Friday, October 30, 2009

Miscellaneous: Happy Halloween!

It's heeeeeeere!


My second-favorite holiday is upon us, ladies and gentlemen. Well, not technically until tomorrow, but I have a feeling some people will turn this into a weekend-long celebration. You could extend it through Dia de los Muertos on Monday if you were feeling REALLY festive, but that might be overkill (ha!) even for me.

Before we lock ourselves in the house to clean for the party, my husband and I are cashing in his Banana Republic points, and taking advantage of their buy 2 get 1 free sale items. I would post a link, but it's in-store only. So shake a leg!

That's not my jack o'lantern, by the way. I don't have the slime tolerance to carve pumpkins, but isn't that one nice? (Quick, who is it?!)

Enjoy your weekend and HAPPY HALLOWEEN.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On the Cheap: Go Green

I get these emails that alert me when certain brands have items on sale. Among them is Banana Republic. I love the Banana and would shop there all the time if I could, but even on sale, things can be a little steep.


So I get the email this morning and I'm like, "Oh, that's cute!" But then I see that it's still $44.99 and my happy tune changes into, "Ehhh... Nevermind." I was a little forlorn for a while, wishing money would just fall from the sky, until I found a cheaper version at JCPenny.


They're not identical, but it's close enough. (I'd like to point out that I would never style myself like the model in the second picture. Just focus on the shirt.) This one is Worthington and its regular price--$30-- is lower than Banana's sale price. But it gets better, because it's also marked down: for $19.99.

JCPenny: 1
Banana Republic: 0

Monday, October 26, 2009

Miscellaneous: Win this!

Let's see a show of hands: who likes to win things? I sure do! Even more, I like to win contests that don't require an entry fee or a purchase. Another fashion blog is doing a straight up, take-this-off-my-hands giveaway of some lovely jewelry:

The Thrifty Stylist Boston is celebrating her 100th post, and this earring/bracelet set from her Etsy shop can be yours. To win, "follow" her blog and leave a comment on the entry here. The winner is announced Friday, so scoot on over before it's too late.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Web Gem: Natural Beauties

I feel like I've been long-winded this week, so I'll get right to my point. Remember the brooch of a thousand nightmares? This stuff is way better:


Etsy, I won't hold a grudge. You've redeemed yourself. Starting top left, the pearl earrings are $20, the red necklace is $32 (which almost made me think twice about including it, but it's just SO PRETTY), and the black and blue earrings are both $16. If I wasn't saving my money to get Christmas presents for OTHER people, I'd have to pick up one of these for myself. Perhaps two. Or maybe all of them.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ma, Look What I Got: Frightful Furnishings

My husband and I have had major issues with adhesive things ripping the paint off the walls and leaving little naked spots. This kind of puts a damper on potential decorations for our Halloween party. Streamers and fake cobwebs would've been the cheapest way to go, but those are out, as is anything else requiring tape. So I had to get crafty. Obviously, I wasn't about to spend a lot of money, so I gave myself a $20 budget to get everything--including paper cups and plates.

And I was victorious. If you're having a party, too, or if you just want your house to look creepy, feel free to steal any of these ideas.

We'll go from most expensive to least expensive. First, the dining room:


I made that! All of the black flowers and feathers were 50% at Michael's the day I went, and I got all of them for just under $8. The vase--from Hobby Lobby--was also 50% off, and was probably the best deal I got because I can use it year-round. It was $1.50. The black rocks, another HL purchase, were $2.77. The Nightmare Before Christmas salt and pepper shakers were an early birthday present from a friend, so those were free. Total: $12.27.

Next, the living room end tables:


IKEA was kind enough to sell 8 orange candles for $2.99, and the glass holders were a wedding gift. New total: $15.26.

Finally, saving the most inventive for last, these will be placed around the room(s):


They're empty now, but they'll be filled with pictures of classic movie monsters that I'll print at work. Free! And I should mention that all of these were gifted to me over the years. Also free! Unchanged total: $15.26.

