Saturday, June 21, 2008

Growing Up

It has been a long time since I have blogged. More than a year in fact. Despite time marching on, I continue to vicariously accumulate through acquisition therapy. No, I have yet to pare down my closet, although this seems to be the year to do so as I have begun a new phrase in my life.

Several weeks ago, I was close to becoming a homeowner, especially in this "buyer's market". However, the specific market I was in was not in the dire straits that areas of Florida and California seem to be, and furthermore, appeared to be continually artificially inflated thanks to the realtor who lived in the same neighborhood and ironically had a monopoly on the real estate transactions in that subdivision. It would have been a memorable entry, the nuances of buying a house. The one thing that I did learn from the experience however is to fall in love with a house and then fall out of love enough to bargain with a critical eye. In addition, set an upper limit for yourself, a ceiling of high you believe that the house is worth, and do not go beyond that. There will always be another house. Finally, in this market, you really need to be living in that house for at least 5 years for the market value to appreciate. I would love to expound on the hours that I spent researching the area, the schools, the neighborhoods in an attempt to calculate resell value, but in all, it's a very specific process, one that would be entirely different should I do it again in a different area. There is actually a lot that I learned, both about real estate and agents in general, and things I will do differently the second time around.

So in relocating, I managed to land myself an appropriate apartment, complete with 2 good-sized walk-in closets all to myself. A fantasy come true. The reality has dumped cold water upon me, as I have yet to finish unpacking, and both closets are fairly full, indicating that sorting the necessary from the "never-agains" would open a world of benevolence. Plus, I would then have an addition excuse to shop, as while the rest of the material economy races to match pace with the inflation rate, clothing values have actually dropped by some odd percent.

Despite its well-endowed closet space, the apartment surprisingly did not have any shower rods in either of its two bathrooms, leaving me rather befuddled over how to buy the appropriate contraptions. Of course, I would have rather bought a sturdy rod that required screws to be placed in the wall. Since that was out of the question, the variety of tension rods and suction rods found ranged from functional to sublime. I tossed worries about: falling shower rods, bending shower rods, to name a few. Looking online at all the options did not appease any of my worries. I hit Lowes, KMart, Sears, Home Depot, and Walmart in an effort to find the most cost-effective shower rod out there along with curtain rings and a liner for the time being. Of course, I found what I was looking for at Walmart, for a mere $7.74. Surprisingly, for the cost, it is very sturdy, and I have been nothing but pleased with it. Right behind it, Lowes had one for $7.98, followed by KMart at $9.99. I should have know that Walmart's price would have been right for my pocketbook. The liner itself cost a mere $1.97, a far cry from the next expensive, KMart's $2.99. The plastic rings cost $1.14, although I did have a choice of getting the fish D rings at Lowes for $1.96. I stopped myself from getting a shower curtain at this point since I was not sure how I was going to decorate the bathrooms and all because none of the curtains I saw at this point struck a chord within me. I imagine this must be magnified greatly if a house was in question. The entire decor of the house would be a project of enormous proportions.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Lots of shopping...but nothing in blogging

In the several months that this blog has been neglected, I have managed to amass a small fortune in material things. Quite understandably, it is hard to recount it all. But recently, I deviated from my usual course of retail therapy and walked away from what may have been the best bargain of all. At Target, in the clearance aisle, sat an untouched jewelry armoire box that was marked down to $30 from $130. It stood on its own at 5 feet, boasted 8 boxes, two swing out cabinets for necklaces, and a flip top for a mirror. I have always wanted one of these armoires, but as I am still a nomad at this point, it would have been useless to struggle with during each move. One of these days though....

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

October is not December


Okay. Sorry. I had to get that out of my system. One of my biggest pet peeves is the stores all bringing out the holiday decorations before Thanksgiving...and now it's even before Halloween. I don't really mind them doing it before Halloween that much because it's also a commercialized holiday, but it just kills me that they do it before Thanksgiving and just skims over that holiday. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it's such a simple holiday. Giving thanks. Getting stuffed. Remembering history. Watching football. I hate it when stores commercialize everything.

