Archive for ‘shopping’

September 13, 2011

Target Tuesday & Missoni

I want to quickly share my Tuesday nail polish and then let’s talk Target. Today, the third installment of my Nail Polish-A-Day Challenge and I chose my favorite reliable OPI Red: Color So Hot It Berns. Red nails are classic and this perfect red was part of last Fall’s Swiss collection. I should probably go buy more of it.

I did not go to the gym this morning as promised but plan to go this evening when I get home from work. However, I did learn that I can in fact get up early in the morning when it’s dark out if there is good enough reason to. And today, there was: Target for Missoni! The Caroline Street store in Atlanta was my goal. I thought about going on my lunch break, but last night realized that I probably needed to get in when they opened at 8am. I set some ground rules for myself: No more than two items or budget of $100, don’t buy it if you don’t love it. I’m fairly new to shopping events so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I woke up at 630am, showered, ate breakfast with my cat Figaro and bolted out the door at 730. I arrived at Target at 8:04. A few cars but nothing drastic. I’m never at Target anywhere that early so it didn’t seem unexpected. Inside was a different story!

First of all, the employees still had everything in boxes. I worked in the Virgin Megastore, French Quarter for almost 5 years and if we were expecting a huge release, we cleared shelves for it around 11pm on a Monday night! Crowds of women were pulling stuff out of boxes. It’s like they didn’t even care about the sizes. They just wanted it. I was embarrassed for women today! It felt a little ugly. All the accessories were snatched up and one woman’s child was buried beneath the Missoni signature fabrics! I thought it was a cart full of return items until I heard it speak!! All I wanted was the velour hoodie from Look 5 and something else. I started to feel concerned that I may not get what I wanted so I started to grab whatever was available in my size. I pulled two dresses and a green sweater, when finally I saw the velour hoodie, in my size, one! sitting on a rack and no one near it. I grabbed it and ran off to the dressing room. I tried it on as well as the sleeveless sweater dress (the one cute little Elizabeth Olsen was seen wearing on the red carpet) and fell in love! By 8:36 I had paid $102!!!! and was on my way to work. Nightmarish I tell you, but what a rush! And now, I own two pieces of the Fall 2011 Missoni collection for Target.

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September 8, 2011

Control of What I Say…

This is a story about control, my control.

I have a habit of always getting to work about 20 minutes early. That way I can check my email, get a cup of coffee and settle in to my desk before the day takes off. However, the day is long enough and I’ll do that whether I’m 20 minutes early or exactly on time. I’m taking those extra 20 minutes to focus on getting dressed, thinking about the right accessories and all in all trying to look in control of the situation, regardless of what lies ahead! I’d like to share what I’m in control of on this beautiful Thursday, as the weather in Atlanta begins to shift. Once again, a mix of what I already own and a few new items to jazz things up a bit! …control of What I DO!

Swarovski Heart-shaped Earrings – purchased on my Princess cruise honeymoon!

Orange Bolero Sweater – (similar) – Banana Republic 2008

Kingdom Shoes – Steve Madden

Alex Ruffle Tank – Banana Republic (now on sale!)

Levi’s Modern Slight Curve Jeans in Ink

Tiger’s Eye Bracelet – Gift from Hong Kong’s silver market

August 29, 2011

Not So Appalling Retail Therapy

It’s been exactly two months since my wardrobe journey began. I’ve been immersed in a crash course of high fashion, beauty tips and working within a strict shopping budget. I tell my students ‘My expectations of you have exceeded beyond the scope of this class!’ Well, as a budding fashionista, I’m patting myself on the back today for exceeding my own expectations in such a short time. Never did I think I could come so far and I’m only getting started.

