Desperately Seeking ______________ on Sale...

What are you desperately seeking on sale?

Food Therapy

Good food is as satisfying as a good sale. So from time to time (probably more than that because I'm a foodie and I love to eat), I'll be providing some food therapy. Be forewarned, I'm an adventurous eater with a HUGE sweet tooth. If you're in NYC, I hope you try some of these spots. If you do, LMK what you think. Bon appetit!

Video Reviews

While picture reveals of bags are nice. Video reviews of bags are better! As such, I will endeavor to post as many video reviews of bags as possible. However, I will only be reviewing bags that I like. Life is too short to review bags that I dislike. Plus, at the end of the day, it really is just a matter of personal opinion/taste.
VISIT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL: http://www.youtube.com/user/SaleTherapy.
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3.13.2010

Credit Card Reward Programs Are Not Created Equal

If your credit card offers a reward program, you should take advantage of it (provided that the amount in gift cards you receive exceeds the rewards program fee, if any).  I am a member of two reward programs:  Chase Travel Plus and American Express Membership Rewards.  I actually don't redeem my points from my Chase credit card for travel certificates or transfer them as mileage points to my Continental OnePass account.  It's become too dicey when redeeming points for plane tickets or upgrades these days.  Instead, I redeem my points from my Chase credit card for Bloomingdale's gift cards.  With my American Express credit card, I redeem my points for Saks gift cards.   But the point-to-dollar ratio is NOT the same for these reward programs:
  • Chase:  $250 Bloomingdale's GC for 20,000 points
  • American Express:  $200 Saks GC for 25,000 points
As a result, I tend to use my Chase credit card more because the point's dollar value is higher for a department store gift card.  However, it's important to note that Chase only allows you to redeem points for a Bloomingdale's gift card in $250 increments.  American Express allows you to redeem points in $50 increments.  So carefully review your credit cards' reward program and then maximize your redemption potential!!

Tip 1:  If you're purchasing on-line and not shopping via a cashback website, shop through your credit card's reward website.  You can usually earn bonus points this way...and that means being able to redeem points for a gift card faster!!

Tip 2:  All department stores offer their own credit cards.  They suck you in by offering a 10% - 15% discount for same-day purchases when you apply for the store credit card.  I'm pretty sure I have credit cards from all the major department stores by now.  But I never use them.  They all provide a reward program as well but then it means you're married to that one particular department store.  Since I like to shop around, it's not worth it for me (and probably not worth it for you).  However, if you do use store credit cards, remember that their interest rates are significantly higher than regular credit cards.  These are pay-off-balance credit cards, not let's-keep-a-balance credit cards.

Pucci Rain Boots: An Alternative To Hunters

Pucci is known for prints/patterns and I am, once again, going to eat my words about prints/patterns because I found a really cute pair of Pucci rain boots ($122.28) on Zappos.com on sale:

A yellow/burgundy/brown version ($111) is also available and on sale.  I must confess that I already own a pair of Pucci rain boots.  Unlike my Hunter Wellies, my Pucci rain boots are super light!  And yes, they are super crazy patterned as well.  Maybe it's because they're so crazy patterned that I bought them because but they do cheer me up on those cold and dreary rainy days.
Note: Century 21 usually carries crazier patterned Pucci rain boots at a pretty good discount.

iTunes Gift Cards: How To Get Them At A Discount

I use my iPod nano daily and downloading new songs off of iTunes is an expensive habit.  It doesn't help that Apple has raised the price of each song.  So what's a music lover to do?  It's hard to find iTunes gift cards at a discount but...they are always sold at a slight discount at BJ's Wholesale Club and Costco.  Additionally, BJ's regularly sends $5 off coupons on iTunes gift cards.  Maybe Costco's does as well?  So here's the breakdown on pricing:

  • BJ's:  $40 (4 $10 gift cards) for $37.99.
  • BJ's:  $60 (4 $15 gift cards) for $56.99. 
  • Costco's:  $50 gift card for $46.99.
If you're not a member of either discount giants, ask a family member or friend who is a member to pick up an iTunes gift card (well...maybe more than just one) for you.  It adds up...trust me.  ;)

Don't Forget: Spring Forward on 3/14/10 (DST Starts!!)

