Sunday, November 13, 2011


I've been doing my once-yearly online shopping extravaganza, wherein I purchase (or plan to purchase) nearly everything I need for a year that can't be found in Brazil.

This is known as THE LIST. It's on a document on my computer, which is updated when I remember to clear out my index cards and notebooks from my office and purse, which are often filled with scribbles like "cream of wheat" and "deodorant!"

Selection has improved significantly in Rio de Janeiro in the last six years, but prices haven't gotten any easier on the wallet. In fact, clothing has gotten so expensive that stores I used to frequent are now priced at near-designer levels. I could shop at Saks and Barneys for the price of Sacada these days!

Thankfully, I've learned to adapt, move on, substitute, live without. I look forward to trips to the US for sausage (sausage gravy and biscuits, mmm!), sharp cheddar cheese, eating my sister's chocolate chip cookies with real chips and brown sugar that doesn't crunch in your mouth like glass...finding things on sale that are legitimately on SALE, instead of just being brought down to halfway reasonable prices...and hanging out for hours in the library, devouring English-language books.

As a result, consignment stores make me giddy, I overload my suitcases at the bookstore and I swoon in a Target. It's embarrassing. I'm not really this materialistic! I try to get this all done, ordered and waiting for me at family members' homes, about a month before our trip. Then we're able to rest, relax and enjoy family without rushing from store to store, looking for that last necessity and finding out that our suitcases are 6 pounds over the weight limit and do we throw out the peanut butter or the boxed set of Dr. Who? It's an impossible choice.


On the body: Clothes
-clothing (winter wear, jeans)
-shoes for large feet
-men's shoes

On the body: Accessories
-New glasses

On the body: Products
-acne cream
-face washes and moisturizers
-triple antibiotic creme (not available without a prescription in Rio anymore)
-Cetaphil (about R$100 the last time I looked. For a regular bottle!)
-makeup remover
-Contact solution
-Chapsticks with SPF
-hair products (mousse, gel, wax, etc)

In the body: Food
-Peanut butter
-chocolate chips
-Cream of wheat
-maple syrup
-comfort foods (cereal, etc)

In the body: Medicine
-Vitamins and supplements
-Tylenol PM

Gifts and unattainables in Rio:
-yearly planners
-blank, quality paper notebooks
-fountain pen ink
-Victoria's Secret gifts for Brazilian women/friends
-magazines and books
-TV shows on DVD (some stuff is available on Brazilian cable, if you have it)
-hobby supplies
-scrapbooking stuff

What else would you add to your list, if you were only allotted 140 pounds of stuff and had to make it last 6 months to a year? I'd love to hear other people's must-haves. I may have forgotten something important!


Anonymous said...

Garden seeds ??? :)

(I can't sign my name or they will be looking out for me in customs!)

anne said...

yay cream of wheat! have recently begun eating it regularly, for its higher iron content and other good stuff, like taste :) Love it w/"lots" of butter (or Smart Balance, w/extra virgin olive oil!) and a couple dashes of salt! YUM!
am wondering if you need quite "all" the things listed on your list of body products, as things are, currently? (is that vague enough??)
ANY IDEA WHEN YOU MIGHT BE IN OUR AREA for VISITING???? (don't want to be gone that day!)

Anonymous said...

You may want to add vitamins to your list. I agree with Anne, you really don't need all that stuff.Love, Grammy

--jenna said...

No seeds, Biological Warfare Reader!

Not all the things are necessary at all times, but all the things stay on the list, because you never know who will come asking "What do I need to bring to Rio?" You should have seen the list four years ago. This is streamlining, people, streamlining!

Anonymous said...

--high quality OPI nail polish (!)
--memory cards
--tom's natural toothpaste
--brown paper bags
--universal sink plug
--high quality LULULEMON workout gear (!)
--practically anything from Williams-Sonoma (!)
--C.H.O.C.O.L.A.T.E C.H.I.P.S (!!)

--Jean ;-)

Anonymous said...

When I brought my 140 pounds over in January, 70 of them were books - not kidding!

The next trip, whenever that might be, I'll be bringing suitcases of printer ink and contact lens solution. Oh, and powdered chai latte mix, which my husband is crazy about!