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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3.20.2010

Uniqlo: +J Trench Coats

Being that I was in Soho, I couldn't pass up a visit to Uniqlo.  I checked out their +J Collection...specifically the trench coats.  It's officially trench season and for those of you still looking for one, here are two gorgeous lightweight trenches for under $150:
  • Single-Breasted Trench ($149.50) in khaki:  This is a very classic looking trench.
  • Double Breasted Trench ($129.50) in olive:  This is a more modern looking trench.

Bonus: Various Uniqlo jeans are on sale for $14.90!!  And pant alterations are always free at Uniqlo (another reason why I love this store).  This a superb deal for us petite gals.  Hemming really adds up.  Sale end tomorrow (3/21/10).

Food Therapy: Beautiful Day = Walking = Food (Lots Of It!)

Today was the most beautiful day ever!  Like any sane winter weary person, I took full advantage of the first day of spring.  My bf and I were supposed to only have brunch with Big Buddha and his gf.  The four of us ended up eating brunch, walking, and eating some more (actually, a lot more).  Unsurprisingly, this happens a lot.  We plant to meet for brunch or lunch and then we end up eating for the rest of the day.  Today, we started in Soho and ended up in K-Town.
  • Brunch:  We went to Balthazar (80 Spring St).  It's been awhile since I last visited and the food there is still good.  I had the Sour Cream Hazelnut Waffles with a warm berries sauce.  It was crispy and light.  My bf and Big Buddha each had a very yummy Eggs Norwegian.  Big Buddha's gf has a tasty croque-monsieur.  But our service was dismal.  Either the server was simply oblivious or he just didn't care.  Or it could have been both.  Needless to say, I will be avoiding that particular server in the future.
  • After Brunch:  I'm not sure how it happened but we ended up at Cafe Habana (17 Prince St) very shortly after brunch.  The four of us shared a Cuban Sandwich.  (You didn't think we each had our own, did you?)  I will be going back there soon for another one.  The pork was tender and moist, and the melted cheese added just right amount of saltiness and creaminess.  I highly recommend Cafe Habana.
  • Snack:  We ended up trying the fried chicken at Kyo Chon (350 5th Ave).  Don't go here.  Not only are the portions laughably small, you have to fight for a table and wait for your "fast food".  In fact, they know that their service is so slow that they give you one of those buzzers you get at Olive Garden.  WTH?  There's no denying that the fried chicken (skin) is tasty but look at the picture below.  The wings/drumsticks in the front row are as big as the potato wedges in the middle row in the left bin.  Yes, they are that tiny.  We left upset and hungry.
  • Early Dinner:  Hungry and wanting more korean-style fried chicken, we went across the street to the conveniently located Mad For Chicken (formerly Bon Chon Chicken) (314 5th Ave, 2nd Fl).  MFC served plump and crispy wings/drumsticks.  While the taste wasn't as flavorful as it used be when it was Bon Chon Chicken, it was still immensely more satisfying than the fried chicken from Kyo Chon.  Plus, the flavored soju here is yummy!  (Note:  For you ladies who like fruity/sweet cocktails, you must try flavored soju.  It reminds me of fruit juice spiked with vodka.  You barely taste the alcohol so you can drink this all night long.  But be careful because when it hits you, it really hits you.  You buy it by the bottle and do shots of it.  It's great for a girls' night out!!)

Food Therapy: Funny Moment In Time

Today was a beautiful day and as the weather gets better, my thoughts always turn to bbq.  My cousin and I both ADORE bbq.  In fact, he was the one who introduced me to the Big Apple BBQ Block Party.  (Note:  He wanted recognition that he was the one who found this bbq festival.  So there.  Happy now?)  And this brings me back to the first Big Apple BBQ Block Party that we attended.  It was a very memorable experience not just because it was our first time but because of a funny moment with his date. 

I'm sure you've figured out by now, I am not a vegetarian.  I have nothing against vegetarians but I am not one.  Well, neither is my cousin.  In fact, if there ever was a bigger meat lover in existence, it would be my cousin. Let's call him Big Buddha for now and let's call his date Miss V, as in  Miss Vegetarian.

This is what happened: We're on the subway headed to Madison Square Park for the bbq festival.  Miss V and Big Buddha are sitting next to each and my bf and I are seated across from them. The train car is pretty empty.  And as you can imagine, we're all REALLYexicted.  Actually, three of us (me, my bf and Big Buddha) are excited and one of us is silent (Miss V).  In fact, Miss V is looking slighly ill.  Me, my bf and Big Buddha are talking non-stop about what we're going to eat.  All of a sudden, Miss V says, "I'm a vegetarian."  The three of us went silent for a good 10 seconds.  Big Buddha brought a non-meat eater to a bbq festival!!  Miss V couldn't see it, but Big Buddha's expression was of shock and disbelief.  In that moment, I knew that I would never see Miss V again.  And I never did.