Daylight Savings Time starts tomorrow at 2:00 am.  Don't forget to set your clocks ahead by one hour or "spring forward".   This has got to be one of the worst days of the year.  Losing an hour throws me off for at least a week.  :(

3.12.2010

AsterAlice.com: Anniversary Flash Sale on 3/14/10

AsterAlice.com is have an Anniversary Flash Sale on 3/14/10 from 7:00 pm - 1:00 am (EST).  Select styles will be up to 65% off...CRAP!!!  I just purchased two Botkier bags from them and they're en route to me.  I hope (and I know this is not nice of me but it really irks me when I find something I just purchased cheaper elsewhere) that the two lovely bags that I purchased are not included in this flash sale.  However, that would also mean that maybe some of the other bags that I've been eyeing will be on super sale.  Since it's a flash sale, I have no sale picks for you.  We'll all just have to check it out when it occurs.  If you end up getting something good, send me a pix and I'll post it!

Food Therapy: Chocolate Chip Cookies (Pillsbury vs Nestle)

There is something about the smell, texture and taste of a warm chocolate chip cookie that just can't be surpassed by any other cookie for me.  The sugar + chocolate scent is addictive.  The soft cookie + gooey chocolate chip texture just melts perfectly in the mouth.  And the first bite is always a taste of happiness.  But not today.  It was a taste of disappointment.  I usually go with Nestle's Toll House Chocolate Chip cookie dough, but today I went with Pillsbury's Simply Chocolate Chip cookie dough.  Here's a pix:
I AM NOT HAPPY WITH PILLSBURY'S SIMPLY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH!!  Not only were the cookies not sweet enough, but they were also too doughy.  Pillsbury totally skimped on the chocolate chips!!!  And they're not golden but burnt-looking (even though they weren't).  This batch is going to the trash.  Tomorrow, I will be going to the supermarket to buy Nestle's Toll House Chocolate Chip cookie dough and will be baking a new happy batch of chocolate chip cookies.

P.S.  I also really like Fuddruckers' warm chocolate chip cookies.  I have fond memories of those cookies from my childhood.  You'd always get a cookie with your kid's meal.  :)

The Importance of Fabric...

Here are a few general rules about fabric because it can make or brake an outfit:
  • Synthetic fabrics...(1) won't drape as nicely as natural fabrics (polyester dresses just don't fall on the body the way silk dresses do), (2) may have weird sheen (think spandex) and (3) are more likely to pill (remember that date-night top from BCBG?).  Also, as a scent-sensitive individual, they tend to smell chemically to me.
  • Rayon is technically neither a synthetic fabric nor a natural fabric.  It's a sort of in-between fabric (highly processed cellulose...whatever that means).  It's a better choice than synthetic fabrics because it mimics natural fabrics better.  However, it's not as durable as natural fabrics and usually requires dry cleaning.
  • Natural fabrics breathe better than synthetic fabrics.  This is why you want a cotton shirt during the summer, not a polyester one.  And ladies, this is why your underwear down-there (ahem) should really be cotton.
  • Before you plunk down your credit card for a dress, skirt or top, please hold the item up against the light (regardless of whether it's made from synthetic fabric or natural fabric).  Make sure you do this test with a single layer of the fabric.  If you can kinda see through it, others will be able to do the same when you have the sun shining behind you (and possibly when the sun is shining directly on you).  This is something to think about when you're looking to purchase a lighter colored jersey dress (peek-a-boo underwear is not attractive).  Also, a camera flash may turn a "previously opaque" top sheer and then you'll be the one who ends up doing the flashing.

Urban Outfitters: Two Thumbs Up!

Urban Outfitters is a great place for sale shopping because they usually have huge sale racks.  :)   It's my kind of place for a rainy day like today.  You can spend a lot of time here and not notice the time passing.  I found several sale picks:
  • Owl Racerback Tank ($9.99) in black by TRULY MADLY DEEPLY.  (This tank was too cheap to pass up.  I can't wait until it's warm enough to wear it!)
  • Embellished Neckline Tank ($19.99) in black by Lucca Couture.
  • Embellished Layered Top ($29.99) in creme by Kimchi Blue.

Bonus:  I know that retail prices are low to begin with at Urban Outfitters (when you compare them to those of Nordie's, Saks and others), but I was still really wowed by the following silk dress (and yes, I appear to be eating my words lately about prints/patterns) in both bl motif (purple) and botanical (emerald green).  It's only $78 and it's super flattering when you wear it.  The silk fabric drapes nicely on the body.  The V-neck is a little deep so if you don't want your bra showing, you may want to sew it up a little, use a brooch or add a hidden snap button.  Solid black and red versions are available too.

