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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5.22.2010

Preview: The Next FIVE Bags For Video Reviews!!

I have five (yes FIVE) video reviews in the works for your viewing pleasure:
  • Tylie Malibu's Crystal Pyramid King:
  • Katherine Kwei's Amber Switch (from her Fall 2010 collection):
  • Katherine Kwei's Joyce Wallet (from her Fall 2010 collection):
  • Treesje's Crimson (from the Fall 2010 JETT Collection):
  • Treesje's Runaway Mini (from the Fall 2010 JETT Collection):
    I'm very excited to be doing video reviews of these gorgeous bags.  Yes, I know.  Some of the pictures don't show the entire bag  But don't worry, you'll get to see it in the video review! :)  I gotta give a shout out to Katherine Kwei's super amazing Amber Switch and Treesje's super cool Crimson.  Both are TDF!!

    Here It is: My Bubba Fast Pass!!

    So that you have an idea of what a Bubba Fast Pass looks like, here's mine:


    It's the one on the left.  The one of the right is the Companion Pass that allows a friend to join you in the Fast Pass area.  See the blue piggies with dollar amounts on them?  They get punched when you purchase a plate or a drink.  By the end of the day, it becomes one very holy pass!!  (Hahahah!!)

    Random Fact: When they first started with the Bubba Fast Pass, they tried using debit cards versions but I guess that didn't work out too well for them, so they went the low-tech way with punch cards.

    5.21.2010

    Double Check Your Magazine Offer...

    I had let my Food & Wine subscription lapse (I'm still missing the now defunct Gourmet magazine).  Upon receiving a renewal letter in the mail, I was curious to see what they would offer and Ludacris' song "How low can you go?" started playing in my head.  At first, I was very excited to see the $6 payment amount.  But on second glance, I realized that this wasn't for a 12-month subscription.  It was for only 6 months!  Yes...it's still a good rate but I'm not interested in a 6-month subscription.  Really, what's the point of a 6-month magazine subscription?  Renewing is such a PITA.  Either offer me a 12-month subscription renewal rate or I'd rather get a 12-month subscription to Bon Appetit or Saveur:
       













    I also think that I've been spoiled by the super cheap subscription rates to fashion/beauty magazines:
    • Ridiculously Cheap 2-Year Subscriptions:














    • Cheap (but not ridiculously cheap) 1-Year Subscription:














    NOTE:  If you have an auto-renew subscription program for a magazine, keep track of it and your renewal rate.   You may find better deals elsewhere when the time comes...

    OtteNY.com: You Bring Out The Girl In Me!

    I found these two great sale items at OtteNY.com:
    • AKA Sequin Dress ($99.50):  This dress is such a no-brainer!  A t-shirt dress with a sequin trim at the bottom...it's comfy chic at its best!  I'm thinking outdoor sunset dinner with sangria and my honey...
    • See By Chloe Tie Waist Flare Skirt ($227.50):  If you've ever dreamed of being Audrey Hepburn, this is the skirt to get!  Pair it with a loose white short-sleeved button down shirt and ballet flats and you're ready for a modern Roman Holiday!
    [Images Courtesy of OtteNY.com]

    Pimple or Bug Bite?

    I can't tell if certain tiny bumps on face (not many, just three) are pimples, bug bites or both!! ;I must start using Deet again when I go running outside.  Wait...do they even make a face version of Deet?


    Update (5/23/10): I can now confirm that I have TWO mosquito bites and one pimple.  I'm wishing that they were all pimples.  It's hard to resist scratching but I'm trying because I really don't want them welting up on my face....

    5.20.2010

    Food Therapy: My Free "Like It" Birthday Creation from Coldstone Creamery!!

    I'm at that age where I'm not sure whether I should be celebrating or mourning my birthday.  However, if it means free ice-cream, I'll celebrate it!!  I went to Coldstone Creamery today to redeem my free "Like It" Birthday Creation coupon.  You get one free "like it" scoop of ice-cream plus one free mix-in.  Being who I am, one mix-in wasn't enough so I payed the $0.85 (including tax) for an additional mix-in.

    My creation consisted of cake batter ice-cream (I adore this flavor!!), brownie (mix-in #1) and fudge (mix-in #2).  It's basically the Birthday Cake Remix without the sprinkles.  Appropriate, no?


    I have to mention that my father decided to come along to, ahem, keep me company.  That's also code for "help me eat my ice-cream." I find it immensely funny that when the ice-cream was running low, he suggested that we (or rather I) drive home.  I didn't think anything of it at the time, so we went back to my car.  Once we were both comfortably seated and ready to go, he so very kindly pointed out that I wouldn't be able to partake in the eating of the ice-cream while driving.  Clever man!

