Thursday, December 26, 2013

J. Crew Haul (part II)

I meant to post this sooner but it has been a busy month.

I bought the J. Crew Rock Salt Boy Shirt on a popback. (It was impossible to find in store and generally sold out online -- except for this one particular morning.) I am happy with it -- a girl can never have too much tartan! I paid about $50 for it but being that it was so hard to get my hands on, that was fine.

I also bought the skinny utility cargo pants from J. Crew. Would you believe I paid $10 for these after discounts?

Today, I shopped at J. Crew and found the holiday tartan shirt and these gray toothpick jeans on final sale. Both came to $76 after discounts.

What are your thoughts on these items? Are you doing any after-Christmas shopping?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

J. Crew and J. Crew Factory Haul (part 1)

So for the second half of 2013, I'm pleased to say that my J. Crew bills have not been through the roof as they have in the past. But this is holiday season, a time when the sale racks tend to offer deals too good to pass up. Here are a few items I have recently purchased:

The Merci linen graphic tee in gray: $18 after discounts. These linen shirts tend to run big because they stretch so I sized down to a Small.

The Cheers stripe crew sweatshirt cost me approx. $18 after discounts. I am a sucker for J. Crew sweatshirts -- they are the most comfortable in the world! I took a size Small -- they stretch.

I bought a Shoulder Button Sold Painter in pink because it is just such a beautiful color (much nicer in person than seen above) and it was only $10 after discounts. I took a size Small because I've learned that these stretch.

At J. Crew Factory, I bought the Charley Intarsia Bow sweater because it was very cute and under $20. I took my normal size Medium.

I returned to other J. Crew stores in my area since this haul and will post about my items later.

Have you purchased any of these items? Any thoughts on J. Crew's sales this month? Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 6, 2013

T'is the Season (for great sales)

I've posted before about my conflicting feelings with regards to shopping holiday sales ... for myself. My husband firmly believes that any shopping this time of year has to be for someone else. I disagree. It's hard to ignore the best markdowns of the year for items that I really want or can use.

With all that said, I bought some items at J. Crew and J. Crew Factory this past week. Total spent: $75.

First I bought the Funny Birds tee. I liked the print immediately when I saw it in store. I thought that I would end up buying the blue boy shirt version of the print, but wasn't willing to pay the ridiculously high price. (Note: the boy shirt is on the sale rack, but even at 40 percent off I feel the price is too high. Also don't need another blue button down shirt.) I am happy with the gray shirt version.

At the Factory, I bought the Fair Isle sweater (which looks like the Farmyard sweater from retail minus the animals.) I actually bought the sweater so I would have one for an "ugly sweater" party even though I don't think the sweater is terribly ugly. With sale and promotions I paid less than $25 for it.

I also bought a pair of cabernet Matchstick cords and a red currant tissue turtleneck, and a red Clare (aka Jackie) cardigan. All three items were on the sale rack, and all three items were reddish-colored "holiday" pieces that I was looking for.

Have you bought any of these items? What are your thoughts on holiday shopping for yourself? Love to read your comments!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Have you joined eBates? Get paid to shop

Have you joined yet?

Ebates is an online rebate websites that will reward  you cash back when you place an order through one of the hundreds of websites they are affiliated with. They work with major websites like Old Navy, JCPenney, etc. So – if you are placing an online order, instead of going directly to the store’s website, go to to see what percentage cash back they are paying and then go to their website via Ebates. will track your order and will reward you with cash back based on your order amount!

Ebates is totally free to sign up. Right now you can become an  and you’ll receive a $10 Gift Card of your choice when you make your first $25 purchase or more!

There are a number of ways to save on some of your favorite stores right now too, and you can get cash back as you place your order! (There are literally hundreds of participating stores.)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Shopping the Sales (J. Crew, Factory, LOFT and Bloomingdale's Outlet)

Pardon the hiatus but I've been trying to rein in my shopping these days. Still, a girl has to have fun once in a while so $360 later here are some of my recent purchases.

I wanted these plaid pants from Loft since the moment I saw them in a magazine, but I'm not paying full price for anything at Loft where items hit the sale racks in less than two months. Scored these pants for under $40 (and might have grabbed a better deal if I waited two days later.) As much as I love a good sale, the day-to-day changing of sales at Loft really irks me. At least J. Crew lets a promotion run for an entire week! For anyone contemplating these pants, I say buy them, but maybe size down.

