Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday is about shopping for...

So I know that Black Friday is a day to catch great deals on holiday shopping. However, I can't help but feel guilty that many of my purchases were for myself. Is it just me or are retailers marketing the idea of shopping for others... AND yourself? I certainly couldn't be the only one indulging in my own Christmas gifts -- otherwise there would not be lines of 15 and more at the retail store dressing rooms! To that end, I am happy to say that I successfully shopped for everyone on my list, but I certainly took advantage for myself. Anyway, here is what I bought!

I started my Black Friday shopping at the outlets, anxious to hit up J. Crew Factory and take advantage of 50-percent off store-wide. Although I live close to one, the Crewlet vultures had sucked it dry -- OK maybe a slight exaggeration, but none of my sizes and colors were left! The outlets my husband and I went to had a better selection. Long lines though! I bought a Jackie cardigan in black for $25 (no photo available) because I always can use another black cardigan. (Side note: Lands End Canvas "Heritage" cardigans --- where are you?)

While there I bought the plaid skimmer pants that I saw on Beach Chic Style and it was hard to walk away from the pants for about $20. I also grabbed a lone quilted excursion vest in Fiesta Purple for $25. My favorite purchase was these leopard pajama pants! I'm wearing them for the second night in a row. These will make their way into the wash soon but not tonight!
I couldn't stay out of J. Crew with the 30-percent off store-wide for cardholders! Yikes, will they PLEASE end this promotion soon! I can't afford it to continue. Nevertheless, my "holiday rewards" came in the mail, as did a separate gift card for J. Crew so that certainly helped off set costs. I bought the Classic Pave Bracelet, the Opera earrings (LOVE these!), and another pair of Matchstick Corduroys in Brilliant Coral because I just adore the yellow ones I bought weeks back.

Lastly, I learned that Kate Spade was having a 20-percent off promotion online and since I just LOVE my new gumdrop earrings, I decided to buy a pair of these gold studs.

OK done for a while. Need to extinguish the flames coming off my credit cards!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

J. Crew and Factory sale

I love that J. Crew Factory lets you use their $125 coupon over and over again, and with the in store promotions it turns into a good deal. I picked up the much blogged about tartan perfect shirt, plus another holiday colored plaid perfect shirt and the Wildcat top seen on Beach Chic Style.

Also went to J. Crew and thought I was underwhelmed (for once) by the sale section, I couldn't pass up the retro jade wool cafe capris for under $20. I love the color but the problem is I already have a retro jade wool skirt from the factory. I rationalized that if you love the color, why not have more than one option. Plus the price was just too good.

Anyone have these items? Please share your opinions!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veteran's Day

Obviously this is a fashion blog but I like to take opportunities where applicable to talk about more serious issues. Today is observed as Veteran's Day since it was technically yesterday. Although the meaning of holidays sometimes gets lost on us in the midst of shopping sales, days off from work, etc. I want to acknowledge today. My little brother is serving in the Navy right now and I am very proud of him. Thanks to all our servicemen and servicewomen -- not just today, but everyday. You are appreciated.

I did more shopping than I wanted to this weekend due largely to all the "friends and family" sales going on. I passed on LOFT a few days ago but decided that I needed two items. I picked up this floral pencil skirt and this scarf. I love the autumn colors of the pencil skirt -- golden yellow, magenta, pumpkin orange! And I love the blue leopard print of the scarf. I was able to get the 40 percent off "friends and family" discount, which is still going on today if you want to take advantage.

Speaking of friends and family, I am obsessed with Kate Spade "Gumdrop" earrings! I overdosed on them this weekend and bought THREE pairs. They retail for $38 but this is "friends and family" weekend at Bloomingdale's so they were 20 off! I knew I wanted the green, but I couldn't leave the blue and yellow behind so I have all three. I expect to wear them a lot as I have been getting so much use out of my J Crew bubble earrings.

GAP card holders get a discount this weekend too, so I ordered these cord leggings in "tropic green" and this logo sweatshirt, which will be my first GAP logo sweatshirt ever. I had visions of me wearing it with leggings sitting around sipping tea and decided I needed it.

Lastly, I love this animal print sweatshirt from Old Navy, which was offering 20 off the other day.

