pair of designer shoes, the lamp I’ve been lusting after for six months, or a new iPad; it was a $300 mini trampoline. Long considered a fitness relic of days past (specifically, of the 1980s) it has been a total game changer in my approach to both exercise and my mental health.

I know you may be thinking, $300*? On a mini trampoline? Most people stare at me—incredulous—when I mention it’s now my preferred mode of exercise. It’s like something a five-year-old hopped up on sugar might ask for at a toy store.

This seemingly ridiculous purchase was initially the result of being Insta-influenced by Busy Philipps. Before this point, I’d tried everything. I suffered through anxiety-inducing Spin classes and knee-busting barre workouts. I wallowed in the existential dread of a 90-minute yoga session. After 34 years of avoiding cardio-based workouts like the plague, I had all but given up on ever finding a routine that I actually enjoyed. Working out would forever be a punishment to endure.

Not only that, for years I was terrified exercise would trigger my past disordered eating or overexercising patterns. At one point I figured it was better to just avoid it all together. I resigned myself to the fact that a little extra squish around my belly was better than falling down the rabbit hole of bad habits. Instead, I did the work of self-love and body acceptance and avoided almost every Internet fitness craze, since they all seem to lean heavily into the patriarchal ideal of female physical perfection. Who wants to buy into that load of hot garbage? Certainly not me. (Not to mention the fact that being asked if I’m pregnant is certainly an efficient way of weeding out the assholes of the world.)

Enter Busy Philipps. She made bouncing away on a trampoline look like so much fun that I dropped the entirety of the money I’d been gifted for Christmas in 2017 on an Amazon order in early January. And here I am 12 months later, a full-fledged member of the LEKfit cult. I can honestly say that it’s impossible to do this workout without a huge smile plastered on my face. Glimmers of a familiar youthful glee surface while jumping away in the comfort of my own home—without witnesses. (Please believe me when I say that nobody needs to see this.)

For $20 a month, I now have access to Busy-approved trampoline and mat dance-inspired workouts at my fingertips. There are tons of free trampoline workouts on YouTube, but I’m an avowed LEKfit fan. The vibe is right up my alley: All classes are filmed in LEKfit founder Lauren Kleban’s black-and-white garage studio and accompanied by the best playlists I’ve ever encountered in any workout scenario (girlfriend has taste). Gone are the days of joyless, dread-inducing workouts. My ClassPass membership was promptly reduced to the bare minimum for the occasional Pilates jaunt, and I can honestly say that I look forward to working out now.

The best part is that this trampoline workout is just as effective as it is joy-inducing. Given that it’s a low-resistance workout, I was worried that it wouldn’t feel like much, but it wears me out without depleting me. Instead of leaving more anxious than I began, I feel happy.

The second-best part is that having a trampoline in your home makes you the coolest aunt in town. What my home lacks in children’s toys or chicken nuggets, it makes up for with hours spent jumping up and down on a trampoline. There’s nothing like the surprise and elation on a child’s face when I pull this bad boy out. It’s instant fun house.

Sure, it’s a space hog in my small apartment. But I’ve found ways to make it work. In ten minutes I can take it apart and store it under my bed, or I just leave it in the living room and use it as a footrest while lounging on the couch. Laziness dictates that for the most part, so the trampoline is usually just hanging out. It’s a bit of an eyesore, but it doesn’t bother me since I use it so often and both my boyfriend and dog enjoy lounging on it.

I had always heard that everyone finds the right workout for them, but I didn’t think it would ever apply to me. I assumed I’d just be the kind of person who hates working out, and I’d move through life. But it turns out everyone was right. I hope, if you haven’t already, you find your thing.

An Entertainment Editor’s Impulse Buys: A Roomba, End-of-Year Sales, and $450 on Ice Skating

My spending habits are surprisingly low for someone who lives in NYC, one of the most expensive cities in the world. The thing is, I just don’t like spending money. Treating myself to a “splurge” usually comes with more guilt and anxiety than joy, which is something I guess I should ask my therapist about…but then again, my bank account isn’t complaining.