I later asked Big Buddha how it slipped his notice that Miss V was a vegetarian.  Apparently all previous dates were at Italian restuarants.  She would always order pasta (albeit meatless dishes) so it was never anything out of the ordinary.

(Upon reflection, I must give it up to her. She trooped through that day and hung with us while we tried almost every bbq stand available.)

3.19.2010

Botkier: Howard St. Satchel

Here's Botkier's Howard St. Satchel in cement.  The color here is pretty much the same IRL.  I am slightly paranoid about this lighter color (okay...maybe more than slightly paranoid) but I love it!!!  It's 14" wide and 7.5" tall...a perfect satchel size for us vertically-challenged ladies!  This will be my spring/summer bag.  This is a lambskin bag and it also comes in magenta and teal.  The espresso version comes in a crinkly lambskin.  The black version comes in a pebbled cowhide.  And for you color-loving ladies, the carnival snake (embossed) is made from calfskin.  All of these versions have a slight glaze except for the black version.  Here are the pix.  The video review will be posted soon!  (Note:  There is a Howard St. Large Satchel and it is ginormous.  When I saw it IRL, it felt more like a tote than a satchel due to its size.)
  • Overall View:
  • Front View:
  • Back View:
  • Bottom View:

Botkier: Logan Satchel

Here are pix of Botkier's Logan Satchel as promised.  This lambskin bag also comes in moss, golden snake (embossed) and chalk.  It's 16.25" wide and 9.25" tall.  As mentioned in my video review, the Logan Satchel weight approximately 2.1 lbs.
  • Overall View:
  • Front View:
  • Back View:

  • Bottom View:

VisionDirect.com: Discount Contact Lenses

I wear contact lenses every day.  In fact, I wear toric contact lenses that always have to be special ordered.  Since there's a wait regardless of whether I get my contacts from my ophthalmologist or on-line, I do it on-line because it's cheaper.  There are plenty of contact lense e-tailers but I prefer VisionDirect.com because of the following:
  • I've used this site for years without a problem.
  • You get 5% back on every purchase in Drugstore.com dollars (it's a partner site of Drugstore.com).
    • I shop at Drugstore.com for random beauty items so the Drugstore.com-dollars-back work's out nicely.
  • You can always find free shipping/discount codes:
    • For 10% off, use code "10NEXT".  This expires on 12/31/10.  This is good for existing customers.  For new customers, VisionDirect.com actually offers a much better discount.  Usually it's 15% off for new customers and the code is on the website.
  • They will price match.  Certain other less reputable contact lenses e-tailers offer better prices.  I wouldn't purchase from them but I do like their lower prices, so I get VisionDirect.com to price match.

3.18.2010

Video Review: Botkier's Logan Satchel

Alright kiddies...it's here!! My 1st video review of a bag, Botkier's Logan Satchel to be precise. I hope you like it. There will definitely be more of these in the future. I will post pix of the bag in a little.

Random Thought: Spring and Allergies

Spring is here!!  Finally, after a dreadful winter, the sun has come out and the temperature is no longer freezing.  I'm always super happy this time of year...until my allergies hit.  I seem to have annual amnesia that spring means allergies for me.  If you're like me, don't forget to breakout your Flonase.  And don't sniff the flowers!!  ;)

Food Therapy: Big Fat Greek Burrito??

I went to Panchero's for an early dinner (think of it as a lesser Chipotle but with fresh tortillas) and they were offering a special: Big Fat Greek Burrito.  Well, how could I pass on a gyro in burrito form?  I couldn't.  It wasn't bad at all.  Go figure.  I wonder which honcho at Panchero's loves gyros?  Maybe he/she visited the Halal food cart on 53rd St and 6th Ave and was inspired?

Note: On 4/1/0 (that would be April Fool's Day), say "Bob My Burrito" for a free soda and possibly some freebies!

Exciting News!!

Hellooo!!!  I am excited to announce that I will start posting VIDEO reveals/reviews of bags (and maybe shoes?) in the very near future.  Stay tuned...

Random Thought: Target Zombie

My brother calls me a Target Zombie.  Every time I get in my car, I just want to go to Target.  I'm not sure why...but Target just calls to me all the time.