 What do you think? Anyone have these items already?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

The hubster and I got up early today and cast our ballot by 9 am! No line, no problems. Hope the rest of New Jersey has the same easy experience!

So we voted, now what? "Let's go shopping," I suggested. "You need a new fleece jacket." He agreed!

We got his North Face Denali jacket rather quickly.  I wanted to shop in at least a handful of stores. I intended to make a purchase at LOFT where they are offering a storewide promotion today. However, the items didn't do it for me as much as I thought they would, so I passed. Happy about that, because we ended up at a nearby mall with a J. Crew Factory. The entire store is --are you ready for this?-- 40 off!

I bought the purple schoolboy blazer, crystal petal earrings, and another perfect shirt in flannel for a total of $100 after discounts. Score! Most excited about the purple blazer, which was on the sale rack BTW. It's only my FIFTH schoolboy blazer, and really my eighth if you count the three "look-a-likes" I have. But I see it as a timeless piece that can be worn in and out of the workplace. Very happy about it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thanks so much to Colorful Corporate for nominating my blog for the Liebster blog award!  I've never received a blog award before so truthfully I had to do some research on the rules.

The first of the requirements of the award is post 11 facts about myself:
1.  I am ADDICTED to carbs, but not a big fan of sweets.
2.  I work part-time as an aerobics instructor and it helps pay the bills.
3.  I used to be a journalist for a major daily newspaper. Teaching high school English is my second career.
4.  I am happily married to my high school boyfriend. (No, we haven't been together this whole time... LOL!) If it is meant to be, it "comes back to you."
5.  I love to cook for two, but I do NOT love to host dinner parties.
6.  My favorite drink in the world is wine, specifically Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon.
7.  My biggest shopping indulgence is buying home candles. I have way too many and my most expensive candle -- from Henri Bendel -- remains unopened to this day. (I'm saving it for a special occasion)
8.  I love seahorses. I can't explain why but it is my "thing."
9.  My favorite place in the world is Italy. I traveled there once to see Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan. I would love to go back.
10. My favorite show is True Blood on HBO.
11.  I am a huge football fan and LOVE the NY Giants!

And now, for the second stipulation, I will answer the 11 questions posed by Colorful Corporate:
Here are my responses to the 11 questions I was asked: 

1. What is your favorite place to get fashion inspiration? Magazines, blogs, pinterest? Blogs by far are my biggest source of inspiration. I wish I had discovered blogs sooner. I don't use Pinterest at all. I subscribe to magazines but rarely find something I must have.

 2. Cold, gloomy winter is coming.  What winter item or trend are you looking forward to wearing , to brighten up your days?  I love wearing my UGGS. Hardly a "trend" or even fashionable for that matter, but I do love my UGGs when I run to the grocery store, the bank, etc.

 3. What is your favorite all-season clothing item, that you can wear in the heat of the summer and the dead of winter? Scarves! I love wearing scarfs and wear them most of the year. During the winter though I wear them every day!

 4. What trend did you say "NEVER" to, and ended up loving? Great question --- most trends I said NEVER to and then 'gave in.' Off the top of my head I would say the J. Crew Bubble Necklace. My 'never' had more to do with the outrageous price tag -- I've been somewhat lucky to score at least two (authentic) necklaces for under $60!

 5. On the other end of the spectrum, what trend did you love at one time, and now you say "I can't BELIEVE I wore that!"Another great question -- I would say, ribbed turtlenecks! They did nothing for me!

6. What is the craziest thing you ever did in pursuit of an item you had to have in your closet? Visited four of the 'same' store in one day. And BTW, I am certain I did that more than once so I cannot remember the item.

7. Do you set a monthly budget for clothing purchases?  How do you decide upon a number? I sure wish I did. I'm envious of those who can do that. My way of restraining myself is leaving my credit cards home for periods of time. I know when I've spent "too much" and just stop.

8. Do you have any items in your closet that have lasted 5 years or more, that you still wear consistently?  If so, what are those items? Yes. I'm a firm believer in 'you get what you pay for' and those items last. Off the top of my head, I still own and use my LV speedy bag, my Burberry welly rainboots, my Frye motorcycle boots, and

9. Have you always loved fashion, or is it something that became more interesting to you as you grew older? I definitely discovered fashion in my early 30s. My 20s fashion was about comfort and being laid back.