Transition Piece for Winter to Spring: LA Made Sweater Vest/Shirt

I dropped by Nordie's today and found this great sweater vest/shirt (What is it called?) in clay (taupe) on sale ($39.90) by LA Made.  It's a great transition piece for winter to spring.  Wear a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath while it's still cold and then switch to a tank when it starts to warm up!
A black version is available as well!

Rebecca Minkoff - Linear Stud Bag Flame

MyObsessionsBoutique.com is offering 40% off (code: LS40*) Rebecca Minkoff's Linear Stud Bags through 3/14/10.  I'm usually not into mixed metals on a bag, but I'm sorta feeling the Linear Stud Bag Flame in black:
* Update:  The NEW CODE is "LINEAR".

3.11.2010

If You Have To Run A Marathon, Do It In Hawaii!!

One of my best friends has decided to run a marathon.   But she doesn't want to run the NYC Marathon.  In a moment of sheer genius, she decided that she wanted to run a Hawaii marathon.  She has started training but she's still deciding between the Kauai Marathon (which occurs in September) and the Honolulu Marathon (which occurs in December).  In keeping with the laid-back island culture, there's no qualification race for either marathons.  Just pay the entry fee and you're good to go!  I'm very excited because I will be waiting for her at the finish line with a lei and a passion-fruit cocktail drink...as I sip on my pina colada.  :)

Target: BOGO Shoe Sale

I am a collector of shoes and I don't discriminate.  I have purchased $5-shoes, $50-shoes and $500-shoes.  If they fit well and look good on my feet, I'm happy.  While perusing the JPG for Target collection, I meandered to the shoe section of Target.  I had received a "Buy 1 Get 1 Half Off" e-mail from Target for shoes.  So why not?  You never know.  I found two pairs of wedges that looked good and felt super comfortable.  At $24.99 a pop (less when you take into account the BOGO sale), I could easily use these wedges for trooping through the rain during the summer.  Cause I ain't doing that with my CLs or MBs...and Wellies aren't always appropriate.
  • Merona Elliana Wedge Sandals in taupe:

  • Merona Patina Wedge Sandal in tan:
Note:  If your total purchase is $50+, use code: TCMTWMNE for another $5 off.  If your total purchase is $50+, you may also qualify for free shipping.  These promotions expire on 3/13/10.

Bonus:  This Mossimo sequined top ($16.99) would make a great bar hopping top.  The fabric felt comfortable and soft to the touch (cotton with stretch).  The cut was very flattering (the long length was slimming and the racerback was sexy).  This top would not be out of place in the contemporary section of Nordie's or Bloomie's.

Jean Paul Gaultier for Target

I am a huge fan of Target.  I can literally spend hours browsing the aisles of Target; especially since they added a huge food section to the store. Today, however, my trip focused on checking out the new Jean Paul Gaultier for Target collection. Unsurprisingly, like past designer collaborations, it was "comme ci, comme ca." The fabrics, for the most part, felt cheap and looked cheap. Take the following dress ($59.99) as an example.
It's a cute dress in the picture but when you feel the fabric, it feels like those cheapie vinyl picnic table covers my parents used to use when I was a kid.  Plus, you need to be tall for this dress.  I tried it on and I almost disappeared.  There is a built-in petticoat underneath the skirt and when you put the dress on, the skirt just poofs out.  I felt like an upside down yellow tulip.

This disco-era top ($24.99) looked cute but again the fabric was an issue.  This top's fabric screamed shiny polyester.


I'm not a fan of prints/stripes/dots/patterns (and yes, I'm rather vocal about it), but this flower-pattern dress ($49.99) looked spring-chic when I tried it on.  And it had pockets!  I adore pockets!  But wearing it would entail me not drinking, eating or sitting.  Three activities which I'm quite fond of.  Again, the fabric was also an issue.  It was thin and pocket/belly area tended to poof out.


Ray-Ban Aviator Large Polarized: Get A Pair For Your SO

If you need a gift for your SO or he's been looking for sunglasses, check out Ray-Ban's Aviator Large Polarized ($143.20 with discount).  You can purchase them for 20% off at CitySports.com (code: CLOUDY).   This promotion code expires on 3/15/10.