And thanks to work, I get access to a lot of movie and TV show screeners, meaning I get plenty of free entertainment. My beauty routine is cheap because I rarely wear more than some light foundation and mascara; I also have bangs, which are great because you can get away with a wash-and-go without much styling. When it comes to clothes, I’ll shop the occasional sale at & Other Stories—more on that later—but I keep a strict “one in, one out” closet policy, which means I’ll make a little money from a resell shop every season. For everything else, I ask for gift cards for my birthday and Christmas and spread those out over the year whenever I get the itch for something new.

So when I was asked to keep a log of impulse buys for a month for this series, I thought it’d be the most boring list ever. Lucky for this article, though, it hit right before Christmas. And this year my husband and I were hosting our parents for the very first time. That meant buying more decorations to set the mood, a frenzy of cooking and cleaning, and a few last-minute gifts I purchased in a panic. The holidays were a hit, thank God, but I’m paying penance for it the rest of the year. Here’s why.

The kitchen cart I, a grown woman, bought because my mom told me to: $100.99
While I was home for Thanksgiving, my mom strongly suggested I find a kitchen cart to make Christmas dinner prep easier. I reluctantly agreed it was a good idea—counter space is limited in one-bedroom walk-up apartments—so I checked out Wayfair’s options. Normally, I’d spend a week weighing the pros and cons of each cart, but there was a big sale happening so I bought the first one I liked (the Haller Kitchen Cart by August Grove). I didn’t think too much about it until I got the notification that the package shipped—then my brain was all, Did I read enough reviews? What if the dimensions aren’t right? Do I need more drawer space? That was unnecessary. It’s so perfect I’m annoyed I didn’t get one sooner. Lesson learned: Listen to your mother.

The home-cleaning services I paid for because I was too “busy” watching Real Housewives of New Jersey: $180
Once the cart arrived, my next big project in holiday prep was deep cleaning the apartment. One problem: I had a lot of end-of-year projects at work, so by the time I got home each night, I was too exhausted to do anything but turn on Bravo and pass out on the couch. Rather than keep putting it off, I sprang for a cleaner via a home-service app. It cost $120, and I felt a lot guilt about it—just get off the couch, lazy!—but the woman did a great job and offered to come back for half the price ($60) if I booked her directly. (The app takes a huge cut.) I hired her to come back for a quick clean the day my parents arrived, and it was the best $60 I’ve ever spent.

The Roomba I couldn’t resist because I’ve already spent so much on cleaning why turn back now?: $319.99
I was at Costco picking up food and other supplies when I spotted a sale on Roombas for $319.99. That’s a great deal—I’ve seen them cost in the $500 to $600 range—and, to be honest, I was motivated by my newly clean apartment. So the robot vacuum came home with me. I’ve named her Roombie and treat her like a beloved pet.

The holiday decorations that were inspired by Hallmark Christmas movies: $87.84
Maybe it was all the Hallmark Christmas movies I’d been watching, but I felt like my apartment wasn’t festive enough. I stopped by Party City to see if they had any cheap holiday decorations and left with napkins, plates, and gifts bags for $34.43. I didn’t love their wrapping paper selection, though, so I went into the Five Below next door and got ribbons, paper, more gift bags, and a silly desktop golf game for my dad. That set me back $33.41. Then, on my way home, I passed by a Christmas tree stand and saw an adorable reindeer made out of tree bark. The guy at the stand was straight out of a Hallmark Christmas movie—where else do attractive Christmas tree farmers exist?—and he talked me into spending $20 on the deer, a Charlie Brown–style Christmas tree, and a small Santa made out of bark. I paid cash.

The ice-skating tickets so expensive I gasped when I saw the cost: $450
A few days before our parents arrived, my husband and I sat down and came up with an itinerary. High on the list was ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza on Christmas Eve…but then I saw how expensive the VIP tickets were: $150 a piece. The tickets included guaranteed access to the ice (without that, it’s a long line with no guarantee you’ll get in), free snacks and drinks, and the skate and locker rental (that’s an additional cost with general admission). Expensive, yes, but this was a bucket list item for my parents and me. I hemmed and hawed and then closed my eyes and hit “purchase.” I didn’t buy much for my parents for Christmas this year—they’re trying to downsize—so I told myself (and them) this was their big gift. It wasn’t cheap, but seeing how excited my mom and dad were once we hit the ice made it worth it.