In other news, I also want to know where my Espirit online purchase is. I bought a bunch of stuff from their website 10/19. It's now like five days later, and my box is still sitting in some sorting place in Ohio. Stupid Fed Ex!

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

An End of an Era

Today, 09/09/06, Marshall Field's officially converted to Macy's. It's very sad. I already cut up my credit card. It does not make much sense to me, especially since basically it is like converting a B department store to another B department store. It's not like they upgraded to Neiman Marcus or anything. Besides, Macy's is an East Coast thing whereas Field's is definitely a Chicago thing. They had articles on how this entire week, people were mobbing the stores for Marshall Field's paraphernalia. Sad. In a move to appease the Midwesterners, Macy's is in the middle of attempting to bring back Frango production to Chicago. Two in one chance that's going to fall through. Besides, who wants that red/white striping on the Frango box? And with Carson Pirie Scott closing its State Street store, there's not much from the Loop heyday era left. Hm, I wonder how Macy's will pull off the windows this year.
Regardless, Macy's tried to celebrate with all the pomp and circumstance it could muster...holding ribbon cutting ceremonies at each store, passing out $10 gift cards, serving subpar standard coffee. They ran out of $10 gift cards early. The ribbon cutting ceremony was purely for show as many of the displays and store layout were basically the same. The only difference was the signage which had turned from green to the red and white. The show was entirely unnecessary because as soon as one walked in the store, all the merchandise was the same...even the same clearance sales. Oh dear. What kind of department store has clearances on the first day of opening? Macy's, that's who! Tacky.
This was sent to me by email earlier this week: (by Rebecca Little)
Marshall Field’s (1852 - 2006)
Marshall Field’s, 154, died peacefully this week at its State Street home. One of the world’s first department stores—and prior to its death, second only in size to Macy’s—it cemented itself as a premier shopping destination around the slogan “Give the lady what she wants.”
The store was credited with many retail firsts, including inventing the gift registry, incorporating restaurants into the shopping experience, hosting book signings, and offering credit to customers. It cultivated a reputation for style and exclusivity by creating separate men’s and women’s lounges and the designer 28 Shop.
Born in 1852 to Potter Palmer, it was first named P. Palmer & Co. It went through several name changes before being renamed for its adoptive father, Marshall Field, in 1881. The store opened at its State Street location in 1868. It burned to the ground twice (once during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and later in 1877), and went through a few incarnations before 1907, when the current 12-story, block-wide store was completed. In its long life, it went through a series of affairs. It was first purchased by BATUS Retail Group in 1982, a union that lasted eight years, before it was sold to Dayton Hudson Corporation, later renamed Target Corporation. Its latter years were plagued by relationship troubles, with the store being sold twice in as many years. In 2004, a purchase by May Department Stores lasted just one year before Federated Department Stores, the parent company of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, took over.
Aw, sad. Marshall Field's was my case study in AP US History my junior year of high school. It rocked.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Powerful Machine

You know, I have in my head Goldfrapp's Strict Machine, due to Nip/Tuck's promotional clips and also the new LG Hot Chocolate phone...but this LG commercial for the LG Tromm Steamwasher just gets me going. I want this washer. Slightly psycho, I realize, but this washer is amazing. Other than the fact that it is a gorgeous blue, this is a 4.0 cubic foot washer with steamwashing options. Say goodbye to half my dry cleaning! Not only that, it comes with 9 washing programs, 5 temperature levels, a sanitary cycle with added steam, AND it can be remotely operated. Actually, it is the steamwashing that gets my heart racing because it is not water cleaning, which just means that this is just so much more versatile. I would probably use this washer every single day! There is a matching dryer, and I just bet that the dryer has the newest options, including drying clothes on shelves instead of the rumble-tumble that is usually done. Now if only LG would invent a machine that will iron for you, I would be the happiest person on this planet.

