Black Friday 2017 Deals

031272F1-ACCA-478F-B5BC-7880AAB54A76

Tassel earring // Coat // Skirt (not on the site yet but will show up here)// Tissue turtleneck // tights // Boots (old poshmark find)

I am one of those obnoxious people who shop months in advance. That thing where people say you marry your parents and become your parents is totally true. Both my mother and mother in law are usually done shopping by September and they just Dec 24th shop for traditional’s sake. (Mother in law is a New Yorker so 34th st Macy’s at midnight is an easy way to get “cheap” thrills)

Just because we over here have prepped for the Christmas-pocalyse doesn’t mean I can’t help you with Black Friday Deals. Every single thing that I’m wearing (except for this pair of tassel earrings) is 50% off right now as a part of J. Crew Factory’s Black Friday deals. And even the earrings are a fantastic deal at only $12. What a steal for a hand made (I have seen it happen for my very eyes) small shop goody. They are from The Tiny Tassel in South Carolina and would make a fabulous Christmas gift!

8F6E37E0-3ABB-46CA-8B8A-DD1EC738428A2B49765F-14C4-4AC0-A571-A2A61136D661726D9FCB-38B1-496E-9C24-D7C6E95EEA12

My favorite things about this outfit is that it’s dressy if your family does that but also casual enough that you could toss on a cute sneaker or a riding boot and make it more relaxed if that’s what you guys do.

04CC4C3B-6422-4CF8-B0DA-A4D0CEA3CC58

 

Aside from the Tiny Tassel and J. Crew, here’s a list of my favs from the places I usually shop. These are mostly the biggies and I will update this in the coming days with a gift guide that includes some of my favorite small shops so you can shop small and local for #shopsmall Saturday, one of my FAVORITE shopping holidays of the year.

94AD89EC-48A6-4592-9A37-9125A9BABC88Boden: 30% off plus free shipping and returns over $49

Gap: early access 50% off entire purchase with code BLKFRIDAY

J. Crew: 40% off everything and free shipping with code THANKU

J. Crew Factory: 50% off everything starting right now with code

Kate Spade: Surprise sale 75% off and free ground shipping when you spend $100 and 30% off regular site with code GIVEJOY

Katie Kime: Site wide sale 30% off

L.L. Bean: 20% off with THANKS20 and free $10 gift card

Modcloth Website down on Black Friday

Nordstrom: Up to 40% off designer clearance

Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store: Entire Store 50% Off

Pottery Barn: Black Friday deals up to 50% off and free shipping with code FREESHIP

REI: Closed on Black Friday for #optoutside

Society Social: $300 off select items with code THANKS300, $100 off select items with code THANKS100 and $75 off with THANKS75

Toryburch 30% off $250 or more with code THANKS

Vera Bradley: 50% off select patterns and styles

wallsneedlove: 40% off with code EARLYBIRD40

West Elm: Buy More save more 15% off $100 or more, 20% off $500 or more, 25% off $100 or more and 30%off $3000 or more with code SAVEMORE

 

Cyber Monday Small Shopping

Happy Cyber Monday. As of last Friday, it’s finally socially acceptable to countdown to Christmas! For some reason, my Christmas time clock started way before Black Friday. I  never shop on Black Friday because large crowds overwhelm me and I’m not interested in elbowing my way through them for things I may not have wanted to buy anyway. Instead, I skunk around the internet on Friday and then shop small on Saturday and Cyber Monday.

We live in Little Town, USA and there are tons of precious boutiques to dabble in. Many of these boutiques have an online presence as well and there are no shortages of etsy shops to meander through today. Still, we woke up bright an early to visit our local shops

img_3875

Color block field jacket (sold out)  | old thrifted flannel (similar) | city skirt | tights | chup socks| boots | monogram necklace

I wore this colorblock field jacket.  The day it came out, I knew I had to have it. It was so beautiful and felt amazing and after buying it, Malia Obama wore it to the turkey pardoning that year. So needless to say, I took that as a sign that this was a sensible purchase. Since then, I’ve worn this jacket very little and every now and then, husband demands that I wear it.  You know, like today. But I could not have been happier in it as I warmly pursued the street.

dsc_0173

Anyway,  definitely poke around online and support some local businesses in your area or at least in the USA even if it’s your local J. Crew. *wink*

image

One of my favorite USA based companies that gets tons of business this time of year is L.l. Bean especially for their famous bean boots. They make a beautiful and well crafted product right in main and this time of year is when you’ll start to see sizes become back ordered. If you have your eye on a pair, how’s the time especially since they are offering 20% off if you spend $50. (Bean boots are $109 for women. It’s a no brainer if they’re on your list). Make sure you pay attention to sizing if you’ve never purchased a pair.

dsc_0219

Besides, Bean some of my favorite small business are having some awesome sales. Check them out below.