& Other Stories socks, $10; & Other Stories sweater, $83; Target jewelry stand, $19.99; & Other Stories metallic shirt, $75

The end-of-year sales that were a Christmas gift to myself: $256.99
I nailed hosting the holidays, but after everyone left I felt like I deserved something for all the hard work (mentally and physically) I put into pulling it off. So I did a little online retail therapy. One of my favorite gifts from my husband this year was a new Vanessa Mooney necklace, and I wanted a cuter jewelry stand to show it off. I found one on Target for $19.99 that I liked. Then I got an inbox alert that & Other Stories was having a sale. That’s my favorite store for reasonably priced trendy but adult items, so I went to the location near my office and stocked up on a new sweater, a blazer, socks, and not one but two metallic tops. Those cost me $237, but I think I’ve earned it.

Anna Moeslein is a senior editor at Glamour.

Kris Jenner Changed Her Hair, and It’s Scary How Much She Looks Like Kim

Kris Jenner‘s signature pixie cut has a life of its own, really. Her ‘do is basically responsible for a billion-dollar entertainment empire. In love with your Kylie Lip Kit? Thank Kris Jenner’s short brown locks. Jazzed about the latest KKW Beauty fragrance? Kris’ pixie is accepting checks. Simply put, her hair is iconic, and pop-culture wouldn’t be the same without it.

So when the momager changes up her look, people tend to flip. There was the time last year when she went platinum blond and spawned a million memes. And now, she’s at it again with a brand new style. Kris uploaded a photo of herself to Instagram this weekend with a top bun and loose, piece-y bangs, and she looks like a completely different person. More specifically, she looks like her daughter, Kim Kardashian.

I know what you’re thinking: They’re a mother-daughter duo, so of course they look alike—but this is legit. Sure, Kim and Kris have similar features, but I’m sure you’ve never mistaken one for the other. You’ve always known Kim is the one with a song called “Jam” and Kris loves wine. But just look at this photo of Kris, below. You’ll think—at least for a split second—that it’s Kim. I certainly did.

I’m not alone in this, either. “Kim looks just like you here,” one person commented on Kris’ post. “I thought this was lil kim,” wrote another.

Interestingly, Kris also bears a striking resemblance to her other daughter, Kendall, in this photo:

2015 American Music Awards - Arrivals

PHOTO: Getty Images

If all three of them stood in a line with this exact haircut, there’s no way I could tell them apart. Whoever can deserves a Pulitzer Prize. The power of bangs, people.

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I Tested Dozens of the Best Hair Mousses—Here’s What Worked

It’s 2019, and mousse is back. I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t that the reason my mom’s hair had hurricane-level wind resistance in 1984? Didn’t we send that ish to the beauty graveyard, along with frosted lipstick and Paris Hilton’s perfume? Yes, it is, and we did.

But here’s the thing: My hair is now the longest it’s been since 2014, when I chopped it into a bob as a preemptive strike before losing it entirely to chemo. Once it grew back, I kept it short—partially because I loved it, but mostly because I also hated how long hair made me look. When it’s past my collarbones, I channel Keanu Reeves in role of Severus Snape, since my waves weigh down the rest of my hair, leaving it flat and frizzy. But a combination of sheer laziness and morbid curiosity led me to grow my hair out again. Would it still be bad? The answer is yes—but not 24/7, thanks to this magical little thing called mousse.

With mousse, my hair looks fuller at the crown, its wave pattern is more uniform, and said waves keep their shape all day long. That’s because mousse, shoved to the side in favor of cooler-sounding things like dry shampoo and hair serum, is the original multitasker: It delivers volume, light to medium hold, and even texture. And it’s quick. All I do is brush out my hair while it’s damp, work a baseball-size amount of mousse through it, scrunch, and let it do its thing as it air-dries.

Plus, 2019’s mousses aren’t the kind you’re thinking of—you know, the ones that gave it a bad rap in the first place, leaving a crunchy, sticky texture and inspiring ’80s-era hair bands (called hair bands for a reason). Instead, new formulas keep frizz at bay and even condition hair. To find the best hair mousse out there, I put 11 of them to the test to see what holds up—and what doesn’t.