My Summer Sandals of Shame: Birkenstocks

Summer is the highlight of the year for me becuase the days are longer and the temperature is hotter.  It gives me a great excuse for not going to the gym:  I walked all day.  That's right, I become a walking (or rather window shopping) machine during the summer.  It's just too nice to stay inside...and too hot to be jogging outside (or at least that's what I tell myself).  While I adore flip flops, walking in them all day is not as comfortable as walking in Birkenstocks all day.  They simply provide better arch support for your feet.  Period.  So you can find me walking around in Birkenstocks during the summer.  I know.  I know.  They're not pretty but I think the t-strap Gizeh and Luxor styles aren't so bad.   The patent leather versions are actually...cute in a granola-meets-city kind of way.  Your feet will thank you at the end of the day.  I found a few on sale just in case you'd like to joint my summer-sandals-of-shame group (and don't forget to click through Ebates to get cashback):
  • Shoes.com:  Women's Gizeh Leather in passion flower pearl (dusty pink) for $67.19.*
  • Shoes.com:  Women's Luxor in habana coarse ($99.99).*
  • Endless.com:  Women's Luxor in purple patent ($102.84) or black patent ($113.95).
  • FamousFootwear.com:  Women's Gizeh Leather in black or mocha (each $69.99).**
*  Shoes.com is currently offering 25% off sale shoes (code: 25SALE).  This promotion expires on 3/15/10.
**  FamousFootwear.com is currently offering 20% off your total purchase (code: BLOOM).  This promotion expires on 3/13/10.

Food Therapy: Funny Moment In Time

Shake Shack is great for burgers, fries and shakes, right?  It's somewhere you go when you're not on a diet.    I'm reminded of a funny moment that I experienced while standing in line for my calorie-loaded meal.  The group in front of me had finally made it to the ordering window.   It was the last person ordering from that group that caught my attention.  Let's be clear, this was a guy, not a girl ordering.  After perusing the menu intently, it appeared that he was still unsure of his order.  Why?  Because of the numerous yummy choices?   Nope.  If only.

He asked the guy behind the ordering window the following:  "Do you have anything low-fat or non-fat that I can order?"

The guy behind the ordering window promptly replied, "Dude.  You're at the wrong place if you're looking for low-fat or non-fat.  We're all fat."

Just like I don't go asking for meat at a vegetarian restaurant...don't go asking for low-fat or non-fat at Shake Shack.  There's no point.

Food Therapy: Johny's Grill & Luncheonette

There is this hole-in-the-wall diner that I always go back to for two things:  Pita Pizza and Famous Sloppy Johny.  I really can't explain why the Pita Pizza is the best thing ever.   Maybe the homemade sauce?  Whatever it is, if you're tired of standing in line at Shake Shack at Madison Square Park, walk over to Johny's.  It's located at 124 W. 25th St (b/w 6th & 7th Ave).  Famous Sloppy Johny is a close second to Pita Pizza.  It's a hero filled with fresh grilled chicken (NOT reheated chicken), bacon, onion, cheese and coleslaw.  The fresh grilled chicken makes a huge difference - it's always moist and flavorful.  This is a really big hero...big enough to share.  Come to think of it, my bf and I always order one Pita Pizza and one Famous Sloppy Johny's to share.  You can always get a good meal (and deal!) at Johny's.

White + Warren: Cashmere Cable Duster

White + Warren is having a one-day sale on their Cashmere Cable Duster in ALL COLORS for $125.  This may not be as good as their sample prices but for those of you aren't ever able to make it to one of those, this is a pretty good discount.  This duster is different because of the cable knit.  It creates a preppy casual chic feel.  Great timing for spring!

Loehmann's: Not As Generous With Additional Discounts As Before?

I'm getting the uncomfortable feeling that Loehmann's is no longer as good as it used to be.  This doesn't mean I'm going to stop shopping there.  This simply means that shopping there won't be as satisfying.   Most coupons are no longer combinable and I haven't seen them run an Insider Points promotion in a very long time.  Have you?  I've almost forgotten about those promotions.  In addition, last month was my cousin's birthday and his Birthday discount e-mail specifically stated that the Birthday discount was NOT combinable with the Insider Club Gold Member 10% discount.  I am positive that this was not the case last year.  I distinctly remember us shopping happily because we were able to use my Birthday discount AND my Insider Club Gold Member 10% discount.  And now there's this...for all you Loehmann's junkies who are Insider Club Gold members, you should have a "15% off your total purchase" e-mail sitting in your inbox (or maybe spam folder) by now.  This coupon expires on 3/16/10.  This coupon is NOT combinable with your Insider Club Gold Member 10% discount, Birthday discount or any other offer.   That just takes all the fun away.  Combining coupons was a huge part of the appeal in shopping at Loehmann's.  For you super lucky Insider Club Diamond members, you appear to be exempt from this new miserly policy.  Your Insider Club Diamond membership isn't as good as gold, it's better than gold - it's platinum!