I also bought this frayed tweed pencil skirt in coral from J. Crew Factory during the CARDPERK online promotion. I had a rewards card so the total with shipping came out to $9.99. I think this item will be great for fall, winter, and spring. Sold out, but watch for popbacks (which is how I got mine.)

At J. Crew where I have managed to (thankfully!) spend very little money this season, I grabbed the Plaster Peonies Tee and the Vintage Cotton Floral Tee in Ivory. Both were 30% off the marked down price and could have been stacked with the 25% off $100 (except I didn't spend that much -- and NOT from lack of trying!)

So wait -- that all adds up to .... how did I spend.... must have been.... OH YEAH that's right - I made this impulse purchase! Lo and behold the Marc Jacobs Classic Q Fran Bag in Gunmetal. Once I saw her sitting by herself in Bloomingdale's outlet there was no turning back. No way do I need another bag but this one is going to be my new everyday go-to neutral dress-it-up or dress-it-down bag. It just fierce with every outfit. And the best part is the price -- the retail is about $400 but at the outlet it was $230 plus tax. Check it out below:

 Do you own any of these items? Are you considering any of these items? I love to read and respond to your comments!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I'm back!

Apologies for the delay in posts. I started a new job and frankly wasn't shopping much. Rather than get into the mundane details, let me just share what I bought over the weekend.

I got the J. Crew Factory version of the Hothouse Floral. I wanted this print when the retail store sold it last year, but frankly I prefer a blouse like this in polyester. For the price and the machine washable factor, J. Crew Factory's version was the better choice. During their 50-percent off storewide sale, it only cost $40.

While there, I also grabbed a pair of Winnie stretch pants and Leopard pajama pants... because you can never have too many pairs of either! 

Have you visited the Factory this weekend yet? The sale is going on through tomorrow.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Got "two" (at Gap) for the price of one (at J. Crew)

I have a love affair with army green khaki. If you have read my blog in the past, you know that I have many items in a similar shade of green. From army jackets, to khaki pants and shorts, this is the color that is my "other" chambray. It is a timeless neutral that isn't so neutral and it seems every year it is back in style. With that in my mind, I have had my eye on the J. Crew skinny cargo pants for months. When I heard the pants were on sale, I tried them on in store. Green olive, however, did not make it's way to my store's sale rack. Although I tried on both the aubergine and sand colors, they just didn't "do it" for me. The price tag ($59.99 - 25 off) wasn't screaming my name either so I left empty-handed. (J. Crew's rather bland clothing in recent months been very good for my wallet. Another post for another time.)

After leaving, I made my way into GAP which was having a 30-off store-wide sale. I wanted to see what I might grab from the sale rack and, lo and behold, I found both of these terrific skinny style olive khaki pants. Since I couldn't decide which I liked more and the price was right, I bought them both! (For reference, they are called the skinny mini cargo skimmer khakis and skinny mini skimmer khakis)

If you look closely you will notice that they are different. One is more of a straight legging style with only welted back pockets. This would look great with a long top. The other is more of a cargo style, very similar to the one I wanted from J. Crew. The price for each after discount was around $18. I felt better buying both knowing I would have spent more on one pair at J. Crew. And frankly, these pants fit me better than the colors I tried at the Crew.

After, I meandered into Banana Republic, which was offering an extra 40 percent off already reduced items plus an extra 10 percent for cardholders. There, I bought the Soft Wash Dot & Stripe Button-Down Shirt ($30 after discounts) and the Issa Collection envelope clutch in Cognac ($30 after discounts) I was concerned to see some of the clutches had scratches, so I was careful to choose the clutch with the least scratching. I plan to put some leather protectant on it. I love the safari cat print on the inside lining. It has also has a structured feel to it. I expect this will be a great bag for spring, but the deep neutral color will allow me to use it in the summer and fall.

Have you felt the J. Crew selections have been rather bland and overpriced? (My wallet is secretly happy!) Did you take advantage of the sales at Gap and Banana Republic this weekend? What are your thoughts on these items? I love to read and respond to your comments!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Gilt City -- J. Crew Factory coupon

As much as I am TRYING to stay out of J. Crew (and I am -- I don't even carry my card with me anymore!), it is pretty hard when I keep learning about these storewide discounts from Gilt city.