Here’s How Meghan Markle’s Staff Actually Feels About Her

A few months ago, several rumors hit the Internet alleging Meghan Markle‘s staff finds her “difficult” and demanding. Apparently, the Duchess of Sussex’s “up and at ‘em west coast energy”—which includes sending emails at 5 A.M.—has baffled employees on more than one occasion. Can you imagine your boss sending emails? The nerve! The horror! But for real: When did enthusiasm at work become a bad thing?

According to a new report from ELLE, the answer is “never.” A well-connected royals source tells the magazine that stories about Markle rubbing royal staffers the wrong way are complete rubbish. In fact, the duchess is reportedly well-liked by the people she works with, and they’re excited by her fresh perspective.

The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex Visit New Zealand - Day 1

PHOTO: Getty Images

Not only that, but Markle is “anxious” to learn about royal protocol and takes her new gig within the royal sphere seriously. According to ELLE‘s source, she’s also been receptive to the people on the inside helping her adjust. This sounds more realistic than royal staffers ducking for cover every time Markle sends a G-chat.

Day Twelve: The Championships - Wimbledon 2018

PHOTO: Getty Images

Oh, and as for those rumors about Markle and Kate Middleton feuding? The source tells ELLE they’re not true, either. “The stories of the two duchesses having a major ongoing feud are just overblown,” the source said. “They have enormous respect for each other and are both devoted to representing Her Majesty in the humanitarian and charitable work they do.”

There you have it, folks. Meghan Markle is just a grown woman trying to do her job and live her life as best as she can. There’s literally nothing to see here. No feuds. No demands. No nothing.

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What Causes Infidelity | 11 Men and Women on Why They Cheated

It’s a fact of life: Cheating happens. But why do people cheat? That’s murkier. Official numbers are hard to come by—makes sense, given the secretive subject matter—but most indicate that somewhere between about 10 percent and 70 percent (yes, over two-thirds) of women have cheated. Another more recent and perhaps more accurate study showed that about 15 percent to 18 percent of married people have cheated on their spouses. That still means the vast majority of people aren’t cheaters, which is great to hear.

But, even though we all know cheating is wrong, some people still do it. Why do people cheat? We asked those who have done it what their reasons were. Here’s what they shared:

Why men have cheated

“For the first time, women were hitting on me”“I cheated on my girlfriend because I could. I never had a lot of sexual options through high school and college, but after school, I really hit my stride. For the first time, women were hitting on me, and I was drunk on the feeling. One night, I let it go too far and slept with a woman at a party. I didn’t tell my girlfriend it happened but broke up with her on a trumped-up fight instead.” —D.H., 28

“I was seeking something that I was not getting in my marriage”“Both times, I was seeking something that I was not getting in my marriage—sex, love, and affection. … The absolute truth is that I could have likely had all the things I was seeking in my affair with my wife. It was a lack of effort and too much old programming that led to me to believe otherwise.” —Don, 29

“The opportunity to something different in bed”“The two main reasons were the excitement I got from the chase leading up to the cheat and the opportunity to do something in bed that my girlfriend objected to.” —John, 34

“What we wanted out of our sex life was very different”“We had some issues in our relationship that had been slowly pushing us apart. She was steadily becoming more religious, and what we wanted out of our sex life was very different—and we were operating on a long-distance relationship.” —Adam, 25

Why women have cheated

“I needed a way to end it”“I fell out of love and was too scared to tell him and too embarrassed to admit to myself that the relationship was done. I needed a way to end it by making him end it for me. Cowardice, really.” —Gloria, 34

“We were emotionally incompatible”“I felt all men cheated and so I should just strike first. That was a huge mistake. I was young and didn’t know how to process the feelings of isolation in my relationship. Rather than confront the fact that this person and I were emotionally incompatible, I cheated.” —Mary, 31

“To get my needs met”“I felt dissatisfied with the romance/sex in the relationship, even if it was a stable and loving one. There ended up being a lot of tension, as he expected me to do all the work to make our relationship ‘spark’ again, and didn’t lift a finger, didn’t communicate with me, and didn’t really react when I did try. Eventually, I got tired of bothering and slept with someone else to get my needs met.” —Kay, 32

“I didn’t feel like myself”“I felt like I was stuck in a relationship I didn’t want to be in. I didn’t feel like myself in it, so I emotionally cheated on my ex with a few other men.” —Jasmine, 20