I got paper cups ($2.50) and plates ($1.50), too, but I didn't bother taking any pictures. They're just orange. Grand total: $19.26.

We'll have a few other Halloween-y things around the house that we already owned: towels in the kitchen and bathroom, a sign on the front door, and a to-be-determined scary movie playing in the background on my husband's mostrous 42" TV. I think we're set.

Did you decorate for Halloween? Are you having a party? Have you accidentially ripped some paint off with tape? Let's talk.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hello, Gorgeous!: Whip-LASH

There is such a thing as too extreme when it comes to eyelashes. I like a little more oomph to mine, but even for my taste the mascara market is getting totally out of hand. I saw a commercial the other day for Telescopic Explosion Mascara. That's right, L'oreal is associating the word "explosion" with your face. It's kind of fitting, I guess, since the wand looks like a little grenade:


I love weapons near my eyeballs! And speaking of the windows to the soul, here's a picture of Penelope Cruz "modeling" this new product.


It DOES look like her eyelashes exploded, but that's no compliment. Even if you're dressing up, this is overkill. It's very Rupaul. (And really, a drag show is about the only place this look would be appropriate, so if that's you, ignore what I'm about to say.)

To counteract this trend, I dug up some more natural-looking mascara. Even though it's called Extra Super Lash, it's still subdued in comparison. In fact, it's so subtle it's practically from the Michelle Duggar Makeup Collection--which I just made up right now, and it might not sound that great, but it's probably WAY better than the Michelle Duggar Contraception Agency.

Anyway, I'm not sure how I got from mascara to a woman who's pregnant with her 19th child, so let's rein this in. Extreme eyelashes: yea or nay?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

On the Cheap: Lego Links

I wonder why more people don't rock Lego jewelry. I don't mean those earrings made from Lego people heads (because that's a tad macabre), but jewelry that looks like the actual blocks. Behold,


I bet more guys would wear cufflinks if they knew about these. They're handmade for every order and come in 17 colors. Unfortunately, they're $150, and I can't figure out why. Maybe the process that shapes the plastic is expensive (although, if that's the case, just use real Legos--duh).

Now, these cufflinks are authentic:


They don't look as "refined," perhaps, but who cares? Legos are fun, first and foremost, so I don't have a problem with these being a little more playful. They're also much easier on the wallet, since I suspect using the real toy is cheaper than imitating it. You still get your choice of 12 colors and you'll only be out $6.95. Several pairs are going into my cart.

Would you (or your male counterpart) ever wear something like this? Do you already? Are Legos only for children?! Spill your guts.

Miscellaneous: Crime Time

Hey, remember that time Chicago got picked last for the Olympics and Rio got the bid?

Perhaps that was a mistake.

Granted, I'm no gun expert, but it seems like it would take a lot of firepower to shoot down a police helicopter.

Back to shopping.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Miscellaneous: Project Runway

Project Runway had the potential to be amazing last night. It ended up being more inspired than usual, but I was still LET DOWN. Readers, I want you to think about designer Bob Mackie. What's the first thing that comes to mind?

Is it this?


ME TOO.

Bob Mackie = Cher. Yes, other flashy women have worn his clothes, like Madonna and Tina Turner, but I don't think any of them can top CHER AT THE OSCARS. It's the most ridiculous--and therefore memorable--getup of all time. When something like this has been created with your name on it, it doesn't really matter what else you design. This is the capstone. Just retire.

However, Bob Mackie is apparently still making clothes because he was the guest judge on PR last night. Tim Gunn was explaining the challenge and he goes, "Okay, designers. You'll be creating a stage look for a big fan of Bob Mackie's designs, five-time Grammy winning artist..." agonizing pause, during which I was screaming CHER CHER CHER! at the TV, "...Christina Aguilera!"

Oh. That's... wow. Even my husband thought it was a letdown. Not that I have anything against Christina--she was nice and articulate--but I was expecting Cher. And I was kind of expecting her to wear that outfit again.