Gilt city is a website where you can get various items for less for a limited time, or a coupon off a store (which is the case with J. Crew Factory.) The voucher I received (free) last week was for 40 percent off at Factory, so I had to go take a look.

I didn't spent much -- my two clearance items came to $30 total with the voucher. I picked up a pair of hot pink Matchstick jeans (because THIS girl needs every color of the rainbow, apparently!) and the shoreline striped dress, which is an incredibly lightweight jersey knit sundress that will be perfect for 90 degree weather. (Apparently, there will be such a day tomorrow where I live!)

Although the 40-off was a one day voucher, there is still a 25-percent off deal that is good until next week. Click here for the offer. It's definitely worth a visit to the store.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Cranberry and pink color combo

It's the WEEK-END and I am so happy. What a hectic week last week was!

Shopping has been minimal these days so my posts are not that frequent. I did manage to grab two blog-worthy items. Both have similar hues of cranberry and pink, which seems to be a trend right now.

The first item is a color block clutch from The Limited. I grabbed it during one of their 50-off the entire store deals. They offer these sales for a limited (no pun intended) number of hours every once in a while, and I usually get a heads up about them in an email. The clutch was normally $49.50 but I paid half of that. I just loved the deep rich colors and thought it was be a great fall (or even winter) bag. I became so into clutches this year; when going to dinner or a family get-together they make so much more sense than a huge bag. I also liked the quality of this clutch and I expect to get some use out of it.

The next item is one I "slept on" --- I didn't love it the first time I saw it and when I eventually changed my mind, I found that I had waited too long. The tiny dot tee from J. Crew Factory reminds me of this scarf that I bought last Labor Day. I suppose that is why I wasn't in love with it because I already had the scarf. But as someone who owns multiple Heartthrob and leopard print items, I should know by know that different items have different uses.

What do you think of these items? Do you love the red/pink color combo as well?

Monday, September 2, 2013

J. Crew Factory purchases

Happy September! (Where did summer go?)

I've been pretty "good" about not shopping for the last few weeks, so there hasn't been much to post on my shopping blog. I did, however, grab two items from J. Crew Factory lately and they are worth sharing.

The first item is the Factory's cotton shift dress in Cerise (a blood orange color). It was a dress I had tried on when it was full price . My issue was the long straps -- I knew I would need to have them altered and that didn't seem very cost-effective. Weeks later when I saw the dress in clearance, the last of its kind and color in my size, I decided to get it. I still need the straps altered, but I think I will hold off on that until next spring. The rest of the dress fits great, and it cost $30 after all discounts.

The other item I bought at the Factory was even more exciting: a denim Madewell shirt! I've never seen Madewell items in my local Factory store, although I do remember reading about this particular item on Life is Short ... Buy the Shoes. I've blogged about Madewell before ... it is a store that is very hit or miss for me. I do, however, think their denim items are classic and the Rail Straight Jeans that I bought earlier this year are among my favorites. The item is called Western Jean Shirt in Nightsky wash. I think the shirt looks better in person than in this image.

I tend to purchase medium sized shirts to avoid gaping at my chest, but I was able to buy this shirt in a Small which makes it look flattering to my body.

I am thinking about stopping by Factory later, being that it is a holiday today and I have no plans for any barbecues. I can't believe school starts tomorrow! Truthfully I am excited for this year because I was fortunate enough to find a new job. Nevertheless, I want to make my last day off from work count!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Finally mine! The J. Crew floral lattice crystal necklace is mine!

Oh how long have I wanted this necklace!  At least three months! When I saw it on Jcrewismyfavstore I knew I had to have it! Each week I stopped in J. Crew hoping to see it marked down. And of course, the week that I am unable to browse the B & M is the week it is finally marked down. I nearly missed out on it -- my store was sold out as were most stores in my area.  It is thanks to a tip on J.Crew Aficionada that I found out it made it's way to sale.

This necklace is extra special because my husband saw it two months back and thought it would look great on me. I, of course, agreed. He told me if the price went down (I would not let him pay $228 for this... way too much for costume jewelry), he would buy it for me for our five year anniversary. I'm happy to say I now have something to wear when we celebrate next week!

So the necklace at retail price was $228. Today it is marked down to $149 plus 30 off. I was also able to apply the educator discount, which brought the total with tax to under $100. My husband loves it and said it was worth every penny.