“He couldn’t remember my birthday”“I was in a long-distance relationship with a man for five years, and I’d only see him twice a year. I asked him multiple times what our end game was for the relationship, but he kept saying, ‘let’s see where this goes.’ He even gave me a promise ring—he said it was a promise that one day we would be together. We were drifting apart, but we were both too lazy to break it off. Finally, I cheated on him, not once, but twice, both one night stands. The second time was on my birthday—after five years of being in a ‘relationship’ with this man, he still couldn’t remember the exact day of my birthday. … When midnight had passed and I didn’t receive an email, phone call, or message, I went to a club with some friends, and that’s when I went home with a guy. I would say it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but if I was honest with myself, it was broken long before that.” —Mari, 35

“I didn’t know I could talk to my partner”“I cheated because I didn’t know I could talk to my partner about what else I needed in the relationship—kinkier sex, or more attention, or just more understanding about when I needed more space.” —Kim, 35

“We stopped being physically intimate”“I lived with my boyfriend, and because he was moving across the country to go to law school and I wasn’t going to go with him or do long distance, he thought we should slowly stop being physically intimate with each other. Then, I met someone who wanted to have sex with me and we had a two-month-long affair and it was hot. My boyfriend and I ended up getting back together a few months after he went away to law school.” —Cathy, 35

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We Should All Shop for Coats the Way Rihanna Does

When Rihanna steps out into the cold, she doesn’t throw on any old coat. She much prefers outerwear that could double as a glamorous sleeping bag. Who cares if an oversized train drags behind her on the floor or that she’s so insulated she can’t lift her arms. She’s Rihanna—she has two back-ups in the car and an assistant there to help.

More often than not, Rihanna’s mega-coats come with a quadruple-digit price tag. (Think Saint Laurent couture, Raf Simons, Ella Boucht.) They can be made from plushy velvet or slick puffy fabric, but they’re always e-nor-mous. These aren’t coats that you have to worry will hide your outfit—they are the outfit.

Rih’s penchant for XXL outerwear is almost the wintertime/extreme air-conditioning equivalent of the red carpet confection dresses she’s known to wear. Why she loves them so much isn’t immediately clear—does she need supersized pockets to stash her collection of restaurant wine glasses, or do her hands just get really, really cold all the time? It’s an enigma that doesn’t have a straightforward answer. But also, that’s not the point: Rihanna embodies the concept of “dressing for yourself,” wearing what she wants when she wants just because she can, whether it’s a bedazzled Gucci bodysuit to Coachella or a poufy Molly Goddard gown for a Tuesday or, yes, jackets the size of a bedspread.

When she wears these coats, Rihanna looks both glamorous and unbothered, as only a multi-platinum popstar and global beauty mogul could. They’re a sartorial barrier distinguishing her from the world around her, an exercise in prestige fashion. Admit it: If you could drop a few thousand dollars on a larger-than-life puffer coat to feel like Rih, you probably would. But the good news is you don’t have to.

With at least three full months of cold still ahead, consider this our petition that everyone deserves at least one outrageous piece of outwear. So throw hazard to the wind and shop these #BigCoatEnergy outfit-makers, below. Rihanna would be proud.

Tom Ford’s $58 Liquid Eyeliner Is Absolutely Worth the Money

No hate on Dry January, but why does the New Year have to be all about self-deprivation? After months of spending our time, energy, and money on everyone else, we’re ready to treat ourselves. Welcome to our series To Me, From Me.

I’ve always been a sucker for eyeliner. When I first started wearing makeup, I didn’t get the memo on any other eye products. Mascara? Can’t tell a difference. Eyelash curler? Torture device designed for ants. Eyeshadow? Too complicated.

I got everything I wanted out of eyeliner, like easy definition, a little drama, and a whole lot of look. By high school, my signature makeup was a 10-minute application of the following: emerald-green liquid liner from the inner corners to the center, blue liquid liner from the center to a slight wing, and a healthy sweep of silver glitter liner over both. It looked great with my Catholic school uniform. (In my defense, this was 2004, the same year Britney Spears released Toxic—so, really, I’m just a product of my environment.)