3.17.2010

Food Therapy: Big Apple BBQ Block Party (6/12/10 - 6/13/10)

I LOVE BBQ!!  Which is why I try to attend the Big Apple BBQ Block Party every year.  Pit masters from around the country congregate for 2 days at Madison Square Park to show city folks how bbq is done by champions.  Bbq is sold by the plate.  This year will be the bbq festival's 8th year and will occur from 6/12/10 - 6/13/10.  The lines are long (really really long if the weather is good) so the trick is to invest in a Bubba Fast Pass and bring friends.  It allows you to purchase plates from a shorter line (the Bubba Fast Pass line).  You must purchase the Bubba Fast Pass early because it will sell out.  Go to www.bigapplebbq.org for more information (and to purchase a Bubba Fast Pass).  I would like to point out one thing that I am rather upset over:  they are now charing a $25 fee to purchase the Bubba Fast Pass.  In previous years, the Bubba Fast Pass cost $100 and you could redeem $100 worth of bbq (which is why you bring friends).  This year, the Bubba Fast Pass costs $125 but you're still only redeeming $100 worth of bbq.  Was that really necessary?  If you don't want to spring for a Bubba Fast Pass, go on the second day.  There's always significantly less bbq fanatics on the second day because they went on the first day.  Here are some pix from previous years:
Yes, just the sight of a smoker or a grill makes me grin like an idiot!

Random Thought: Serving Size of Hershey's Kisses

Per the bag, 9 pieces of Hershey's Kisses equals a single serving. Huh. I thought it would have been only 3 or 4 pieces. I feel much better now.

Pluck You!

We all do some type of plucking (or should do some type of plucking) when it comes to our eyebrows and the area above our upper lip.  Here's my preferred way of cleaning up:
  • Eyebrows:  I like to tweeze my eyebrows.  However, the shape of your eyebrows can really enhance, or detract from, your facial features.  I recommend that you get your eyebrows done by a professional and then take good pictures afterwards.  Having your eyebrows done by a professional isn't cheap, so that's why you have pictures!  You can use them as guides for tweezing your eyebrows in the future.  
    • Use Tweezerman slant tweezers.  They are worth the money!!  They can grip hair better than any other tweezer out there.  They're not cheap at $20 a pop  and rarely go on sale, but here are two ways that you can save:  (1)  use a coupon (Bed Bath & Beyond and Ulta coupons are easy to find) or (2) if there's a Sally Beauty Supply store near you, buy the mini-slant tweezers ("tweezerette") for $4.99.
    • Area Above the Upper Lip:  My cousin found this plucking tool and it will replace your threader/waxer.  I've been using it ever since she discovered it at a random outdoor market.
        • I have yet to see this little magic tool in stores but you can definitely find this easily on eBay for approximately $3.  In case you start wondering after a glance on eBay, I really doubt that there's a quality difference between a $3 plucker and a $9 plucker.  It's basically a long coil with plastic ends.  Here's a close up:
        • How to use:
          • Hold the plucker at both ends.
          • Turn the plucker into an upside-down "U".
          • Put the plucker against the area above the upper lip, and twist the plastic ends.   
        • It's not the most pleasant feeling but it's not painful.  And it's a heck of a lot cheaper then threading/waxing.
        • Note: It may take a few tries at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be plucking like a professional.

      Buy Your Book from Borders

      There's no reason why you should buy a paperback book at retail price when you go to a bookstore.  Ever.  If you don't live near a Target or Walmart, you should be going to Borders.  Unlike Barnes & Nobles (who currently charges a $25 fee to be a B&N member), membership at Borders is free.  Do a quick google search for "Borders Coupon" and you're sure to find a valid printable coupon for Borders.

      Food Therapy: Shamrock Shake

      Most of us have rather fond memories of the Shamrock Shake from McDonald's. Let's just say, as a kid, it's both really funny and disgusting to see it come out of someone else's nose. But as the years have past, it's been increasingly hard to find a McDonald's that offers the Shamrock Shake during St. Patrick's Day. My cousin has brazilliantly found a website that offers sightings of the Shamrock Shake: www.shamrockshake.com.

      DSW: 15%, 30% or 50% Discount for Rewards Member - Today Only!! (3/17)

      Attention DSW Rewards Members: log-in to your DSW Rewards account today to see if you've been give a 15%, 30% or 50% discount.  The discount is good for today only.  How luck are you today? 

      Alas, I am not the luckiest today because I received the 15% discount.  I think another pint will help with my luck...don't you?

      HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!

      Are you wearing something green today?  Don't forget to grab a pint at your nearest pub after work...maybe I'll see you there!

