Monday, August 31, 2009

biding my time until another j.crew "hurry, additional 20% off!" sale

j.crew is infamous for their emails that say "hurrrrrry! extra 20% off final sale! ends soon! quick!" i wonder if they know that we know that they're full of sh_t and that the extra 20% off will be back around within a few weeks' time. anyway, my point is that i'm biding my time until then, at which time i will be purchasing this merino petal scoopneck sweater in heather cloud. i think it's a great transition sweater and it's on sale now for $59.99 from the original $118, which is a pretty good deal. i just can't resist the gamble of having my size sell out while i wait for that extra 20% savings.

worried the heather cloud may be a bit sheer? i'm betting that it's the perfect sweater to layer over one of these express camis.

Friday, August 28, 2009

every city girl is just a little bit country

ball jars remind me of home. my mom used to make her own pickles and relish so we always had bazillions of ball jars of all shapes and sizes floating around the house. my mother in law uses them for glassware and i love how you get so much more liquid in one fill-up. as an homage to the two moms in my life, here are just a few ways you too can be a baller...

below: this ball jar lamp by midwest finds - $14 from their etsy shop - can be filled with whatever you like (i think i'd leave it empty) and topped with a shade of your choosing. so cute!

below: another great idea from midwest finds, this ball jar soap dispenser is so anthropologie-esque and is only $10 from their etsy shop.

below: use them as candleholders for your next party. i've been told only to use tealights that already have glass around them (yes, glass in glass) because the older jars have been known to shatter from direct heat.

below: these lanterns aren't available until later this fall due to all of the press artist alyssa ettinger received for her super cool "glow" collection. i have her bookmarked in my etsy favorites so i can hopefully snag one of these translucent porcelian beauties when she finishes her next batch.

below: throw 'em in your cabinet to use for drinks. you'll be so psyched when you've realized the number of refills (read: times you have to get up from the couch) have been cut in half.
my mother in law makes koozies out of lonely socks whose partners have disappeared to the great beyond. genius.

below: fill a jar with those fresh flowers you just bought from the farmer's market.

below: try your hand at canning. this website has all sorts of tips, how-to's and recipes. maybe i'll follow in my mom's footsteps and attempt some relish on a rainy day...

interested in buying some plain ol' ball jars? they're all over amazon and i've seen them on craigslist, at flea markets and garage sales. or just ask mom to pull some out of the basement for you.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"culture" at a discount price? yes please.

being that i have a hard time paying full price for anything, i'm not one to just buy a pair of tickets to a broadway show, concert, game, whatever (unless i really really really want to). one of my favorite sites for all things "culture" is, a national online marketplace for fans to sell and buy tickets. nervous about scams? no need. guarantees your purchase is legit and that your tickets will arrive on time. love it!

i've gotten really lucky in the past - my favorite stubhub purchase ever was a pair of tickets for speed the plow (i heart elizabeth moss from mad men - her performance was killer) from a couple who suddenly had to go out of town and couldn't make the show. my mom and i got to enjoy 8th row seats for 50% the actual cost of the ticket.

i think my next visit will be for billy elliot tickets...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

dark navy snakes

being that i do a lot of walking around the city during the week, flats call to me way more often than heels (much to the chagrin of my husband). i'm in the market for a few new pairs of shoes to start off the fall season and saw these $100 kelsi dagger tamatha flats in navy blue on piperlime in the "fall's top trends - ruffles and bows" section. i really like the sneaky little 1-inch wedge lift but i'll have to see them in person before i decide for good - i think the the front ruffles are a liiiiiittle (or a lot) too crazy.

the trick with piperlime is to sign up for the emails to receive 20% off your next purchase. i was able to swindle $20 off by signing up with an old email address. i'm sneaky that way.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

butt studs

i'm loving the studs all over everything that is "in" for fall, including those on these current/elliot skinny jeans. i really like the stud details but i'm not in love with the jeans themselves (nor the $279 pricetag - ouch). and there's definitely a little too much whiskering for my taste.

above: current/elliot skinny jeans with studs

so i went on a mission to find an even better pair for a way better price and the answer wasn't hard to find. i die (rachel zoe shout out) for blank denim's skinny jeans with original stud pockets. i should also mention that these have been around since [i think] 2007 - blank knew studs would be "in" before anyone else, i guess. at $78 a pair i'd say it might be worth getting blue AND black.

above: blank denim skinny jeans with original stud pockets

photos from shopbop.

Monday, August 24, 2009

i love me some haircalf

i've always been a sucker for animal print accessories so i was happy to see designers embracing haircalf again this season. two of my favorite pieces - the perfect haircalf flat for $155 and perfect haircalf clutch for $125 are by ann taylor and i think they're very reminiscent of some much pricier classic michael kors pieces. i'm not typically a big fan of ann taylor clothes for myself but this clutch will definitely keep me looking out for a coupon code.

photos from ann taylor.