Effie’s Paper 20% off everything site-wide with code “Thanks2016”

Get Your Nails Did 20% off plus free shipping on orders $20 and up

History in High Heels BOGO Prints

Interwoven 25% off with code “Holidaysale”

Lilicreations 25% off use code “thankfull16”

Moon and Lola 30% off site wide with code “merry30” and up to 75% off sale

The Apothecary Bee 15% off with code “Iloveturkey”

 

Father’s Day Gifts

Father’s Day is coming up fast. With it only being a week away, it means a lot of hunting for last minute gifts and hoping your gift isn’t placed with the macaroni creations of yester year. Here are some great and easy gifts for the fathers in your life. Half of these have my husband’s approval so if your father doesn’t like them, we’ll just shift the blame now won’t we? Either way, a very happy early father’s day to all the dads out there.

Fathers Day'.jpg

  1. Chillsner $15.95
  2. Woodsman beard oil $20
  3. Shoe care kit $25 & 25% off right now
  4. Tie Bar $29.50
  5. Hydroflask bottle $39.50
  6. Ralph Lauren Monogram Oxford $98.00
  7. D.S. & Durga for J. Crew Homestead Cologne $98
  8. The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Shaving Kit $120
  9. Apple tv $149
  10. Penfield Gibson Rain Jacket $165
  11. Daniel Wellington Classic Watch $199
  12. HERO4 GoPro $499.99

Moby Pineapple Skirt

This weekend was the J. Crew Warehouse Sample Sale in Asheville, North Carolina. I have been to quite a few of these sales lately including Raleigh, Lynchburg and to the latest in Asheville. While I am a shopper, I am actually going to these sales with purpose. I have been searching high and low for this J. Crew Ratti Pineapple Skirt.

pineapple

 

I am in love with this skirt and have been searching for it for years. It is the Moby Dick of my closet. I didn’t find it at this sale, however I came out with more stuff than I thought was humanly possible.

FullSizeRender (12)

FullSizeRender (11)

Disclaimer: my husband is a die hard shopper and has been building quite the sneaker collection so he definitely helped. His hull was even more deadly than mine. If you need a run down of prices, check out my first post from the Raleigh sale. I didn’t take my price sheet home with me from this one.

FullSizeRender (13)

IMG_1692

IMG_1701

In total we came away with

3 Penfield Jackets

1 Dress

2 Skirts

5 Bags

10 Pairs of Sneakers

7 Pairs of Dress shoes

3 Pairs of Birkenstocks

2 Pairs of Illesteva Sunglasses

1 Statement Necklace

2 Ebbets Field Hats

For a grand total of $4,850 savings off of the retail price (give or take a dollar). So while I didn’t find my skirt this time, I am thrilled with our purchases.

There is still one day left of the sale (today, 5/22/16). If you are in the area, it’s totally worth it and Asheville is gorgeous this time of year! And if you are someone who is interested in future J. Crew Sample Sales definitely call the store in Lynchurg or Asheville and have them put you on their email blast. Happy Shopping!

P.S. If you have the skirt and are willing to part with it, I am totally willing to take it off your hands.

unnamed

J. Crew Warehouse Sale Comes to Raleigh, NC

I got the most amazing text from a friend a few days ago. The J. Crew Warehouse sale was coming to Raleigh. It usually occurs a few times a season in the actual warehouses in either Lynchburg, VA or Arden, NC. But lately the sale has been traveling and from April 1-3 it traveled to my neck of the woods at the NC State Fairgrounds. Finally!

 

 

 

I had to work today but husband and a few friends showed up bright and early. We’ve seen it recommended that you show up a few hours early to these sales but since it was a week day and seems to have very little buzz surrounding it, they showed up an hour early and turned out to have arrive with perfect timing. They were about tenth in line. I ended up going later on in the day after leaving work and stayed until closing. You enter and they hand you  one trash bag and a price list and then you enter pure mayhem.

 

In order to give everyone a chance to shop, each person gets only one bag. COME WITH A FRIEND! I can not emphasize this enough. Because my husband came with me, we just shoved everything into one bag and decided to sort later into his bag.

 

I snagged some incredible deals including some things that are currently for sale in the retail store even right now. Because I worked for J. Crew for a few years while in grad school, I am very familiar with what is a J. Crew retail item, J. Crew Factory item and a Madewell item. I bypassed the Factory items (known for the double diamond under the J. Crew name) and went straight for higher quality retail items. I dug through every single one of the boxes in the warehouse, if that’s hard to believe. My husband is the best shopping buddy in the history of the whole wide world. He has my style down to a tee and we devised a really effective system of searching through the boxes.