What do you think? Do you have this necklace? Will you try to buy it?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Kate Spade @ Nordstrom Rack

I am so happy to have been fortunate enough to find not one, but TWO Kate Spade items on sale this summer. (I recently blogged about the Maryanne Gold Coast bag, see earlier post.) I had been on the lookout for the Kate Spade Wildflowers Harmony tote bag for so long. I was frequently checking the KS website and major department stores hoping for a good deal. It seems I waited too long as it seemed to have disappeared.

And then -- lo and behold -- I saw her in Nordstrom Rack last week. It was a $124, a 50 % reduction off the regular retail price. A terrific price.

I just adore the print on this bag. The front and back both have their own unique design. I love the colors, the wording, the straps. If I had one complaint it is the size of the tote -- which is enormous. The large size makes it impractical for everyday use, but I'm sure in time I will find plenty of use for it.

What do you think of this bag? Have you bought any Kate Spade bags lately? Have you bought a large tote bag that you get a lot of use out of every day?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Herringbone excursion vest @ J. Crew Factory

Thanks to the wonderful bloggers who post on J. Crew Aficionado, I was "in the loop" about the J. Crew Factory Herringbone excursion vest. (Note: This item is currently not available on the Factory website.)

I missed out on the retail version of this vest last year. After it was sold out, it seemed I saw it everywhere. I wasn't paying eBay "gouger" prices, so I was prepared to live life without it.... until it showed up at the Factory! As I've mentioned on this blog before, it seems to be a trend that Factory is offering more nearly identical versions of last season's most popular clothing. Last week I bought my French Hen sweater (see earlier post)
As far as I can tell the Herringbone vest is nearly identical to the retail version (there might be slight nuances but I don't have both vests in front of me to compare.) I think it will make a versatile addition to my wardrobe. I bought two excursion vests from Factory last year and I think I got a lot of use out of them. I expect I will continue to use them this coming season.

I'm glad I ran out and got the Herringbone vest the other day because while there, I saw two behind the counter with "on hold" tags on them. According to JCA posts, the vests seem to be going fast at other Factory locations. In case you are wondering, the vest was $108 minus $10 promotion on vests. I also was able to use my educator discount and my J. Crew card rewards, so it was nearly free.  I am trying to limit my retail shopping for the rest of the summer, so I was extra happy about that!

What do you think of this vest? Do you already have the retail version? Will you buy this Factory version? Do you love or hate excursion vests?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer sales

I'm still shopping, but I've cut back quite a bit as money is tight and there is not much that I need. However, I am unable to walk away from a "good deal" or a reduced price on something I've coveted for a while or use regularly.

I bought these Sam Edelman Gigi thong sandals at Lord & Taylor. I have gotten so much use out of my fluorescent yellow flip flops this summer that it warranted buying this more sophisticated looking pair. I also ADORE the rose gold Gigi thongs I bought at Marshalls a while back so I was happy with the deal: $39.99 after discounts. Side note: Lord & Taylor is a store that I frequently forget about and I am always pleasantly surprised during their summer sale with the selection and price. I have to make a mental note to check their stores out more often.

I also bought this sunflower necklace from J. Crew during the 40-percent off final sale promotion. It was $24 after discounts, and I can see myself getting a lot of use out of it.

Lastly, I had been stalking keeping an eye on the Creamsicle-colored "Street to Studio" jacket from Lululemon over the last few months. The jacket recently made its way to sale for $64. Score!

Have you shopped any of these stores lately? What do you think of these items?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Clearing the sale racks

I was so happy to scoop up this straw clutch at The Limited, where it was marked down from $46.50 to $9.99. I have had my eye on it for a while and this was definitely the right price.

I also saw the Cora lace dress at J. Crew Factory. After discounts it only cost $25. I have wanted a yellow dress like this for a while. I wanted one so bad I was about to dye a white dress. Bought the yellow dye and everything. That was nine months ago!  Sometimes DIY projects just never get done.

While at Factory, I also bought their version of the Port of Call sweatshirt, which was my primary reason for going there. I think this is a great sweatshirt to wear with shorts and transition into fall weather. The navy and white go with all of my bright shorts. Plus, it is super comfortable. I sized down and I've learned my lesson about this material stretching over time. It is currently on promotion for 40 % off. After discounts it cost me about $30.

