Archive for July, 2011

July 20, 2011

L’aissez les bon temps roulez!

Yes, let the good times roll! I am heading to my beloved New Orleans this week but I also went on a bit of a shopping spree this past weekend and still had two steak dinners! Did I hit the lottery, you ask? Of course not, I know how to find a deal! Before I spill the secrets of the shopping deals, feast your eyes on this:

Glorious top sirloin cooked to a perfect medium rare, brussel sprouts roasted in garlic and olive oil and a fancy $6 bottle of Los Dos Grenache (haha, maybe not fancy, but $6!). This entire meal, wine included, cost me less than $15 and nothing was cooked in butter, so it was healthy too!

Okay, Okay, save some energy and drool for what’s about to come! I decided to do a little shopping Friday after work. I had a few left over Macy’s gift cards and I’ve been obsessing almost daily over some clothes from Zara. I cannot stand to go to the mall on the weekends so I figured Friday evening around 7 would be empty! IT WAS PACKED! I guess people go to Lenox Mall before going out or they just walk around in the dark mall with sunglasses on. I was surprised but I knew it would still be better than a Saturday afternoon. First up, Zara!

There are just a few Zara stores nationwide and here in Atlanta we are lucky enough to have one in the Neiman Marcus wing. I thought about going into the Hermes boutique but it would only make me sad. I have been obsessing about Zara’s leather bowling bag for weeks now and it was only $50 so I figured I had to have it. I’d only been in Zara once before and I remember it being a bit of a mess, but I decided to give it another try. It was messier than I’ve ever seen. It reminded me of a trip to a Charlotte Russe a few years back: clothes strewn all over the place, nothing color coordinated, just an overall disappointing shopping experience. In my previous posting, “Throw Me a Pity Party, Please”, I also had seen a red Zara sweater that was $15. Well I saw it, and it probably was worth pennies. The material was crap, no shape, just plain awful! This wasn’t going well. I looked everywhere for the bag with no luck. I saw a similar one and if it was any indication of what the other one was like, I wasn’t going to be missing much! However, as I was about to walk out, I spotted a pair of shoes that I thought looked cute so I walked over to try them on. I fell in love. A cute neutral pump, in my size no less! and get this $10!!!! Let me tell you again! TEN DOLLARS! And they are comfortable! Maybe these shoes walked in from a different store because they certainly didn’t belong in the mess that is ZARA! Card swiped! NEXT!

It always takes me that first purchase to get going. I often have no luck or I need to go through every store before I can consider making a purchase just in case there’s something better at the next store. Plus, I really don’t like to return stuff. It’s always such a hassle.

OK! My next mission was a purse. I headed over to Macy’s and I remembered that I had about $50 worth of gift cards so I figured I could score a new purse for a really good deal. Purses are not really my thing. I’m learning, but if it can’t be a Birkin, I might as well be carrying plastic shopping bags. I have to be in the right mood for a purse too. I buy one maybe every 2-3 years. It’s just hard to obsess over but I’m learning how important of an accessory it is to have. My budget for this next find was around $100. Not a lot by any means, but I’ve got $50 in gift cards so I only want to spend about $50! Cheapskate, I know. I scoured the racks and racks of stuff. Ugly, I tell you. I headed to the Fossil section because they make cute bags so I focused on that. I am currently carrying a black izod top handle bowling style bag and it’s coming out the sides with receipts, coins, a french translation guide among other junk. I am a believer that the bigger the bowl, the bigger the fish so I decided to downsize and try and find a purse that would allow me to fit the bare minimum. In fact, in college, my purse of choice was a wallet on a string! Can you believe that? After picking up things I couldn’t afford and walking back and forth over to the mirror to make sure I looked okay carrying my purse (from my car to the office, my car to the front door) I fell in love with an orange leather Fossil purse. It’s cute, petite and I’ve never had anything real leather and it was $40! I’m sure you are laughing at me, but this is a huge step for me. I pushed aside looking for something utilitarian and went for cute and functional for once. Feast your eyes on her!

She’s so cute and the best part is that I don’t even need to use a wallet with it! hahaha, are you laughing even harder? Some people spend more on a wallet than 5 purses like this! But not me, I can put everything inside and it feels like I’m carrying nothing, which is ideal! It’s the inflated version of a wallet on a string! Parfait! Tres Bien! Magnifique! (And it still holds my french translation guide, for moments like these). Wow, I’m telling you what, life is good. I walked away with a new purse and shoes for $50!

