Friday, August 31, 2012

Cheap candles and panties!

(The title of this post has me giggling!) Today I headed to the mall armed with coupons to take advantage of in store promos. Bath and Body Works has its fall candle collection out and I had been waiting (patiently) for the 2/$20 candle sale to happen. I had socked away a 20 percent off coupon and I was able to buy two of my favorite candle scents: Autumn and Farmstand Apple. The scents get me excited for fall! While there I also picked up the Eucalyptus Spearmint Body Wash, which is on promo for $5 this weekend. I love the smell of that candle so I know I will love this in the shower!
I also took advantage of the Victoria Secret "panty raid" sale, which gets you 7 panties for $26. I actually bought 14 for $52 and used one of those $10 off coupons on the bottom of VS receipts for completing a survey. So in the end, my 14 panties came out to $42, which is $3 a pair! I realize that to some readers, 14 pairs of underwear may seem like an excessive amount -- but for me, it's not. VS cotton panties are my favorites -- the only kind I buy. Also, without offering TMI, I like to change throughout the day for work, gym, house, etc. ... and I do NOT love doing laundry!

The "panty raid" ends in a few days, so grab them while you can!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back to School with another Academy Blazer (GAP)

I find it hard to pass up a J. Crew 30 off sale, I also find it hard to not use a 40-off coupon from the GAP. I decided that I wanted to get another blazer. I absolutely LOVE my vamp red ponte knit academy blazer (see previous post) but I wasn't sure I wanted two of the same style. The close contender was the bright purple version with white piping. I loved the color but I have made a point of only purchasing items I will wear year round. I just couldn't see myself wearing bright purple in January, but I am certain I will get use out of the burgundy color.

I did spot the military style academy blazer which comes in blue and red. The bloggers have all been raving about the blue herringbone -- which is very nice in person -- but I already have at least four blue blazers, ranging in color from navy to cerulean blue. The apple red however was something I didn't have. I purchased the poppy color orange red blazer from J. Crew but that will not work well in the winter months. I think this red blazer will work well most of the year -- especially around Christmas, Valentine's Day and other "wear red" days of the year. I had to size down from my normal GAP size. I find the red blazer runs bigger than the ponte knit blazer.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Popbacks @ GAP and J. Crew

This is a post about why it sometimes pays to stalk a website. Two retail sites that are notorious for "popbacks" -- the term used in the blogosphere when an item that has been out of stock suddenly "pops back" and is available for purchase -- are GAP and J. Crew. And that is how I obtained the two items I recently purchased.

Truth be told, I should have purchased the Anchor print V-neck shirt when I had it in my hands at a J. Crew Factory over a month ago. But I was having guilt over my order total and had the cashier put it aside. Two weeks later, when $20 wasn't such a big deal -- I headed back to that J. Crew Factory (and two others) to discover to my dismay the item was completely gone!

With J. Crew, patience pays off. I was able to get this shirt online during the recent free shipping promo. Here it is:

I was also determined to buy the GAP Ponte Knit Academy Blazer in the Vamp Red after first seeing it pictured on Gigis Gone Shopping. It is a burgundy color that is more or less sold out everywhere and also online. I was able to buy it on the website after repeatedly visiting during all hours of the day for over a week. And sure enough, one day it was available in my size and with a promotion code. It was so worth the wait!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Always ask them to find your size at Anthropologie

I've posted before about Anthropologie. It is one of those stores that I shop in but seldom make a purchase. However, when I do make a purchase, I always feel very pleased with the experience.  For the second time, I had a positive experience when asking a store associate to track down a sale rack item in my size. The item I fell in love with was this digital photo print skirt called Blue Rapids. The skirt was $19.95 in store but they didn't have my size.

I asked the SA to try and track down the item and within five minutes they told me it was available through the website. It was shipped free of charge at the same in-store sale price. So happy!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Loving the CREW-let (more!)

After receiving a 20-percent off $125 coupon from J. Crew Factory, plus a $50 J. Crew gift card for credit card purchases, I had to go back! Here is what I ended up with:

The J. Crew Factory Wool Pencil Skirt in Retro Jade (I actually like the Factory's version better than J. Crew because there are no front slit pockets.) I also picked up the Royal Paisley pencil skirt, and a perfect plaid shirt -- the same Barbados print J. Crew came out with earlier this year.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Loving the CREW-let

I've become really obsessed with J. Crew Factory (aka the "Crewlet") this year.  I really love J. Crew, but I cannot afford to buy items full price and their promotions on regular retail prices are few and far between. (Thank goodness for their sales!) However, the Factory frequently offers promotions and coupons and they are often too good to pass up.

I received an in store postcard earlier this month to come back in August and get a discount based on how much I spend. For instance, if you spent $200, you got 25% off. So I used the opportunity to buy items on my fall wardrobe list: two wool flannel schoolboy blazers (Note: the pictures of the professor blazer on the Factory website are not accurate so I am posting photos from J. Crew's website. The ones in the factory say "schoolboy" on the tag and have gold buttons. You really ought to see them IRL because I think they are extremely similar in style and quality to the B&M store originals.) So anyway, I bought the navy and camel colors.