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but this post is bittersweet for me. Today is August 29, 2011 and six years ago on this date, I sat in my brother’s LSU apartment, with my parents, and my now sister-in-law, Tiffany, as we watched our beloved city of New Orleans flood. We sat there empty of all material possessions but as a family. I thought I was only going away for 48 hours, not 3 weeks, so I didn’t take anything. I had the clothes on my back, which late August in New Orleans, means as little as possible. Prior to that date, life was fearless and I shopped and celebrated life with not a care in the world. I was invincible and had never experienced much pain and heartbreak. I didn’t know what it was like to feel loss. That day marked a huge change in my life. I began to look at everything differently. Life became sad to me. But I also looked at each day glad to be alive and somehow having no material possessions became a liberating experience. It felt unnecessary to have anything of value and as I moved forward, I tried to get by with the bare minimum. Clothes were no longer a personal statement, but a necessity so I refused to buy anything of value, in fear that it could all be taken away without a moment’s notice. But healing takes time and I eventually woke up one day and realized life could pass me by and I didn’t want to miss out on one of my favorite past times: Retail Therapy! Nothing extravagant, just a boost of confidence of owning something new. And it has taken six years to finally get to that point again.

I spent Sunday afternoon in Lenox Mall, with the attitude that it is okay to splurge on myself from time to time. After three hours, some great deals and trips in and out almost every store, I walked away with some new basics to help me move forward for the next six years! Today’s post originally started off with different intentions, but I got a little off track and self-reflective instead. Thanks for listening and in return I would love to share with you my latest spree!

August 15, 2011

Learn To Wear Fall’s Latest Trend: Color Blocking

The weather outside is a cool 70° in Atlanta! Does this mean fall is on its way? I sure do hope so! I’m ready for cooler temperatures, sweaters and fall’s latest trend: Color Blocking! As someone with two art degrees, I remember learning about color block painting as a movement in the mid 20th century. One painting that particularly stands out to in my mind is Hans Hoffman’s The Golden Wall.

Interesting as art but as fashion trend? A few concerns: How it will affect those of us who are standing on the shorter end of the spectrum. I’m 4’11” so I’m afraid that wearing large blocks of color aren’t going to be right proportionally. Next concern: Is this trend indeed a trend, and will it be gone the moment I hand over my cash to the salesgirl? Are these pieces worth spending the money on? Where is Stacey London when you need her? I have made a few studious attempts to try and educate myself on these concerns.

I am not one to be too fashion forward, but I guess better late than never! Wearing color blocking does not necessarily have to mean, large stripes of color. You can choose large areas of solid colors to create the color block look. For example, you can wear a neutral pair of pants and add a bright hot pink tank underneath a bold orange sweater, or something to that effect. And for those like me, who are afraid of looking too crazy, when you often only wear neutrals, start with neutral colors closest to your face and get a little bolder with your color choices as you move down. Isn’t that cool? A little fashion trend 101 for ya!

I’ve put together a few items that may be purchase worthy and still fit the trend. Not sure if I will actually go through with it or not. But if I do, I plan on shopping on the low end, just in case the ship sails away quickly. And do not worry, you’ll be the first to hear if I submit!

August 11, 2011

Shop It To ME!!! Yes, please

Okay, I’ve been scouring the web feeding into my shopping obsession, when I discovered this:

Have you heard of this????? A website dedicated to finding sales based on your size (worth it’s weight in gold!!!), designers, items and places you like to shop. And….It’s FREE!!! So Shop It To Me is acting as your free personal shopper, they point you to the sale and then you take it from there. I’ve pretty much halted all work I’m supposed to complete for the day in order to focus on this. I’ve already created the perfect wish list. Plus, the more friends you refer to the site, GIFT CARDS are involved. Holy Cow!

I’m so excited to share this with you. And if I’m the last to know, well I am psyched to be so informed. I feel like I’ve joined a secret club!!! So here are a few items that I’ve discovered only within the last hour and I’m CRUSHIN’. I’ll be going through this site with a fine tooth comb and hopefully making a few purchases very soon. Just have to get two monthly student loan payments out the door. But I think some stuff might be worth starving over until next paycheck! Whoo HOO!!! What a great day. Off to DC tomorrow morning for a Saturday wedding. I’ll give a full report on the wedding fashion I observe.