      F&F Sales: The Pre-Sale Advantage

      F&F sale season is coming up fast.  If you've ever been to a department store's F&F sale, you know that it's chaos.  Women turn into maniacs searching for items to buy.  And plenty of women show up.  So it's a sea of maniacs and you're struggling to stay afloat.  To avoid F&F craziness and shop in a more civilized manner, take advantage of pre-sales.   Departments stores will conduct pre-sales usually several days or a week before their actual F&F sale.  What does this mean for you?  This means you can purchase your items before the F&F sale at sale prices.  But it also means that you can't take the items home with you that day.  You will need to either go back to pick up your items (or have them ship the items to you) during the F&F sale.  THE advantage of pre-sales is that there's a better/greater selection of merchandise.  Those shoes you've been drooling over?  They may not be there when you go during the F&F sale.  A savvier shopper did a pre-sale on them.

      3.16.2010

      Botkier: Logan Satchel in Moss

      For all you Botkier lovers who have been eyeing the Logan Satchel in moss...AsterAlice.com is offering 40% off all green bags in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  Use code "STPATRICK" and get your moss Logan Satchel for $357.  (Note:  Items discounted 40+% are final sale.)  I won't even bother with a pix because you ladies know who you are...

      Loehmann's: Bonus Coupons Combinable With Insider Club Gold Discount for 3/17/10 - 3/21/10

      As I've stated before, Loehmann's is cracking down on combining coupons and discounts.  I was pleasantly surprised to find the following two coupons for this week/weekend (3/17/10 - 3/21/10):
      • take 15% off any single regular-priced or clearance-priced item
      • take 15% off any single regular-priced ladies' or men's apparel item
      These coupons are combinable with the Insider Club Gold Discount.  I may drop by Loehmann's tomorrow.  If I do, I'll let you know what I find!

      Click here for the coupons:  http://loehmanns.com/coupons/LoehmannomicsWcsp10.aspx

      The Perils of Waiting for a Sale

      UGH!!!!  I have been waiting to purchase an Olivia Harris bag because (a) Bloomie's is have a F&F sale next week and (b) I have a Bloomie's gc that I need (okay, okay...want) to use.   I tried to do a pre-sale of this bag and this particular stye is SOLD OUT!!  Bloomie's has a similar bag available on-line, but the one that I really really want is no longer available.  I guess I will be holding to the gc a little longer.  Saks has the bag...maybe I'll wait for Saks' F&F sale which should be happening at the end of the month.  If it gets sold out before then at Saks, I will be kicking myself.  Sigh...I really really wanted to get it next week.  

      My lesson learned?  When the time comes,  I will not wait for my wedding dress to go on sale.  I'm just going to buy it.  (Why did I just link a bag to a wedding dress?  I think I've been watching too many epsiodes of "Say Yes To The Dress".)

      Banana Republic & Old Navy: Picks for F&F Sale

      Today I checked out Banana Republic and Old Navy to avoid the F&F sale crowd.

      Let's start with Old Navy because this is an interesting store.  Prices are cheap and when things are on clearance, they're pretty close to free.  However, the fit at Old Navy is hit or miss.  Mostly miss, but when it's a hit, it's surprisingly good.  I found these two items on clearance and with the clearance sale still going on (is it ever going to end?), this means you take an additional 50% off the clearance price.  Then on thursday (3/18/10) when the F&F sale starts, you can take an additional 30% off on top of that.
      • This purple NYU shirt is going to end being $3.15!

      •  This dark brown long button-down vest is going to end being $7.00!
      I also like a raw-hem jersey dress in black that was on clearance (but still full price on-line).  They didn't have my size so I may try another location.  That dress would end up being $4.50.

      I have to admit that I don't usually shop at Banana Republic.  I don't know why but I just don't.  When I do buy something from BR, it tends to be a piece of jewelry.  I think they have great "play" jewelry at reasonable prices.  The pieces look fantastic and the quality ain't bad at all.  I did find some sale items that may be worth your while and jewelry that I may go back for on thursday:
      • This is a good "Meet the Parents" shirt.  It's stylish with the asymmetrical front but conservative.  After the F&F discount, it's $34.99.
      • This is a good "throw in the bag" v-neck sweater for summer traveling.  It's slightly sheer when you wear it, so it's perfect for wearing over a tank.  After the F&F discount, it's only $12.59.
      • This tank reminds me of the top I just purchased at Urban Outfitters.  It's a racerback tank with a bird design.  But it's a little bit more grown up:  it's navy and the bird-design is rather zen to me.  It's not on sale but after the F&F discount, it's only $20.65.