Now, as an adult, I know better. So while I’ll still mess with a cobalt wing, my daily go-to is black liquid liner—specifically, Tom Ford’s Eye Defining Pen. If I ever have to testify for anything, they’d have to swear me into the proceedings with my right hand on this thing. It’s a dual-ended liquid liner; one end has a shorter, finer stroke, like a calligraphy pen, while the other is a longer brush. I use both ends indiscriminately (whichever cap I happen to pop off first) and the result is always good.

First, it deposits so much ink that there’s never any skipping or uneven spots that force you to double up on applications. And the pigment itself dries down to this rich, satin-y black that looks luxurious and won’t budge, even if your eyelids are oily (a real thing, folks). The color is so impactful that with a single sweep, you don’t need any other eye makeup. To be fair: It is high-maintenance, since it’s so pigmented that you have to wait a few seconds for it to dry before blinking. But hey, so am I.

What I used to achieve in three separate liners, I can now get in one. It makes all the difference between looking like I just woke up and looking like I’ve been awake for hours and, in that time, have gone for a run, showered, and enjoyed a breakfast date with my husband, Dev Patel. It makes me look and feel…ready. For the day. For anything.

And the best part? That $58 isn’t going to waste, because this won’t dry out for years. (Years!) I’ve been using the same pen since 2014, and only now is the ink starting to look half-hearted. And when I can’t get any more out of it? No sweat: I’ll put all the money I’m not spending on other makeup towards it. For me, it’s a worthy tradeoff.

Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen, $58, sephora.com

I Bought My Own Engagement Ring and I Couldn’t Be Happier

As I wrapped my hand around a pole on the subway a couple of weeks ago, an older lady pointed at my left hand and said, “fabulous ring.” It would’ve been a welcome compliment anyway on my commute, but it was doubly so because I bought my engagement ring myself.

If this is a surprise, it shouldn’t be, but even in 2019 it feels like a weirdly bold statement.

It’s no secret that marriage is still a particularly traditional institution, and one that’s accompanied by a long list of things small and large that are expected of people (but mostly women) who enter into it. Some of those assumptions have, thankfully, evolved over the years. (Can you imagine being forced to give up work just because you’re married?) As many of us are choosing to keep our names and get married on our terms, these norms are dissolving. For example, it’s no longer expected that a bride’s family will automatically foot the bill for the wedding. And yet, for all the progress we’ve made, it still feels as if engagement rings are a frontier we haven’t even breached.

Even as women have started to increasingly outearn their partners, the thought of a woman paying for her own ring still feels wildly taboo. Maybe it’s because of the myth that any woman who plays an active role in facilitating her engagement is tragic or desperate—thirsty to lock a man down or a demanding shrew. Instead, we’re left to wait and wonder around every Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and anniversary if this is it. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. For plenty of women, a surprise or grand gesture is romantic. For others, the whole thing is only made worse by well-meaning friends and family who ask, “Do you think he’ll do it then?” before every big vacation.

I wouldn’t expect or want my partner to choose my wedding dress for me. To get the style, the color, and not to mention the fit so right that it’s perfect. Why should a ring be any different?

Over the past year and a half, various people have, sweetly, asked me how my now-husband proposed. I feel like I’m short-changing them when I tell them there’s no story because there was no proposal. Or rather, the proposal was a conversation about whether we wanted to get married (yes) to each other (yes), when we wanted to do that (maybe late summer or early autumn?), and a mutual agreement that maybe a year ahead of that rough date we would need to start planning. This is not a good romantic story.

The romance is all the other bits of our relationship. It’s how he makes me laugh every day before I’ve even gotten out of bed. It’s how I’ve never made my own coffee in our home because he always does it for me. It’s never asking me to go to a gig with him, because he knows I hate live music. It’s his handmade birthday cards and making sure I understand the significance of every achievement I make, which I have a tendency to downplay. It’s even, I would argue, in respecting my preference to be actively involved in the planning and logistics of things that happen to me—like getting engaged. My husband is the kindest, sweetest, best person I’ve ever met in my whole life, and the best part is, he knows exactly who I am.

Our timeline of starting to think about a wedding roughly coincided with me receiving the advance on my debut novel. It was a pleasant but not life-altering amount of money, which weirdly made me feel more inclined to do something at least semi-impulsive with it. So I decided the least-frivolous frivolous thing I could do with that chunk of money was to buy an engagement ring.