10. What is your opinion on vanity sizing? I don't have an opinion on it, but I would like to see more consistent sizing. While stores may never make clothing sizes the same, I believe each individual store should be consistent with sizing. For example, if I wear size X at at a store in skirts, then all skirts at that store should be the same.

 11. How closely do you tie self-acceptance and self-love to how you present yourself? I have become more confident in myself in my 30s and it is not a coincidence I take more risks with my outfits.

OK, now I get to choose 11 other bloggers to pass on this great award, and ask them a few questions!  I am supposed to pass the award on to bloggers with less than 200 followers but some were slightly over. I am passing on the Liebster Blog Award to the following blogs, in no particular order: 

Tweed and Toile
Jcrew is my Fav Store

Ok, here are my 11 questions for YOU all: 

1. Which celebrity's closet would you love to raid? Why?

 2. How often do you choose your outfits based on the season? Do you break the rules?

 3. What season do you love the most BECAUSE of the fashion? Explain.

 4. What is your LEAST favorite trend in fashion right now?

 5. What decade do you identify yourself with most, fashion-wise? 50s? 60s? 70s? 80s? 90s? None of the above?

6. What is your ideal shoe? Why?

7. What item do you continue to wear although you KNOW many consider it un-trendy, last season, etc,?

8. *(Stealing this question from Colorful Corporate) Do you have any items in your closet that have lasted several years, that you still wear?  If so, what are those items?

9. If you could only shop at one store for the next three months, what store would it be?

10. To what clothing store do you give most of your money to?

 11. How do you typically make your BIGGEST fashion statement? Colors? Jewelry? Shoes? Prints?

Looking forward to your answers!  Thanks! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Here in NJ, we were hit BAD by Hurricane Sandy.  There was crazy weather on Sunday-Tuesday and my home had no power for 36 hours (we were definitely among the luckier ones as many STILL have no power). Also, you have to wait 1-3 hours in a line of 100-300 cars to get gas next to a line of 50 plus people holding red gasoline canisters. It's so hard to get gas that some people can't even go to work.  Today they announced "gas rationing" which was done in the 70s -- people with odd numbers in their license plate can only get gas on "odd" number days and vice versa for even number folks.

With all of that in mind, I wrestled with the idea of shopping on Friday. Certainly a disaster of this magnitude changes your outlook on life. However my decision to go to a mall on Friday had more to do with my desire for normalcy because frankly, shopping is part of my 'normal' routine. Also, I rationalized that keeping the economy in our state going is in a way a positive thing. All of the power outages and gas issues have left many area stores and malls closed for DAYS. I decided to go and I don't have any regrets.

It was nice to leave my home for the first time in five days and it was less about what I bought and more about the experience. I will say, however, it was disheartening while at the mall to see so many people huddled around the mall outlets charging their devices. You don't realize how wonderful it is to have power until you don't have it anymore. I definitely felt more fortunate upon leaving the mall.
I had seen these yellow cords from J. Crew on the sale rack, but I decided I wanted to buy them after seeing Apples and Pencils wear them.  I had seen a more autumn yellow version in GAP (sexy boyfriend fit) for a better price, but unfortunately the fit did nothing for me. Also, something about the yellow sunshine color made me happy for a brief while. (NOTE: I will not be wearing them until AFTER my Giants defeat the Steelers on Sunday!)

I also was thrilled to discover that the earrings I had coveted (and regretted not purchasing while available this summer) for so long were in front of my eyes in Nordstrom! The Kendra Scott "Elle" earrings in Red Coral were in my hands. I was very happy to buy them and they brought me joy during an otherwise hellish week.

Lastly, the main reason for my shopping trip was to restock my greatest indulgence -- scented home candles! Wow do I ever (normally) get grief for buying way too many candles. Well, when you are without power they serve a function and keep your home smelling great! It was my pleasure to replace some of the candles we used up this week. And what a steal -- three 3-wick autumn candles for just $21!

I enjoyed my afternoon but that will be it for at least a few days -- or until the gas shortage is resolved. I don't plan to leave my home for the next 48 hours in order to conserve!