P.S. McNamara/Troy has a Jura Expresso machine in their breakroom. I saw it today and yelped.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Steve and Barry's, Part Deux

Side note: I was reading the comment from someone about how Steve and Barry's treats their employees terribly, and you know, I can totally see it. Revenues, inputs, outputs, all their numbers at the prices that they have, won't add up and the only place that they can make up the numbers is at the expense of their employees and the quality of their goods. It would be a very good case study, actually. I'm always intrigued at these economics.

I digress. From that previous visit, I ended up returning the jeans because I just thought they were of a subpar quality and the black fleece pants because they were too big. Regardless, between back then in April and now, I had also picked up another pair of black fleece pants that fit me much better and doesn't pick up as much fluff as the Steve and Barry ones. Yes, I would totally agree, Steve and Barry's has an inferior quality to it, but that's to be expected for things that are $6.98 or less.

However, I managed to return them during the "Back-To-School" sale, which also advertised everything as $6.98 or less. So I ended up actually getting a long sleeved ILLINOIS shirt and a button down. I really wish they would start an XS line for the tshirts that they have because otherwise all the shirts are really big for me. Or expand the girl line so it's not all cutesy and diva-like. Some of the button-down shirts fit weird, which furthers my above theory. I wanted to get several other shirts, but they all looked weird on time, I suppose. And yes, now I'm officially a poseur.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Shopping spree

Long time no blog...but it doesn't mean that I haven't shopped! A lot of the stores have had their mid-year annual sales, and it was...just amazing. Not sure if it's because gas prices are ridiculously above $3.00 a gallon, slowing down the economy so stores need to knock prices like mad or if it's just a banner year, but either way, I win!

So the Express and Limited sales weren't all that, as usual. But Bath and Body Works manage to surprise me endlessly. They had their usual stuff on sale, but then I got the Aquatanica Gel Souffle for $4.75. Its original price was $22.00 for 5 oz. And it's some really good stuff! Aquatanica is this new line and is heavy on the whole ocean and seaweed natural ingredients, and I love the souffle. It's light and smells good. I've been meaning to buy a jar, but couldn't reason out paying more than $4 an ounce! So I'm really glad that it went on sale even though the cashier told me that they might be discontinuing the line! I also have had my eye on the Bath and Body Works bathrobe that was originally $60. It is one of the softest robes I have ever felt, and I have been eyeing them since last season's sale. I got it for 75% off, for only $15. So I'm really happy about that.

My new favorite store has been Ann Taylor Loft for the last year since they opened near me. It is very similar to Ann Taylor without the exorbitant prices. They have been having their summer sales; actually it's still going on, but it's been picked over a lot. And I've bought numerous pieces from them such as button shirts and dresses. My great buys include a suit jacket originally for $125, which I got for $29.99. It's simple and black and will work with any skirt or pair of pants. I also bought a pair of tailored black and red striped pants for only $6.88. Seriously, some of these sales are just fabulous. I think currently they may be selling their flipflops for a mere $6.88!

The other store that has had a ridiculous sale has been the Gap. I used to love the Gap when I was in high school; actually I think it's safe to say that I was obsessed with it. But then, they changed CEOs or purchasing managers or something, and they took a path away from the classic pieces that they always have had. They started coming out with ridiculous colors like fushia or lime green or electric blue. Then they started going trendy instead of sticking with the classic styles that everyone needs to have in their wardrobe. They went with all the balloon skirts, thin hanging peasant blouses, and rubber flops that no one could wear to work. I think they're currently trying to find a good balance so there is a lot of chaos in their store branding right now. So they have run a lot of sales, including one over the fourth of July weekend where everything that was on sale was an additional 50% off. It was just absolutely crazy. I bought a jean jacket that was a mere $11, low rise flare jeans for $7.50, and tshirts for $2.50. I bought some other things to round out outfits in my there were extremely good bargains for me.