Pictures And Hangers Can Be Deceiving

I love to shop on-line.  I love to shop in-store.  But sometimes, pictures and hangers can be deceiving.  For instance, aren't these Loeffler Randall sandals gorgeous?

I fell in love with them the second I laid my eyes on them.  This past weekend, I finally made it to Bergdorf's to see them IRL.  I am very, very, VERY sad to say that these sandals, while comfy, did not look as good on my feet as I had imagined.  I liked them at best.  I think the leather straps are a little too thick for smaller feet (I'm a size 6.5).  It made my feet look a little...fat?  Is that even possible?  Apparently it is.  Sigh.  When I look at this picture, I fall in love with these sandals all over again.  Maybe I'll get them when they go on sale...

On to hangers...my favorite dress looks not just ugly but FUGLY on the hanger.  But when I put it on, it becomes the most beautiful thing ever.  And some of the most gorgeous dresses on a hanger look ridiculous on a person (that would be me!).  The next time you see a dress that lacks hanger appeal but may have some type of unexplainable potential, try it on.  Clothes were made to worn on a person, not on a hanger.  I wonder how many fabulous dresses and tops have been ignored because they lack hanger appeal?    

3.10.2010

Hunter: Piccadilly Leather Boots (Forget the Wellies)

I know.  I know.  You want (or already have) a pair of Hunter Wellies.  I'm passed all that...especially since there's a Hunter shortage (good luck in finding your color AND size) and I already have pair in black (they're "blooming" and I've given up on un-blooming them).  What I'm looking at are Hunter's leather riding boots.  In particular, the Piccadilly Leather Boot on NeimanMarcus.com since they're on sale ($225).  Two other versions are also on sale:  the Suede Crest Riding Boot ($237) in chocolate (but it looks more like a dark tan) and the Leather Crest Riding Boot ($247) in dark brown.  I'm not the best of friends with suede so I going to pass on the Suede Crest Riding Boot and I'm not a size 5.5, so I'm going to pass on the Leather Crest Riding Boot (which in all honesty, would be the one to get).  Therefore, let's focus on the Piccadilly Leather Boot:
I am totally feeling the "H" crest and the rubber sole.  If you can't get a pair of Wellies, this is a really good alternative.  Plus, you won't look like every other girl out there (including me!).

Optical Illusions: Don't Be One

Optical illusions are great when you're looking at an Escher artwork, but they are not so great when you are one.  I found this blouse during my Anthropologie trip.  I was mesmerized by it because it looked like the little white birds were moving/flying.  Patterns and prints are a good thing but please make sure that you don't end up as an optical illusion to others.
UMIL: I once told one of my co-workers that he looked like an optical illusion due to his crazy-striped shirt.  It was even more mesmerizing than the blouse.  I couldn't even look at his face while having a conversation with him.  All I, and everyone else, could do was to stare at his shirt.  But I was the only one dumb (or honest?) enough to mention it.  Apparently, it was one of his favorite shirts.  He gave me a death stare and walked away.  Things were a bit frosty for a week.  (But he never wore it to work again!)

Anthropologie: Why It's Hard For Me To Shop There

I like Anthropologie.  I really do.  The problem is that most of the stuff they carry makes me look like I'm twelve years old.  I'm petite, vertically challenged, small, short, etc...  And when I wear a dress or shirt that contains bows, ruffles, patterns (especially flower-patterns), poofy sleeves, and/or cutesy-buttons, I look like a little girl.  Not a look that I'm really going for these days.  Nor does it make my bf happy when others think that he's rocking the cradle.  So I searched hard in the sale section today during my trip to Anthropologie.  And I managed to find this purple summery shirt that works for me...plus, it's on sale for $19.95:

Give Some, Get Some...

Are you looking a particular style or item? Let me know (saletherapy@gmail.com) and I will post your request so that everyone can help you find your sale!

Have you seen a style or item on sale that someone else is looking for? Don't be stingy and share the wealth! Let me know so that I can post it.