Side note: While shopping at the mall where they have the Factory store, the mall announced a mandatory evacuation over their PA system.  Everyone in the mall had to vacate. I admit it was very scary. I still have no idea what the cause of it was as there was no write up in the newspaper. I hope it was something minor, like a small food court fire. Very unnerving. Needless to say, I took it as a very clear sign from above to stop shopping!

What are your thoughts on these items? Have you shopped the sale racks at J. Crew Factory or The Limited lately? Did you plan a DIY project that you never got around to? I love to read your comments!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A pink bag and a (faux) French Hen

Today while out I stopped at J. Crew Factory. Imagine my sheer joy when I found an exact replica version of last fall's French Hen sweater! The sweater was $88 retail but was part of a 40 percent off promo, plus my educator discount. I am so excited to finally own the French Hen sweater! However, I must say that I nearly bought the retail version, and if I had, I might have been a tad upset to see basically the same sweater (I'm sure there is a difference with material) for so much less at the Factory. And this seems to be the J. Crew trend, that older prints make their way to the Factory the following year.

I was even more excited to buy this Kate Spade Maryanne Quilted bag in Zinnia Pink! It is more hot pink that the picture suggests, which makes me like it even more. Over at, the bag is available for $248 (plus tax). I scored mine in store with a discount for a total of $161 (with tax). I cannot wait to wear her somewhere soon!

What are your thoughts on the older versions of J. Crew items at the Factory? Is it a "win" for Factory customers, or a "loss" for loyal retail store shoppers? What do you think of the Kate Spade bag?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pretty in Pink

So I absolutely love the new fitness clothes that I blogged about a few weeks back. It has turned out to be a terrific investment (and perhaps a new obsession). I was thrilled to find that there was a pink version of the gray/black active jacket that I found in Old Navy. Even more thrilling was that the jacket was on clearance during a promotion and cost only $11. I love it so much I bought two. It reminds me of the Lululemon "Forme" jacket in Paris Pink (2012) that I missed out on. Here is a side by side comparison (the Old Navy version is on the right)

 While I get that Lululemon is the brand it is due to its quality, I don't think their items need to be quite as expensive as they are. I bought my one black Lululemon jacket (see recent post) and that will be enough for me. I'm quite happy with my Gap Fit and Old Navy activewear.

I also was happy to buy the Azalea pink "multistripe popover"for about $20 during the recent 40 percent off final sale promotion at J. Crew. I have worn it already with khaki shorts and it looks great.

Lastly, I found this adorable"C'est La Vie" striped shirt at Banana Republic (which is also having a 40-off sale) for just $12. This top will go great with nearly any of my colored pairs of shorts or pencil skirts.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any of these items yourself, or might you keep an eye out for them? Have you enjoyed the 40-percent off sales that are going on lately, or are you "shopped out" for now?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Blythe-like blouse for less

I always enjoy posts about where to find "similar to J. Crew" items for less by bloggers such as gigisgoneshopping and fabulousfloridamommy. So I thought I would take a page from their playbook and share my recent purchases.

I wanted the J. Crew Blythe blouse in Alabaster. It wasn't too expensive; at $49.99 plus 40-pct off it was a reasonable price. However, I am reluctant to buy the blouse because it is delicate and I don't always have the time or money to deal with specialized cleaning. I saw there is a Factory version (of which I own in another color). It isn't quite as delicate as the Blythe, but it was surprisingly more expensive!

That said, I needed a blouse like this as I have been going on several interviews as of late. I think it looks classic under a suit. So I was happy when I found Old Navy's version of the blouse, called the Women's roll cuff blouse, on the sale rack. I have this blouse in three colors already but never thought to buy this beautiful cream shade. It was already marked down to $12 and I received an additional cardholder discount yesterday. Total:  $8.

I also popped into The Limited where the entire store is 40 percent off. I picked up the Sleeveless Collared Henley Top for $18 after discounts. It is blouse material on the front side, and breatheable jersey material on the back. This top will be perfect during this week's 90 degree heat wave! They also have this top in a beautiful mint which is one of my favorite colors, but I already have enough of it in my work wardrobe.

What are your thoughts on the Blythe blouse? What is your opinion of the J. Crew vs. Factory versions? Have you picked up any items from The Limited or Old Navy lately?