    But how can I begrudge the man who fed me my first taste of ice-cream at 1 month old (read this post: Food Therapy: My Love For Ice-Cream Is My Father's Fault)?  I love my dad!  (Note to self:  Father's Day is June 20 this year!)

    Necessary But Boring: Manicures

    Now that it's sandal season, it's time to be vigilant about getting mani-pedi's.  The only thing is...I can't stand getting a manicure.  I'm okay with getting a pedicure, but manicures are soooo very boring to me.  Maybe it's because I can read a magazine or play on my cellphone during a pedicure?

    Just sitting there during a manicure with nothing to do/read, drives me nuts!!  And the-waiting-for-nail polish-to-day part is the worst.  I know that the polish isn't completely dry after 2 drying cycles under the drying machine (I read somewhere that it takes at least an hour for the polish underneath to completely dry), but I still leave and delude myself into thinking that it is.  As a result, my new record in smudging my new manicure is 3 minutes after leaving the nail salon.  Quick dry coat only dries the top (2nd) layer.  They should apply quick dry coat to the 1st layer as well!

    Ok...I'm done ranting.  I must stop staring at the clock while I'm waiting for the nail polish to dry...

    5.19.2010

    Calypso Me Orange!

    When it's gloomy outside or you just need a quick pick-me-up, a pop of orange will brighten any girl's day or mood.  Here are three very affordable picks from Calypso:
    • K.Jacques Gange Sandals ($149) in orange:  Just looking at these sandals puts a smile on my face because all I can think about is St. Tropez!
    • Keri Sweater ($49) in firebird:  This lovely Scottish cashmere sweater will keep you warm from cool ocean breezes and freezing airplane cabins.
    • Eternite Scarf ($29) in watermelon:  This Italian cashmere ribbed-cowl scarf adds a dash of fun to any outfit.
    [Images Courtesy of Calypso]

    Bonus:  I couldn't resist posting this floaty silk sequin blouse from Chan Luu in rugby ($29).  It's the perfect casual but chic tank top for a dinner on the beach with your sweetie!
    [Image Courtesy of Calypso]

    5.18.2010

    Video Review: Botkier's Uma Satchel

    Botkier's Uma Satchel is back by popular demand, so how could I not do a video review of it?  It's a fantastic SOFT, SMOOSHY, STUFFABLE and SLOUCHY satchel that can also be used as a cross-body bag!  I've reviewed it in emerald but it's also available in black and oyster.  Enjoy!



    Special thanks to our sponsor: Stefanibags.com!

    Melinda Maria: Personal Adornments Fit For A Goddess

    Somedays you just don't feel like being a rocker chick.  Somedays you want to feel like a goddess.  So it's out with the leather studded bracelets/cuffs and in with the gold rings/cuffs.

    Take 40% off goddess-worthy jewelry by Melinda Maria at BlueHeavenBoutique.com with code "SALE40":
    • Pod Pave Cuff Black Diamond CZ ($105) in gold-plate:
    • Ruby CZ Cigar Ring ($66) in gold-plate:
    • Grecian Cocktail Ring Black Onyx ($69) in gold-plate:
    [Images Courtesy of BlueHeavenBoutique.com]

    HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival: 06/21/10 - 08/23/10

    Every summer, I try to attend one movie showing at the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival.  Every Monday this summer (6/21/10 - 8/23/10), there will be a movie showing on the Lawn at Bryant Park (40th to 42nd St along 6th Ave).

    How often do get to watch a movie outdoors and have a picnic at the same time?  And in NYC?  It's a fun summer experience...especially if you go with a group of friends.  It's free to attend but you have to get there early to claim your little portion of the Lawn.  (The Lawn technically opens at 5:00 pm for blankets and picnicing but A-types will arrive earlier than that.)

    I'm going to try to go when they show Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a true classic!  The first movie that I saw at the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival was Some Like It Hot, another classic.  Hopefully, one summer they will show Gigi, one of my all time favorite movies!

    For the movie schedule and more info, click on this link:  Bryant Park Summer Film Festival (Movie Schedule).

    Don't forget your blanket!  Sitting directly on the grass is not quite as fun your childhood memories suggest.

    5.17.2010

    Gym Etiquette Question?

    What do you do when another gym goer gets on the treadmill/elliptrek next to your machine, you're in the middle of your workout and that person smells/reeks?

    Do you:
    1. Get off your current machine and use another machine (or just end your workout); or 
    2. Continue on, pretend you don't smell him/her and finish your workout?  