I also picked up this yellow polka dot blouse and this tartan plaid perfect shirt in emerald green. This plaid shirt was offered at J. Crew a year ago and I missed out, so I am happy to have a second chance to buy it!

And lastly, I scored some J. Crew "castoffs" -- 5 inch chino shorts that were sold in J. Crew, but ended up on the rack at the factory in neon yellow and aqua blue. (Sorry, no photos available!)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Beat the Clock -- 40 off sale @ Banana Republic

This weekend, Banana Republic offered a 40 off sale prices during their "Beat the Clock" event. If you got there by 1 pm, you were entitled to the discount. I must admit I typically can't even get in on such events as they are usually held at highly inconvenient working hours times of the day.  And I've also had the bad experience in the past of being on a checkout line at 1 pm but the salesperson refused to admit she was too slow honor the discount.

But this event took place on a Friday, and on my day off. I was slow to get there -- in fact I arrived at 12:57 but they handed me a slip of paper and they told me they would honor it even a bit after 1 pm. Sweet! Here are my purchases:

I picked up the floral sateen pencil skirt (which was on final sale but it fit perfectly!) and the sateen shorts in Poseidon Green. I wore my usual size in both.

I also picked up this Annie scoopneck in stripe shirt. I couldn't find a stock photo of the one I purchased (yellow) but you can visit this blog to see an IRL photo: Ajcshoppinnghabit. Total for purchases: $62!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Amrita Singh East Hampton earrings

While getting a pedicure recently, I was flipping through the salon's copy of Life & Style magazine when I saw a photo of Amrita Singh's East Hampton Earrings. The magazine blurb announced that the earrings would be available for half of their regular $100 price as part of QVC's Super Saturday to raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
I immediately thought the earrings, which are apparently a celebrity and press favorite, were stunning in the turquoise color (above). I'm not much of a QVC shopper, but I loved the idea of getting them for half price and that some of the proceeds would benefit a non-profit. Truth be told, I was unable to purchase them from QVC because the limited quantity of earrings in this color quickly sold out and they were available only as part of a wait list. Fortunately, I went to and that day the earrings were not only available, but for the same $50 price.

I love these earrings and can't wait to wear them! I think the photo above is an accurate depiction of how the earrings look in real life. I was, however, disappointed with the packaging because I thought that the plastic pouch and the simplistic plastic earring holder made them look cheap.  A velvet pouch or velvet box would have looked much classier.  Still happy with my purchase though!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

THE Bubble necklace

So I decided today to blog about a recent purchase -- one that I mulled over for nearly a YEAR before deciding to pull the trigger, so to speak. And that purchase would be the J. Crew Bubble necklace. Not the bubble-inspired necklaces on eBay or etsy, I'm talking the one that costs $150. The one that makes you ask yourself, 'are those folks at J. Crew CRAZY?' Or, 'am I crazy for even CONSIDERING such a purchase?'

I often read about bubble necklaces on my favorite blogs. Many bloggers love them, and of course, some hate how they look. Bloggers who love the bubble are divided on whether the price tag is worth it. I thought I would weigh in and give my own thoughts and experience on this controversial (LOL!) topic. I preface this to say that these are just my thoughts and opinions, and I'm sure others may respectfully disagree. I don't mean to offend anyone!

My very first bubble necklace was purchased from eBay about a year ago. From China, I'm sure. I thought it was a great deal, just $15 with shipping and it looked really close to the ones I saw in J. Crew. It had the same smooth, large size stones, it felt heavy, and the metal looked like it would last more than a month. I was happy with my purchase. However, I have yet to wear the necklace outside of my house. It's not that I worry or care that people would know it was a fake. In fact, it looks so close to the real deal that it would probably fool most. But for whatever reason, I have yet to wear it with an outfit.

Fast forward to a few months ago when I started frequenting J. Crew like every week. (No seriously, it's sometimes TWICE a week.) I always admired the bubble necklaces in the case in the middle of the store. And it always seemed like the colors would get better and brighter each month. The bright yellow, the deep red, the colorful green, the white.... I could go on. The one I always loved was the turquoise blue. I looked on eBay and etsy but those necklaces never could hold a candle to the one in store, at least in my eyes. The faceted stones looked cheap, the metal looked brittle. For some people that might be OK -- and that is fine -- but in my eyes, you get what you pay for.

Now, is the J. Crew bubble worth the $150 I paid? Of course not, but I am happy with my purchase. Here is why. 1) I bought the necklace from a reputable store, so should I have a problem, I know where to take it to complain. I was comforted by the fact that the store associates in the store said that no one who has purchased the necklace has ever come back to the store with a problem. 2) Like my LV bag, the necklace is somewhat of a status item and as such I am excited to wear it. The necklace is something I have wanted for a long time and saved up to buy. I already have worn it twice! 3) I managed to save at least a few bucks by using the purchase as an opportunity to open a store card. 4) It is one of the few J. Crew items that seldom if ever goes on sale. 5) It is timeless as the store has been selling these necklaces like hotcakes for the last few years. 6) I'm happy my money is supporting a US brand and not eBay counterfeiters. And even some (not all) of the etsy sellers are getting their bubbles in wholesale bulk from China, so be careful.

Anyway, here is my "pretty"