We looked through the box on the end of the row first. From there, we moved the items from the box next to it into that previously viewed box as we looked through product. We were very efficient in doing so and because we spend so much time shopping at J. Crew it was easy to figure out by touch what we (i.e. me) would like or wouldn’t like. We tossed everything we even remotely liked into our bag and continued to work our way through the boxes. The boxes were a mess by the time I arrived but they were sorted fairly well. If a box had jeans, it was mostly jeans. If it had white button downs, it was mostly white button downs.

The product is divided by women’s, men’s, accessories, shoes, occasion dresses and outerwear. After looking, you can spread out on a discard table and try on. There are no mirrors so this is where the honest friend with a fully charged phone comes in handy. Make sure you are checking for stains and broken jewels and snags because every thing is nonrefundable and non returnable.

People in the past have recommended that you wear work out gear so you can try things on above your clothes since there are no fitting rooms. I wore a dress since I came from work. This worked out perfectly because I could try bottoms on under it and shirts above it. Tomorrow, I’ll do much the same but with a flesh toned tank beneath it and little biker shorts.

 

 

 

I went in the store with some dream items from my J. Crew wishlist and was happy to check off four of them. I needed the white bib button down because I already own one and it is INCREDIBLE so I needed another. I also needed the wicker clutch, the mechanics field jacket, and another blue and white striped habadashery shirt. The total on my check out sheet was $190 for over $1220 worth of merchandise (They are not doing teacher/student/family discounts but if you are an associate, that will apply this weekend). Not to mention my husband’s hull from earlier in the day which I will post in a separate post at the end of the weekend. We probably going to pop in tomorrow bright and early and maybe later in the evening on Sunday. Just wanted to get this out on the off chance that I could help someone get to the sale while it’s still in town. Happy shopping!

By the way, the price list is below. Hope this helps!

 

 

The Etsy Wedding Dress

I am go with the flow, until I’m not. I knew if we were going to have an actual wedding ceremony, that the perfect dress was a non-negotiable. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted but I knew that I would know it when I saw it.

I accidentally tumbled upon etsy.com and their gorgeous wedding dress selection early in my wedding planning process and decided to give it a try. Many of the dresses are custom made on international soil, cutting out the middle man. The dresses run anywhere from $70 to $10,000 but the ability to customize is what really makes it worth it.

Here are some of the dresses I initially drooled over.

 

source: Sofitdress

 

 

source: misdress

 

source: misdress
source: misdress
I found myself drawn to the shop Misdress which is managed from China by a woman name Kim. They seemed to have that illusion neckline that I adored and the shop had favorable reviews. I definitely contacted about four girls who ordered from her for pictures of their dresses before hand. I was drawn to the last dress which we in our household affectionately termed, the ‘Nakey Dress’. The dress was a little too nakey for me and risky for unpredictable October weather. Plus, it like the other dresses on the list, didn’t quite feel like me. Or our woodsy yet preppy wedding.
I selected four or five (yes, I said it) dresses that I liked and picked the features I wanted and explained them to Ms. Kim. She said no problem, asked for my measurements, and quoted me $190 and a Valentine’s day arrival if I paid that day (1/28). I figured that the worst that could happen was that the dress would blow and I would be out $190 so I pulled the proverbial trigger. We agreed on the end of March as the deadline to have the dress but she assured me, no later than Valentine’s day.
Fast forward a month later and Valentine’s day comes and goes with no updated shipping or communication from Ms. Kim. I contacted her two days later and she responded promptly saying they needed more time if possible and would have it sent out by February 29th which was no problem since our wedding is in October. On March 4th after no updated shipping, I communicated again only for it to be delayed due to “prom season”. Wrong answer, Ms Kim. After a frustrated email from me, she agreed to March 10th. On March 9th, she asked for another email to overnight it as a PO box can not receive a shipment from UPS. No problem. Overnight comes and goes and still no dress. One week later and still no dress.
On March 18th, I received a medium sized package in my post office box with a Chinese return address. IT CAME!
And it was perfect! The dress is absolutely exquisite. Beautiful craftsmanship. Great tailoring. Amazing fabric and best of all custom fit. There is very little need for alteration. The only thing that needs to be done is that the top of the dress needs to be let out an inch. My measurements were done at Carolina Bridal World (serious eye roll) and the girl measured my bust two inches too small because I was wearing layers and she wanted it to fit nice and tight. Now my dress is too small thanks to this lovely rocket scientist. So this is no fault of Ms. Kim’s. The dress is everything I hoped it would be and more and minus some communication flaws that resulted in my dress coming a month later than expected, it was a perfect transaction. And scoring “the” dress for only $190 was worth it.

**********Update*****************

Now that we are FINALLY married, I can show you guys the dress I waited so long for.

 

And here’s a few of me in it so you can see how it fit.