So, did you watch last night? Were you duped, as well? Did you laugh when Tim Gunn said "slut" while critiquing somebody's look? Share with me.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

On the Cheap: D'oh!

I've always known that I'm not very observant. If I DO have a detail-oriented moment, it's for something stupid, like, "Bobby Flay got a haircut!" or, "That one Jonas brother looks like a guy I know!" Case in point: I walk by the Old Navy on State Street EVERY MORNING and I failed to notice the giant, rainbow-colored signs in the windows telling me it's their 15th birthday. Apparently the sale ends today, so the signage has been up for a while.

Way to go, self.

Anyhoodle, there are some deals to be had before time runs out. They're doing something similar to what Overstock did for their birthday, and they have a bunch of stuff for $15 and under.


See how toasty your feet can be?! The slipper boots in the middle are calling my name. And they're large enough that even if I'm not at my most observant, I SHOULD still see them on the floor before I trip. You can, of course, go to your local Old Navy store, but if you buy online you can save an additional 15% today with code ONBDAY15.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

On the Cheap: Winter Woes

There's nothing like the icy chill of a raindrop on the back of your neck as you leave for work. And then your umbrella won't open when you get to the train station, so you have to run back to your car and get the other one, and more 40-degree water pellets creep down the collar of your jacket. Ah, yes: nothing like Thanksgiving weather in October. I've given up on hoping for normalcy at this point. All I can do is prepare for winter, which has decided to crash the party early.


Etsy really came through today and took away some of the grumps. Starting top left: the tan, cloche-y hat is $8.50, the striped set is $10 for all three pieces, the gloves (which are real leather AND fur-lined) clock in at $9, and the corduroy fedora will set you back $8. All useful things for warding off this "fall" weather.

By the way, I've heard conflicting things about how cold it's supposed to get this year. The Farmer's Almanac claims it'll be brutal, but the Weather Channel says mild days are ahead. I usually side with modern technology, but I'm worried since the predictions are opposites. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Web Gem: Get Inspired

As you might have guessed by now, my job is not super time-consuming. It's not anything-consuming, actually, which is why I started this blog. (Well, I also started it because I think a lot of stuff is overpriced, but I digress.) As much as I love blogging, sometimes carousing the Interwebs for appropriately priced goods just isn't enough to fill my day.

When that happens, I do what millions of other bored office workers do, and I make my daily rounds:


I guess I'm on a DIY kick lately, because I'm all about Casey's Elegant Musings. She focuses a lot on sewing and refurbing, but also talks about where to buy good vintage, and has some handy YouTube turorials. And, for any engaged ladies, she has a lot of money-saving tips from her own wedding.

However, the content that will TOTALLY blow your mind is her latest sewing project. Perhaps you've seen this dress from Sabrina before:


She MADE ONE for herself. If that's not worth a look, I don't know what is.

Monday, October 12, 2009

On the Cheap: The Birds

Today, my husband, who is terrified of birds, walked outside to see a baby rabbit getting eaten by a hawk. Right outside his car. This is the same man who makes me "protect him" if there are geese within 50 feet of us, so he was quite traumatized. In his words, the incident was "life-threatening," though he meant for himself and not the bunny.

Anyway, since he called me I've been seeing bird jewelry EVERYWHERE. I tried to look for other things, but aviary creatures are having an aggressive day, I guess.


The sparrow is from ModCloth, but the owl, nest, and earrings are over on Etsy. They vary in price from $10-$15. I really want the nest, but today might not be the day for that.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Holi-Daze: Costumes Under $15

On The View today, there was some Halloween costume expert who brought along fancy, packaged examples. As I was watching, I was like, "What a n00b. All of those can be done for under $15." So I'm here to prove it. According to her, the most popular Halloween costume of '09--beating out vampires, wizards, and Star Trek characters--will be the Kate Gosselin wig.


That is eerie.