Finally, last weekend when I was at home, I stopped by the mall and went to Victoria's Secret. I had expected that their semi-annual sale would be over by now, and it was just wrapping up. In fact, all leftover bras were $12.99 and all leftover panties were a mere $2.99. Score! Those bras were excellent, from Betsey Johnsons to Chantal to IPEX...really, there were like bras for $159 that were selling for a mere $12.99. I have to say too that they were selling their packets of clear bra straps for $2.99 for 3. Those are usually $12! It was a good find, and now I'm practically swimming in new bras!

What I really want now is a Kate Spade PDA case exactly like this one:

Kate Spade Brody PDA Case Posted by Picasa
Maybe I'll stop by the store this weekend.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Say Goodbye to...Field's

Okay, so I haven't really dumped anything from my closet...but I haven't really bought any clothes. However...I recently went on a shoe shopping spree. Marshall Field's, which will be changing over to Macy's later this summer, usually holds a clearance sale about this time. It is different than Field Days because their clearance sale is usually about getting rid of this season's merchandise whereas Field Days is merely discounting this season's merchandise.

Usually they have great formal dresses on sale...two years ago I bought a black and pink formal dress originally selling for $260 for $19.97. Actually I bought two, but I returned one out of guilt. But what they also have, which is a cannot-miss, is this incredible shoe sale. I hit three Marshall Field's this past weekend and netted nine new pairs of shoes. With coupons for 20% off every item, it was truly a good shopping deal. I ended up spending less then a total of $200, especially since full prices would have totaled past $600. I ended up getting three pairs of Indeed shoes, two pairs of Nine West shoes, a pair of BCBGirls shoes, two pairs of Bandolinos, and a pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes. There are 7 pairs of black shoes, one brown, and one blue. Hm...I think I'm set for life. Or, just for next season. I really hope that once they change over to Macy's, Macy's will be smart enough to follow the same sale pattern as Field's does.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

My Closet is a Spinning Vortex and it's Sucking Me In!

I swear, I am going to clean my closet and get rid of all the clothes that I do not wear on a regular basis. ....ok, some of the the clothes I do not wear. .... Fine. A few of the clothes I do not wear. I think I can manage that. We have to start small so my feelings of loss can be overcome by feelings of closure.

Also, I never realized how hard it is to give up a pair of jeans and how hard to find new ones you really love. I have a lot of jeans. But I have this favorite pair which really fits me well despite some of the truncal obesity I have acquired. The pair is really worn, and when I fell down the stairs two months earlier, my jeans shredded at the knee. It's still wearable, but it looks kind of weird. I've gone back to where I've gotten them, but I think the store has switched styles or whatnot because nothing fits me as well as this pair did. It's like buying a pair of shoes that you love and then when you finally run the life out of them, you're very upset because you can't find a pair exactly like them!! Wait. Is that just me?? I still have my Phoenix Sam & Libby black flip-flops which I should just finish wearing and then throw out, but I can't find a pair that I love as much as these! And it's been...5 years that I've continously looked!

Despite all this talk about paring down and throwing out stuff, I have to tell you. Forth and Towne sent me a $15 coupon card for me and a guess who's going shopping soon??! Also, in the newest Shape, Self, and Cosmopolitan issues, there are free coupons for a Victoria Secret's cotton panty. There is also a coupon in the May 22nd issue of People, in case that is still on the shelf.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Steve and Barry's University Sportswear

The Steve and Barry's close by is having a $6.98 sale, where everything in the store is $6.98! So exciting.

For those of you that do not know, Steve and Barry's University Sportswear is a department style-like store started by two friends (Steve and Barry, obviously). They mainly sell university apparel and casual clothing at very decent prices. The material is somewhat of a lesser quality, but if you need a fun t-shirt or some apparel supporting your favorite college team, this is your store.