Stay tuned because it got me on a roll for another big purchase that’s on the way thanks to topshop. Not sure if I’ll get it before I leave town, but I’ll be sure to critique them (hint, hint) good or bad when I get back.

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July 11, 2011

Making Progress

Wait, I know we are here to talk fashion! So why am I sharing this photo of an amazingly delicious authentic Szechuan meal that I shared with some friends Saturday evening? I’m going somewhere with this one, I promise.

A dear friend invited a group of us for dinner at one of his favorite restaurants Saturday evening. And while yes, the food was outstanding, so was the appearance of the mostly Asian patrons. I thought I did my best to dress casually smart for a night out, black pants, coral colored structured top from Anthropologie and a big snafu, flip flops, (it’s a jog, not a race!), but I was pale in comparison to the polished and sophisticated wardrobes that surrounded me. I saw a girl wearing a sequin knit dress, loads of super high heels in all colors, little black dresses and not a flip flop in sight! It was the perfect people watching spot. And then out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of the edge of a white shopping bag and all I saw was the edge of a logo and in my head I shouted “PRADA!” I was so proud of myself that I noticed this. A table of all male diners were hosting a birthday party and someone was getting a fab new gift. I think it would be cruel to give someone a Prada shopping bag with something from Target in it, so I figured it must be authentic. Wow! I need to make friends with those folks. My only thought was, “Does anything from Prada cost less than $500?” What could possibly be in that bag? My mind continued to dwell on this until a young girl walked by with one of the Miss Marc Packables Marc Jacobs bags! It’s more of a grocery tote, but I’ve never spent $60 on grocery tote! It then occurred to me, that I’m slowly starting to notice these luxury brands and I started to scour the room looking for other designer bags and shoes. Needless to say, my luck stopped there but I felt like I had made a little progress.

Not sure where this will take me, but I had to share! The goal is to visit Zara this coming Saturday and hopefully purchase the Bowling Bag with Flap that I’ve had my eye on for a few weeks now. Everybody’s working for the weekend…

July 7, 2011

Throw Me a Pity Party Please!

It’s been a few days since we’ve last chatted, but that’s because I am in the middle of a major home renovation and it’s hard to think about wanting new things I can’t afford when we are spending large sums of money on a new bathroom. It will be worth it, but it’s unleashed a monster in our house and we’re going through each room of the house, buying new things. I love that aspect of it, but it does put some items on hold. And it’s hard (WHINE!!!) because I wear such odd sizes, they often go first and I’ll be left with NOTHING! Get out your violin and play me a sweet sad song!

OKAY, OK! I’ll get over it. But in the meantime, I’ve put together a little wish list of some things I REALLY want. Now these are all really basic and they’ll always make something similar but these ZARA items are all under $75! I could pretty much score all this for under $150. See why I want this so bad! Oh I’m dying. I even put it all together in Photoshop! This is a girl who is committed! If I could only purchase one of these items though, I’d go for the bag. It’s still summer and I could get a lot of use out of this bag right away! We shall see. Yes, I’m going home today to a brand new ceramic tile floor but all I really want is a new wardrobe. OH WOE IS ME!

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July 1, 2011

Duchess Kate and Her Affordable Apparel

Hi there! I’m going crazy. I haven’t bought anything yet and I’m not sure when my first big purchase will be, but my head is swimming. I’m still in the middle playing years of catch up on handbags, shoes, designers, jewelry and summer and fall trends. I’ve signed up for numerous blogs and newsletters to the point that my head is starting to hurt. It’s the biggest crash course I’ve ever taken.

And it doesn’t help that Duchess Kate has burst onto the scene as someone to watch on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE her! I want to just sleep in her closet and smell all the luxury fabrics that probably hang on pretty little potpourri puffy hangers! But this is what I’m finding out about my girl Kate. She buys from local boutiques at affordable prices. I love that about her but I also hate it. Let me tell you why: You see Victoria Beckham wearing something fabulous, but it’s thousands of dollars and you just ooh and aah and fantasize about something you know you’ll never have, and that’s OKAY! Now Kate goes to a major event wearing something that I can afford and wear and the fantasy has the potential to become a reality and sometimes, it’s just better to have the fantasy. Do you feel me?

Anyway, to add fuel to the fire, one of Kate’s prime shopping locations, LK Bennett, just opened up two US stores and as luck would have it, one is in my city of Atlanta. Darn! I mean Yay! I don’t know what to think! Help! I needed to rant. Thanks for listening. Happy 4th of July Weekend!