The author’s engagement ring

I looked at a few gorgeous Georgian pearl cluster rings, but given that I’m fat by today’s standards, I’m certainly fat by vintage ring standards. And although they can be resized, I wasn’t willing to commit to something in which I had no idea what it’d look like on my hand.

After that, it didn’t take long for me to go back to an old favorite: Tessa Metcalfe, whose style seems to perfectly encapsulate the rough decadence of London. I’d bought a Tessa Metcalfe ring before. It was a gold-plated band made of two pigeon claws holding a freshwater pearl. I wore it so much that the gold plating came off and the shade turned silver. It was big, bold, and beautiful and just felt so right for me. A perfect solution, then, seemed to be a version of this ring, except one actually made to be worn every day. I asked Tessa to make one of her ready-to-wear rings but in solid gold so it wouldn’t tarnish, clasping a huge rose quartz with natural rubies set into the claws. It’s so perfectly me that I’m not surprised old ladies on the subway want to tell me how fabulous it is.

Never once did it occur to me during this process that it was inherently my partner’s responsibility to handle.

I would’ve felt guilty at the thought of him spending several hundreds of dollars on something that would only benefit me, when I was perfectly capable of buying it myself.

I very much know what I like. I work with clothes, I love fashion, and I occasionally design collections of my own. Although I didn’t have a specific vision in mind when it came to a ring, the end result would always have to make sense with a person for whom style is important. And, of course, there was the cost to consider.

Through a combination of my day job (I work in marketing for a plus-size fashion brand) plus the money I make from writing and hosting events, I earn more than my husband. This isn’t uncommon, and as far as I know, it doesn’t cause any friction or difficulty in our relationship. In 2019, it shouldn’t be an assumption that the man in a relationship is the breadwinner. In fact, I don’t think it even is anymore. I would’ve felt guilty at the thought of him spending several hundreds of dollars on something that would only benefit me, when I was perfectly capable of buying it myself.

We talked about it briefly, and he was fine with it. It wasn’t a huge blow to his male pride or ego, because he is a sensible, rational person. To me, it felt like a particularly neat solution: I get something I want using money I earned myself, and he doesn’t even have to worry about it. It simply didn’t make sense for him to pay for it, let alone choose it.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Bethany Rutter

The author and her husband on their wedding day

Think of it this way: I wouldn’t expect or want my partner to choose my wedding dress for me. To get the style, the color, and not to mention the fit so right that it could be described as perfect. I took so much pleasure in picking out my dress—a Kelly-green satin 1940s-inspired midi that also bucked tradition—and my ring feels no different. Although it’s absolutely the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought, it was still considerably less than most engagement rings (probably due to the lack of diamonds), and a tiny fraction of the outdated wisdom that an engagement ring “should” cost “your man” three months’ salary.

I’m thankful that for the majority of people in my life, this was unquestionably just another decision on the path to being happily married. The only people who have been surprised or taken aback when I’ve tried to explain it are people who are either quite a bit older than me, or people who don’t know me very well. Women my age in particular have been overwhelmingly supportive of my choice to buy my ring myself.

A proposal or an engagement ring don’t need to be grand to hold great meaning. They just need to mean something to you.

Bethany Rutter is a writer, style influencer, social media editor for a plus-size fashion brand. Her book Plus+ is available on Amazon.

A Fashion Editor’s Impulse Buys: Jack & Coke Slurpees, a $118 Prairie Dress, and More

Time and time again, I’ve lamented how, even though my day job is to tell people what to shop for, I’m not a great shopper. I spend a lot of my own time (too much of my own time) clicking through pages upon pages of online sales, digging up deeply discounted treasures in my size. Then I get overwhelmed by the thought of dropping so much money (yes, that plain black designer dress is 70 percent off, but it’s still $200) and immediately close out of all the tabs at once.

The thrill of the hunt is enough for me. I wear the same high-waisted Levi’s jeans and black turtlenecks from Marshall’s every day, anyway. It’s not like I’m immune to “it” pieces—you spend enough hours looking at incredibly stylish people online, you inevitably get an itch for a multi-colored, animal-print sweater that can’t ever be described as sensible. But I tend to dwell on these things. I’ll think about buying something for weeks that turns into months, that by the time I psych myself up to make a purchase it’s sold out.