The sale has been going on for the last two weeks, but last Friday was the first time I had time to go check it out. The signs are advertising it as a grand opening sale, but this specific store has been open for almost a year. So I am somewhat confused to what that specifically means, and I am also not sure if it is a store-by-store sale or nationwide. Regardless, bargains abound! All their winter and spring clothing are on sale, including all four styles of their jeans! All collegiate sportswear are on sale from t-shirts to hoodies to hats! They also have accessories on sale from watches to jewelry. Finally, they also have workout clothes.

So I picked up several things. I picked up two pairs of jeans, one that is ultra low rise which gives new meaning to "going commando" and the other one which is also low rise, but has a sequin v design on the back pockets. I also picked up a pair of black terrycloth workout pants, but it is a little big for me. They have a smaller size so I might go back and exchange them. I also picked up a boatneck sweater and a black turtleneck. Finally, I picked up a backpack. It is really big, and yes, I really don't need one, but how can you resist for $6.98??!

I wanted to pick up some hats, but I didn't see any schools that I liked. Same went for the t-shirts. I mean, me wearing an ILLINOIS shirt would just seem so poseur-ish. And the Northwestern shirts were too big for me. Next time.


Saturday, April 08, 2006


A funny story:

I was at Gurnee Mills last week at the Nine West Outlet checking out their clearance sale because a friend had purchased $12 heels recently. So I walk in, and their sale of the week is Enzo Angiolini pointed slingbacks with kitten heels for $19.99, down from a regular price of $78. I think to myself that it is such a GOOD deal, and I'm on the verge of buying them. I mean, black heels from Enzo for $20? What gets better than that? You can never go wrong with black heels. However, for some reason, I refrained, and all the way home, I was berating myself and thinking, "Well, if I still feel this way tomorrow, I'll go back up there, and get them." Good thing I didn't buy them because when I got home and started counting my shoes, I discovered I already owned the same shoes!

Yes, maybe it's time to clean my closet.

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Saturday, March 04, 2006


T-Mobile Hotspots are free during the weekend if your cell phone is a T-Mobile plan. It's this promotion that they are hosting for an indeterminate amount of time. Awesome. Simply go to the Hotspot, open your browser, and it should take you to the T-Mobile website where you can click on the Free Weekends button, enter your phone number, and shortly thereafter receive a 6-number code by text message to enter on the website to sign on!

So of course, that is the primary reason why I hit up Borders. But they also have a $1 clearance rack. Last week, I got a nice faux crocodile planner for 2006. A bit late in the year, but I always have high hopes of organizing my life.

Also, Ann Taylor Loft just marked down more things for clearance. Have to stop by in the store and check out the online site.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Green with Envy

One of my friends (K) today told me that she went shopping and bought two DKNY tops for approximately $7.00 each! Now that is a good bargain!

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Monday, February 13, 2006


Aeropostale Sale. All Clearance items another 50% off. Nice! Workout shirts for $5, workout pants for $8. I snagged a hoodie for $3! Will be going back for more!

Although, the dumb girl at the register forgot to take the security tag off my hoodie. I now have to bring it back!


Friday, January 27, 2006

Shopping Spree at

So, the winter sale at JCrew is going on right now. They actually still have some nice merchandise. The prices are not as good as their online sale a couple years back, but I'll take the clothes at these prices. Here are some of the things I bought:

1) Belted cardigan for $59.99

2) A Car Coat Sweater for $49.99

3) Lyndsey cotten cady dress for $69.99. Isn't it so pretty? I got it in bright sherbet...I hope I can pull it off!

4) Limited Edition duchesse satin long skirt for $199.99. And if you thought buying the above dress was crazy, this definitely is. I don't even know where I would wear this too, but I really like how it drapes. Maybe I need to buy a mannequin next so I can just put the skirt on it and admire how it falls.

5) Grace silk faille dress for $69.99. Isn't this one so pretty too? I like it lots.

6) Plaza Coat with Thinsulate for $199.99. I actually didn't buy this one because I actually had acquired some sanity by this point and was wondering how well I could keep this coat in his camel color state. But I am in the need of a nice long formal coat. We'll see if I'll get this one later.

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