    I think Option 1 is kinda embarrassing for everyone, but then again, they're kinda embarrassing themselves for not wearing deodorant...  But Option 2 really sucks.

    Home Goods: Looking For Lamps?

    If you're looking for lamps and you live near a Home Goods, go to HG first.  I found this beautiful lamp for only $39.97 (I ended up buying two!):

    It's similar to the Stacked Crystal Block Lamp from Restoration Hardware but it doesn't have the $259 price tag!  I'm okay with the base being acrylic rather than crystal given the price difference!

    Loehmann's: $20 Off $100 Purchase Coupon

    Speaking of Loehmann's...here's a "$20 Off $100 Purchase" Coupon good thru 5/25/10.  Usual restrictions/exclusions apply.

    Review: Nordstrom Rack at Union Square

    I have been waiting for the new Nordstrom Rack at Union Square to open and it finally did this past week!!  Stupidly, I waited until the weekend to check it out.  It was CRAZY CROWDED!!  You would think New Yorkers have never seen a discount department store before.

    Despite being located in a basement space, Nordie Rack feels spacious and airy due to the high ceilings.  The decor was typical of a Nordie Rack but definitely one-step up from Loehmann's.  All the racks were nicely and neatly organized despite the large amount of shoppers.  What did drive me crazy were the signs on certain racks that read "Brands Too Hot To Mention."  Seriously?  Vince, Elizabeth & James, Joie, Theory and others are "too hot to mention?"  

    I was impressed by the amount of stock they had available in each size/style for designer jeans and designer basics.  If you need some inexpensive staples, you'll find it here.  Ernest Sewn jeans were $69.97.  Seven For All Mankind jeans were $99.97 - $119.97.  Cotton t-shirts and tanks from Splendid and James Perse started at $19.97 and $39.97, respectively.   I found a Michael Stars dress for $39.97.

    The shoe collection was not very impressive but the bag collection was way better than expected.  I found a Rebecca Minkoff Nikki in grey for $279.97:
     
    Other RM styles and colors were available as well.  I found a smaller selection of Treesje bags.  The Avalon Mini Satchel in patent black was nicely priced $249.97.  Some older Linea Pelle bags were also in stock.

    The lines for the fitting room and the cashier were snaking through the store.  I'll be going back to shop when everyone calms down from their excitement over the opening of Nordie Rack.  Fittingly, I overheard a girl ask her friend, "Are you buying just to buy?"  I think everyone just wanted to say they purchased something - anything - from Nordie Rack.

    So how will this affect Loehmann's?  When it comes to clothing, Loehmann's still has better prices (for now) when you take into account all the promotions/coupons that Loehmann's is constantly offering.  We'll need to wait and see what kind of promotions/coupons, if any, Nordie Rack will offer.

    However, the clothes at Nordie Rack are definitely in better shape than the clothes at Loehmann's.  You don't get the picked over feeling (for now).  I didn't find anything torn, missing or stained - and you know what I'm talking about.  Plus, the selection at Nordie Rack (while significantly smaller than Loehmann's) is much better edited.  You'll spend less time sifting through junk before you find the treasure.

    To top it off, Nordie Rack has the "new" advantage.  Everything is new and nothing looks shabby.  Loehmann's needs to really renovate its flagship store in Chelsea to compete in decor (and lighting).  I'm not writing Loehmann's off, but my first instinct will not probably be to head over to Nordie Rack before Loehmann's.  It doesn't hurt that the bag collection at Nordie Rack is significantly better than that of Loehmann's.

    Provided those ridiculous lines shorten, Nordie Rack currently provides a much nicer discount department store shopping experience than that of Loehmann's.  It also helps that DSW and Filene's Basement are down the block.  We'll see how everything shakes out after a year...

    5.16.2010

    Food Therapy: Dim Sum at Pacificana

    Dim Sum is a tasty alternative to your regular brunch menu of pancakes/waffles, huevos rancheros, bacon, bread/pastry baskets, eggs benedict...are you hungry yet?  But be forewarned - if you don't like seafood (especially shrimp), this is not for you.

    For the past couple of years, dim sum in the city has become increasingly disappointing.  The food isn't as fresh and the restaurants are looking dingier.  So Sunshine and I were very happy to find Pacificana in Brooklyn (813 55th St (off of 8th Ave), 2nd Fl, Brooklyn, NY).  The food is always fresh and the restaurant is CLEAN:


    This is not a brand new restaurant but they're maintaining it pretty well.  When's the last time you saw a gleaming/clean/uncluttered granite countertop at a dim sum restaurant in the city?  The high ceilings, wrap around windows and warm lighting create a light and airy atmosphere.  In the city, it's usually a catering hall filled with lots of gloomy fluorescent (and neon) lights.  More importantly, they all have a good attitude (rather than the usual grumpy one).