How to Thrift a Designer Fall Wardrobe for $74.61

This weekend was fall break and so naturally the fiance and I went thrift store shopping. We are avid and very skilled, if I must say so myself, thrift store shoppers. This weekend I was looking to spruce up my fall wardrobe for graduate school -because we have to wear business casual- and just ended up purchasing an entirely new one. For a Grand Total of $74.61!!! I am  super ecstatic because I purchased missing staples as well as things that are trendy this fall and half of my buys were labels that I wear retail. For the next two weeks or so, I will attempt to take a photo of me and at least half a thrifted outfit and the price of the outfit. If you are not an avid thrifter and would like to, there is a list of tips below.

The Haul
1 dress
1 sweater vest
1 scarf
1 black standard blazer
2 cardigans
2 pull over sweaters- one green, one leopard
5 button down shirts
4 long sleeve shirts- one striped, one flowy
1 jacket
6 skirts- 2 camel wool, 1 pleated wit pockets
3 pairs of pants- 2 wide leg, one corduroy
Tips and Tricks

1) Set a budget– Decide how much you want to spend and be prepared to comfortably spend above it as long as its within your limit. I thought I wanted to spend no more than $60 but I saw the most precious pair of J. Crew corduroys so I had to expand my budget but I also spotted a Vera Wang gown and could not bring myself to spread my budget that much further.

2) Check out your wardrobe to see what is missing– I needed a standard black blazer, standard black cardigan, something leopard, corduroys and wool skirts to fill out my wardrobe. I knew that these things were missing from previous assessments of my current wardrobe so I made a list and kept it in my wallet.

3) Know the labels you love and your size in them-I always check out my closet for labels that are staple. I LOVE J. Crew and Ralph Lauren Black Label. I know that they fit my body type well and I can wear most of their purchases through every single season. The only draw back is pair of pants from either place could cost upwards of $400. I have expensive taste but refuse to pay for them so while I am thrifting, if I see something in my size in either label, I buy! The best thing is I usually don’t have to try those items on because I know they will fit.

4) Eat and wear comfy clothing– I always eat before I leave the house. As soon as hunger hits, I no longer want to look through rack after rack of dusty pre-owned clothing. Did I mention I get cynical as I get hungry? Also dress comfortably. I try to wear a nice tshirt and jeans with flats so that when I try things on, I can image how other things look with clothing that is already in my wardrobe.

5) Google a good neighborhood– Pick a good neighborhood. The clothing is based off of the people who live there because they donate/consign their clothing. You have a better chance of scoring nicer things in a nicer area.

6) Pick up every single thing you like– I tend to pick up 10 items and only buy 3 after trying them on but the more you pick up, the more your options are.

7) Ignore Sizes on Non-Brand names– If you hold something up and it looks like it may fit you, try it on. Vintage sizes vary from modern day sizes. Ex the sweater I’m wearing below is a vintage 14 and I wear a modern day 8.

Tribal Print Scarf- $1.06
Cardigan Sweater Vest- $2.25 

Christmas List

Last week, I wrote a letter to Santa after my resident told me about the Elf on the Shelf. I simply explained to Santa that this year, I am feeling high maintenance. I have been through some things and I have had some struggles that are outside of the realm of my sheltered life. As such, I think I have earned the right to have a good Christmas. I know this is not probable. There are other things that I need and the people in my life are not ballin’ (at least not like this).

1. Kate Spade Tabitha Flat- $225
Are they not the most gorgeous little flats that you’ve ever seen? In a neutral color, they could go with just about everything. These flats are low and comfortable.
2. Kate Spade Tabby Flat- $225
Scratch that previous question. These are actually the most precious flats ever. They don’t go with everything like the black flats but the turquoise could be the pop of color that is necessary for any outfit. Particularly, any outfit that I own. Hint hint.
3. Nook Tablet- $249

I could really use one of these. Not only do I read frequently but I could use the amenities that come with it. I hate to fly and have to lug my laptop. This has all the convenience of an Ipod touch with a much larger screen. Plus, they are pretty affordable.

4. Kinky Curly Curling Custard- $29.99
(Say that three times fast)
As always, I love my hair and what the heck is Christmas without something else I can be addicted to for my hair? I have wanted this for a while but there were other products I needed to buy in the mean time. If I don’t get this for Christmas, I will probably purchase it myself.
5. Tanzania Study Abroad/ Mission Trip-$4,500

This I know I will end up paying for myself but a girl can dream can’t she?

6. Peace. (Not on earth, just in my family)- Priceless
 
My family works my nerves but they are my family. In the last two years, we have had a lot of turmoil so much so that the idea of going home make me spontaneously burst into tears. I don’t enjoy going home but I feel obligated to because there is nothing worst than the kid who goes off to college and won’t come home. LOL. But God is telling me to go home and because there are some things that really need to be brought to a conclusion so I can continue my life, it has to happen. So I am praying that God will give me peace because I can’t live in this limbo anymore.