      • I think these braided bracelets are really cute.  They're light and soft so they won't bang against your keyboard (a huge reason why I don't wear watches).  After the F&F discount, they're $13.65 each.
      • This necklace will work for almost any occasion.  You can use it for brunch, drinks, dinner, etc..  I love silver and simplicity; this necklace is both.  After the F&F discount, it's $24.50.

      Attention Make-Up Lovers: Designer Fragrance & Cosmetic Co.

      If you live near an outlet, chances are that you live near a DF&CCO store.  If you live in NYC, there are several DF&CCO stores near you.  DF&CCO stores are basically Lancome outlets.  For me, that means discount Kiehl's and discount Shu Uemura because Lancome owns them both.  While I don't wear a huge amount of make-up, the deals are really hard to pass.  Think $3 bins.  Or $10-for-4-items deals.  My best purchase was this gunmetal Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler for $10.  Usually, it retails for $19.  I use this eyelash curler daily.  (And yes, I ended up stocking up so I now I have four of them.)
      Plus, DF&CCO is always running some sort of sale or promotion.  Here are the three NYC locations:
      • Midtown:  575 Fifth Ave (near 47th St), New York, NY 10017
        • (212) 984-4682
      • Downtown:  111 Broadway (near Thames St), New York, NY 10006
        • (212) 267-2825
      • Midtown: 1285 Sixth Ave (near 51st St) , New York, 10019
        • (212) 262-0523
      Note:  If you're going to Century 21 that means you in the mood for bargain hunting.  You might as well mosey on to the DF&CCO nearby at 111 Broadway for some more bargain hunting.

      3.15.2010

      My Two Favorite House Brands: CO-OP and Up & Up

      House brands can be a great thing.  They provide basically the same product/item at a much lower price.  It's easy to skim over them and go straight to name brands.  Next time, stop and try it out.  You might be pleasantly surprised (and so will your wallet)!

      For clothing and shoes, I like Barneys' house brand CO-OP.  It carries youthful, trendier items than those found under Saks' or Neiman's house brands.  And when CO-OP goes on sale (especially at Barneys Outlet stores), you can pick up some pretty nice pieces at impressive discounted prices.

      For household and personal items, I like Target's house brand UP&UP.  My new find is contact lense solution.  I wear contact lenses every day and per my cousin, I use contact lense solution obscenely.  I like to make sure that my contacts are rinsed.  I've been using Bausch & Lomb's contact lense solution but it's not the cheapest thing (and it adds up - especially due to the way I use it), so I decided to try UP&UP's contact lense solution.  Not only does it work better (my contacts feel less dry), but check out the price difference...even when using B&L's sale price:
      (I think I'll take the $4.39 over the $12, thank you very much!)

      Bialetti Moka Express: Perfect Coffee For One (Or Two)

      I need coffee.  A co-worker of mine would ask me whether or not I had my coffee before continuing a conversation with me in the mornings.  The problem is that I don't like watery coffee.  Really...what's the point if you're coffee isn't strong, thick and tasty?  As a result, I also don't like using a coffee machine.  The coffee tastes bland, bitter and/or watery.  Plus, it's a pain to clean a coffee machine.  I've tried using a Bodum French Press but I've come to the realization that I don't have the patience to wait the required time when using a french press.  I always jump the gun and the coffee ends up like water.  And I am NOT shelling out a few hundred dollars for an espresso machine that I know I will never use.  So I found the perfect little coffee/espresso maker from Bialetti.  It's called Moka Espress and looks like this:
      It's easy to use and easy to clean.  The coffee/espresso always comes out perfect!  Plus, you only make a few cups at a time (it's a good way for me to regulate my coffee intake).  I purchased mine at Bed Bath & Beyond.  BBB has easy-to-find coupons.  I used the 20% off coupon but the $5 off coupon would work equally as well because the 3-cup model is only $24.99!!  (Note:  You can find similar discounted versions at Home Goods as well.)

      Bialetti's Moka Espress is like a useful science experiment.  It comes in three parts:
      • The top part where the coffee comes out:
      • The middle part where you put your ground coffee:
      • The bottom part where you put the water:
      Put the middle piece into the bottom piece and the screw the top piece with the bottom piece!
      Put Moka Espress on the stove over medium heat and wait for bubbling noise.  This will mean that water from the bottom is pushing its way through the coffee grind and is making it's way up to the top piece!!  When the bubbling noise finishes, your coffee/espresso is ready!  It's genius because it forces me to wait.  I can't cheat like I do with a french press.  Enjoy!!

      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.