Instead, most of my money—spent impulsively or otherwise—goes to food and experiences, like going to the movies with my boyfriend or flying home to Puerto Rico to visit my family. Then, there’s my dog, Beanie, a nine-plus year-old rescue that has senior-dog vet bills and more sweaters than days of the week. (She gets cold! And looks so darn cute in them!)

When I was tasked with documenting my impulse spending habits for a month, though, something weird happened. For the first time in a very long time, I had an itch to shop. After Christmas sales? A casual browse turned into two separate deliveries. A rare blowout sale from that Scandinavian brand everyone’s been wearing? My defenses were low, I couldn’t resist. My closet is full, but my checking account took a hit.

Behold, everything I impulsively bought over the past month.

The DIY Pet Ornament My Dog Absolutely Needed and Wasn’t at All Ambivalent About: $3.99
I go to a Marshall’s near my apartment about once a month, just to look. (I’ve found that it’s best to go in without a plan of what to buy and simply keep an open mind—I’ve found some great kitchen stuff that way.) When I dropped by in early December, they had just unloaded all of their holiday gift merchandise, which means every section was stocked. Of course, I decided to use this as an opportunity to buy something for myself. I found this adorable DIY tree ornament that creates an impression of your pet’s paw. It’s our first holiday season with Beanie—we adopted her over the summer—and are just so darn excited about it that I added it to my basket. We didn’t even put up a tree this year.

The Sale I Was Obliged to Shop As a Fashion Girl™: $278.47
It was Thursday, the last before our office closed for the holiday. At 9:18 A.M., right as I was walking in, I got a message from my boss: “Insane Ganni sale on its website.” She wasn’t joking: The Scandi label fashion people can’t get enough of—seriously, look at any street-style gallery from 2018 and you’ll spot at least three pieces from it—was offering a rare 60 percent off its signature floral skirts and poufy-sleeved blouses. I was a fan, but managed to resist its Instagrammable allure both because it was so pervasive in my circles and because I felt the price point (around $300 for a midi-length dress) was a bit higher than I’m comfortable spending on trend pieces. But now, most of them were under $100. And with free shipping.

After about an hour of deliberating, I landed on three pieces: a shapeless, blue leopard-print cotton dress ($118); a floral mesh wrap skirt ($82); and a floral blouse ($68). With tax, my total was $278.47.

Jack & Coke Slurpees, $16

The Jack & Coke Slurpees That Make Going to the Movies As An Adult So Much More Fun: $16
I spent Christmas with my boyfriend’s family in Ohio. Whenever I visit, I take advantage of the lower movie ticket prices (well, compared to New York at least) and see as many films as possible. First up was Vice. The big surprise, though, was learning the local theater had added alcohol to its concession stand menu. Right then and there, we decide that we needed two Jack & Coke slurpees. They were $8 each and absolutely worth it.

The Most Perfect Flats Ever: $45.21
Another thing I like to do when I’m in Ohio: Hit up Nordstrom Rack. This being during the lull between Christmas and New Year’s, the store was kicking off its holiday clearance sale, so I went directly to the red-sticker items. I struck out when it came to apparel, but was much luckier in the shoe section, where I found a pair of Vince’s minimalist “Maxwell” flats. I’d been eyeing those shoes for a long time—the cream supple leather and rounded shape reminds me of Phoebe Philo-era Céline—but I kept holding out until the original $225 price was reduced. That lead me to this moment: $60.28, with an additional 25 percent off. Of course I got them.

Vince “Maxwell” Flats, $45.21

The Petite-Friendly Trousers I Bought Because I Was Already On a Roll, Dammit: $59.99
At this point, I was pretty set on not buying any more clothes, but I had been in need of new trousers. I’m petite with a curvy waist, so this is a particularly tricky category to shop for. I need a cropped leg, prefer an elastic high waist, and like a wide-leg. I saw these Lou & Grey ones on sale, and they fit the bill (plus, were on sale). I had a gift card, so I went for it. Okay, now I’m done.

Ana Colón is a fashion editor at Glamour