If you're fortunate enough to not know who Kate is, let me tell you. That's her on the left, openly pimping out her 8 children to make a quick buck (although, from what I hear, that money wasn't managed too well--oops!). On the right is the wig, which you can get on sale for $12.99. Or you could go rogue and cut your own hair for free, but I think I'd spring for the piece. You can wear your own clothes when dressing as Kate, so $12.99 is all you'll spend.

Continuing with the other costumes from the expert, let's discuss vampires. This woman was going on and ON about Dracula, blah, blah, blah, vampires are so cool now you guys, go wear a cape! Except the popularity of vampires has nothing to do with Dracula (which is a shame) and everything to do with Twilight. Bella and Edward don't go prancing around in capes. They go to high school. This is handy for DIY costumers, because you can wear your own dark-colored clothing. If you decide to be ambitious and go as the Edward-sparkles-in-the-meadow scene, you can add body shimmer for $2.99.

Finally, let's talk wizards. Again, everybody knows I don't mean Merlin. You have a couple of options when dressing as Harry and Co. If you, or anybody you know, graduated from college and got to keep their black graduation robes, you already have your wizard getup. You could also do the "casual" Hogwarts uniform of a grey or black sweater, white button down shirt, and black pants; things most people already have. Once you get the outfit squared away, you can show your House colors with a sweet pin for $6.


Have you picked a costume yet? Are you going the DIY route, or did you spend the big bucks? Or maybe you thwarted fate and got a store-bought costume for a good price! Share in the comments.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

On the Cheap: Seeing Double

I don't remember exactly what I was looking at on my computer yesterday, it was probably PeopleOfWalMart.com or something equally mesmerizing, but whatever I was doing immediately stopped when I saw THESE:


Cobalt blue pumps with crystal... pirate accessories... tend to catch one's eye. The above are what I saw flashing in an ad for FashionInShop.com. I was like, "Hmm. Only $149? That can't be right. Didn't I just see those at...

...NEIMAN MARCUS?"


Yes. Yes, I did. I didn't work them into the other post, but they still burned themselves into my brain: Manolo Blahnik's "Something Blue" satin pump. Granted, the picture from Neiman's is much nicer, but it's not an $800 price difference kind of nice. Not only is Neiman's still selling these shoes even though various discount sites have gotten their hands on them, but they're selling them at FULL PRICE. $945, to be exact.

Not that I condone spending even $149 on electric blue Captain Hook shoes, but mathematically speaking, 84% off is impressive.

Monday, October 5, 2009

On the Cheap: Frugal Footwear

So, I was over at NeimanMarcus.com today to see if their annual bundle of laughs, i.e. the Christmas Book, was out for 2009 yet. It's not, sadly. Before I navigated away to do important things (like watching the Food Network), I paused to take a quick gander at their fall shoes.


From left to right: $645, $470, and $675.

We've been through this before with Neiman and their silly overpricing, so I'm not going to get back on that particular soapbox today (I'll save that rant for the Christmas Book post). Instead, here are the same shoes at Payless:

Again, from left to right: $22.99, $34.99, and $29.99. I not only appreciate the lower prices, but the more reasonable heel heights, too. Far right in the Neiman row is a broken ankle waiting to happen.

Edit: I CANNOT get that second picture to cooperate, so just pretend it's where it should be.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

On the Cheap: A Decade of Deals

The interwebs tell me that Overstock.com is celebrating its 10th birthday this week. On a totally unrelated (and less classy) note, Smackdown!, a wrestling program, is ALSO celebrating it's 10th birthday, but I'll spare you the details about that one and focus on the matter at hand.

I know shipping from Overstock is really cheap anyway, but during the metaphorical birthday party, it's free! And since they were founded in 1999, they're treating us to a bunch of $19.99 deals.


The uber-sale is in just about every store category, including electronics, area rugs, and stuff for baby--which must be a thrill for parents, since I hear (mostly from my own mother) that offspring are mighty expensive. But no matter what you're looking for, this would be a good place to check.