Friday, August 21, 2009

celebrating our first wedding anniversary

it is so hard to believe that sunday marks the one year anniversary of being married to my favorite person in the entire world. in honor of such a tremendous milestone i thought it only appropriate to pay homage to a few of my favorite details from our wedding that we got some really great deals on (mostly by recycling, calling in favors, using local vendors and online retailers, and of course i never forget the coupon codes). i hope you don't mind indulging me as i walk down memory lane...

below: custom stationary (program and seating cards pictured) designed and printed locally by my good friend and graphic designer christine giberson.

below: we made the seating chart using an old corkboard that we covered in fabric. cards were hung on ribbon using miniature clothespins from michaels. there are always coupons in the paper.

below: we had bottled water in the guest's welcome bags and on the buses to and from the ceremony and party. water is from grand springs with custom labels by graphic designer and colleague caroline mundt.

below: i love (and still use) these beer koozies from customink, one of my favorite sites for silly custom jobs like this. there are always coupon codes floating around the internets for things like $15 off orders of $100 or more.

below: guest book was custom-made using old photos and from our engagement session with (the absolute best and very talented) photographer jen lowe. the book is from snapfish, which runs regular promotions for things like $10 off and buy one get one free. i love to take the book out every so often to read all of the wonderful notes from our loved ones.

below: the ring bearer pillow was a surprise from my mom on my wedding day. she made it using the lace from her veil from her wedding day.

below: being that nick was definitely not loving that he now had to wear jewelry, we didn't want to spend very much on his wedding band. we got his titanium ring online for about $50. it's a good thing, too, considering he already lost it and had to order a new one. who "accidentally" drops their wedding band down a subway grate? my husband does, that's who.

below: my grandmother, a retired wedding florist, purchased the flowers wholesale and arranged everything the day before with the help of my wonderful aunts (they stored the flowers overnight in my mom's basement with the a/c jacked up). actually, a few of the flowers came from home depot.

below: we found all of the vases on sale from homegoods and CB2, and the candleholders are old ball jars (from my mom's canning days) wrapped with ribbon from michaels.

below: we opened a banana republic credit card when we bought nick's suit to receive 15% off, which certainly made a dent in the price (we were sure to pay it off immediately). the groomsmen wore really nice green shirts from charles tyrwhitt on sale for about $35 and pants from express men on sale for about $45.

below: all of the girls (myself included) wore these green polka dot heels by betsey johnson. we went through, which always has coupons.

below: the bridesmaids and maid of honor wore white eyelet sundresses found at target for a mere $40. my mom sewed on the green sashes to add a little flair.

below: *sigh* i love love love my dress and totally wish it were ok to wear to work or out on the weekends. i found my diamond white dora dress by melissa sweet during a trunk show at saks, which meant a small yet appreciated discount.

thanks for indulging me...i think maaaaaybe i'll put on my wedding dress this weekend as part of our celebration.

photography by jen lowe. see more photos here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

making art out of missed connections

i came across artist sophie blackall's blog - - in new york magazine a few weeks ago. i love the way she transforms simple, sweet (and sometimes somewhat weird) missed connections from craigslist new york into really beautiful illustrations. and at $40 for a print, they're a nice "real art" addition to any home. these are just a few of my favorites, all for sale on

above: "cursive"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

those high waisted, full, flirty skirts i mentioned monday

above: shape template mini - $98

above: spindly stems skirt - $78

above: cast shadow skirt - $68

yesterday's post mentioned high waisted, full, flirty skirts. leave it to anthropologie to stock some of the cutest i've seen and are also reasonably priced. i went in the other day looking for the cast shadow skirt and found one on the sale rack ($68 marked down to $48) but it wasn't my size. i've heard rumors that if you call customer service and ask them to track down a size for you, they'll ship it to you for free from whichever store has it - even if it's across the country. might be doing that during my lunch break today...

images from anthropologie.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

get naturally flushed cheeks (without going outside in this oppressive august heat)

i've been hemming and hawing forever about buying this tarte natural cheek stain. the $30 price tag has been giving me cold feet...until now. i came across a friends and family coupon code (FF09) for 40% off everything on, making the cheek stain $18. now's the time to bite the bullet - the coupon expires monday 8/24.

i'm all about the color called flush - it gives a really natural "my-office-boyfriend-who-doesn't-know-he's-my-office-boyfriend-just-caught-me-housing-doritos-at-11am" rosy glow on your cheeks. curious about color? sephora carries the whole line and the associates will show you how to apply - it's really easy (believe me, i'm a horrible maker-upper and i can do it).

Monday, August 17, 2009

deeeeeep veeeeeee's from american apparel

i'm a huge fan of a casual deep v neck tee tucked into a high-waisted, full, flirty skirt. my personal favorites can be found at american apparel - the unisex tri-blend short sleeve deep v neck. they're $22 each or get a three pack for $51. break it down...that's $17 each. my personal favorite colors are athletic blue, athletic grey and tri-evergreen. the other good part is they're made in america!