Check out what I plan to wear too! 

Pave Ring – Ann Taylor Loft

Jackie O Sunglasses – Urban Outfitters

Sasha Patent Satchel – Banana Republic

August 8, 2011

Crushin’

I sure do have one expensive obsession on my hands. But that’s okay. I’m not splurging. I’ve got my sweet husband to thank for that one, otherwise I’d be broke as a joke, but styling! I thought I’d share what I’m crushing on at this moment.

Lombard Glasses from Eyefly!

A part of Bluefly, now for $99 a pair you can purchase prescription lenses at an affordable price. I got my eyes checked out last weekend and fortunately I need new glasses! YES! I have an oval shaped face and I keep reading that this style wouldn’t work on me but I’m not interested in conventional glasses. I love the vintage feel of these.

Velvet Blazer from JCrew!

I’m looking for an everyday warm and stylish blazer for the fall. This dark blue blazer is perfect, but it’s a bit expensive for my budget. I’ve been looking around for similar ones but this seems to be the cheaper of velvet blazers out there. Not sure if this blazer is in my future or not.

3/4 sleeve Little Black Dress from Topshop!

What a sophisticated LBD! I don’t really have anything to wear this to in my future but I just love it. I don’t think I can buy it without an excuse right now. I’m sure as soon as I think of one, they will be out of my size. Hmmm.

Vintage Beaded Clutch from ebay!

My mom had one of these. I believe it belonged to her mom. When I used to play dress up, I used to put fake credit cards in it. I can feel it and smell it, just like my grandma’s house. Unfortunately, it was one of those things lost in Katrina. I even know which drawer it was in, in my mom’s house. Every once in a while I remember items that I wish we would have gone in and saved. Anyway, don’t want to be Debbie Downer. There are a ton on ebay and fairly affordable.

Christian Louboutin Classic Black Pumps!

Who doesn’t want these?! I’ve been looking on ebay for a pair but I feel like this is a purchase that I have to go in to Saks or some fancy place like that to try on. Too many factors at risk for such a large purchase. I’m thinking I’ll get a pair within the next two years.

Hope you are crushing on what I’m crushing! thanks for checking it out!

August 8, 2011

Must Haves – Fall 2011

For the first time in my life, I’m putting some thought into looks and trends for the coming fall. I’ve been surveying my closet and analyzing what pieces work together and so forth. I’m actually looking forward to buying my first ever copy of Vogue’s September Issue! About a year ago, I watched the Anna Wintour documentary, The September Issue, and without knowing at the time, started my subconscious obsession with fashion.

I spent the weekend going through some old makeup and budgeted in my grocery list to purchase new mascara. I’m noticing that as long as I take some time to think about where my money is going, I actually can afford some nice things! My husband and I were sitting around with the Sunday blues last night and while normally we’d run down the street to shoot tequila and have fish tacos, instead I decided to save $30 and put it towards some skinny jeans!

To help me make wise purchases, I’ve put together a list of what I can safely afford this fall without breaking the bank. In fact, two of the items are already en route to my doorstep! At some point, I’m going to start rummaging through my closet and donating what I don’t need anymore, but I can’t do that yet since it would be like 75% of the closet!

Check it out and see if you agree. I’m just thinking basics at this point and I’ll share my purchases when I get them!

August 6, 2011

Come September

Okay, so if you are following me, you know my thoughts on Zara, I’m not a fan. The store is a nightmarish mess and customer experience is important. I worked in retail for almost 8 years and appearance is everything. But I’m willing to give it another try, or a third try!

Zara is bringing online shopping to the United States! 

I am willing to purchase online and bypass the awful shopping experience in exchange for a neatly shrink wrapped package in a brown box. It happens in about a month, so I’ll put together a look and hopefully turn it into a purchase after Labor Day.

Click the image below for the whole story!


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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.

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!