    But I must be honest, there will be a wait for your table; it just won't be as long of a wait as the one in the city.  And you do have to troop it to Brooklyn.  Pacificana is on the 2nd floor - right above a Chase, so you can't miss it.  Take the N train (and ONLY the N train) to the 8th Ave station.  It's a couple of blocks away from the station.  If you want really excellent dim sum, it's worth it!  Pacificana serves dim sum from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm on weekends.

    For all you dim sum newbies, dim sum is basically Chinese tapas:  lots of little dishes that you share.  Since I always want to try everything on a menu, this is perfect for me!  Women push steamer carts filled with little steamer baskets that contain hot dishes.  See what I mean about the good attitude?  She's smiling!


    There are also women pushing regular (non-steamer) carts; those are filled sweets and cold dishes.  You will also find men walking around with trays loaded with additional dishes - this is a relatively new thing.


    To order, you hail/flag down the women/men with food and choose the dishes that you want.  Don't worry about the language barrier.  They will open up each steamer basket to show you which dish is inside.  Just point and nod.  Sometimes they can be pushy so if you don't want something, just keep shaking your head and saying,  "No."  Otherwise your table will be quickly filled with food that you don't really want.

    Tip:  The women with the steaming carts are usually bombarded by orders from the tables on their left and right.  If you see something you want, don't hesitate to go up to a woman to order because she may run out of food (especially the more popular dishes) before she reaches your table.  Lately, however, they've been pretty good about replenishing the carts on the spot to avoid a trip to the kitchen.  As for the men with trays, since they don't have cumbersome carts, you gotta catch them before they whiz past your table.

    This is what we we ordered last time:
    • From picture below, starting from the left and going clockwise:
      • Dumpling filled with shrimp, pork and veggies:  This was a new dish for us; good but not great.
      • Fung Zao (chicken's feet):  I know this dish looks not-so-appetizing, but don't knock it till you try it.  It's pretty darn good.
      • Pai Gu (spare ribs):  This dish is a crowd pleaser...especially for the guys.  It's spare ribs in black bean sauce.
      • Roasted Pork:  If you like crispy pork skin, this is a great dish.  You dip the skin into the little dark brown sauce (hoisin) you see at the bottom.  The hoisin sauce is sweet and salty.  Underneath the pork skin toward the top of the picture is jelly fish (again, don't knock it till you try it) and toward the bottom of the picture is roasted pork meat (which is surprisingly moist).
      • Siu Mai:  This is my all-time favorite dish!  It's an open dumpling filled with pork/shrimp.  Dim sum is not dim sum without it.
    • Sticky Rice:  This is Sunshine's favorite!
    • Pan Fried Dumplings:  This is pan fried dumplings made from glutinous rice flour and filled with leeks and other veggies.  Sunshine likes it but I'm not a fan.
    • Dan Ta (Egg Custard Tart):  You won't find dessert-dessert at dim sum.  This is as close to it that you're going to get.  The flakey pastry tart is filled with sweet egg custard.  This is another favorite of mine.

    Here are other dishes that we like to order:
    • Har Gao: Translucent dumplings filled with shrimp.
    • Sesame Seed Balls:  Deep fried glutinous rice flour balls covered with sesame seeds and filled with sweet red bean paste.  This is another good option for "dessert".
    • Fried Green Pepper Stuffed With Shrimp Paste:  This is a great shrimp dish and it's topped with a slightly sweet soy-based sauce.
    • Fu Zhu (Bean Curd Skin In Brown Sauce):  I like the steamed version of this dish a lot.  It's basically bean curd skin rolls filled with veggies steamed with brown sauce.  The fried version is still good, just not as good as the steamed version.
    • Chee Cheung Fun:  This is Big Buddha's favorite dish.  It's steamed riced noodle rolls filled with either pork or shrimp and topped with slightly sweet soy-based sauce.  
    • Cold Lobster With Kewpie Mayo:  This is not a traditional dish but I can't say no to Kewpie Mayo!

    To pay, flag down your waiter and they will total up your bill.  Your bill gets stamped with each dish you order.  I'm not sure how much each dish costs but our bill never tops $35 when it's just the two of us.  And we order a good amount.  My suggestion is that you go with a group of friends so that you can try more dishes.

    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.