Monday, December 22, 2008

The Precious!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! This is MY precious!! Frankie Claus!

This photo was a wonderful "happy accident" when my husband & I were trying to shoot our annual doggie holiday photo for holiday cards. Frankie is not the best at sitting still for such things as holiday photos, but we try our best. In this shot, he's wearing a Santa hat, complete with attached white beard, and a red holiday t-shirt (which happens to read HO HO HO on the back, but you can't see it in photos). He hated nearly every minute of wearing the hat & beard, I assure you! The garb was designed for cats, but our Frankie is a small guy & it fit him perfectly.

Mike had Frankie perched atop a red blanketed coffee table for this shot, with our Christmas tree in the background (not that you can see it too well). We had the mini tree (seen in Frankie's face) and we were moving it in front of him & he turned away because it annoyed him & magically, I shot the photo just as Mike moved the tiny tree & it looks like we have Frankie posing & playing shy. I assure you, this was totally unplanned & a true photo happy accident. We almost used this shot for our holiday cards, but we wanted his Santa suit to be more visibile since it was so this was simply a fun back-up photo for our enjoyment & now for yours.

Frankie is the most precious little dog I have ever come across....and for those that know me, you know how strongly we felt about our beloved Phoochie girl (RIP 6/3/05). While we miss Phoochie terribly, Frankie is really something else!

Frankie came into our lives purely by accident. I guess you could call it another "happy accident". It was 1 week before Thanksgiving in 2006. We had not even been in our new home a full year yet. The house was far from being a completed project & surely we had NO time to raise a dog! We were up late on a Friday night......still managed to wake up rather early & venture out for some weekend grease in the way of breakfast at a diner in Burbank called Frank's. We're sitting there, minding our own business & the waitress calls out to inquire if the little dog outside the door belonged to anybody. Of course we took a look.....filthy little mutt staring inside, hoping someone would open the door & let him in. No such luck. No one claimed him & soon after, he wandered off. My stomach turned as I watched him dart out into the street & disappear.....luckily at that hour, no traffic on a normally busy Olive Avenue! Our food came & while we fell silent, we were both still thinking about this poor little dog wandering out in the cold. About 10 minutes later, there he was again, outside the window by our table (he had just come across the busy street again). I told Mike I could not stand it....I was so worried he would get run over. I had that happen to a dog once on that very boulevard several years earlier & it pained me to see this little guy out there. I got up & went outside & he came right up to me, licking me furiously as if I was his long-lost mother! He smelled something fierce!!! He was very thin, bones sticking out, his fur in dreadlocks & flea infested like you cannot imagine.....and shivering because it was probably 40 degrees outside! Mike soon joined me while our breakfasts grew cold inside. I told him we just had to take the little guy to the shelter where he would be safe. We put him in the bed of our truck & took turns eating (inside the restaurant) & running out to try to feed him. What dog does not jump at the chance to eat bacon or sausage? This one! He literally had no clue HOW to eat!

We finished our meal, went out to the car & Mike wrapped the little guy in a sweatshirt so I could hold him on my lap without getting fleas all over myself. Next thing you know, we are driving to the only vet we knew was open on Saturdays in Sun Valley to have him checked out. The mutt fell fast asleep in my arms as Mike drove off towards the vet office. I was shocked at how at ease this little dog was with 2 strangers....that he could just go to sleep that way.

"What's your dog's name?", the desk clerk asks at the vet office......Mike & I just looked at each other. He had no name. We just met him! Then, Mike blurts out "Frankie", in honor of the diner where he found us. Little Frankie weighed in at only around 9 pounds, he was malnourished to say the least! He was determined to be 7-8 months old, which surprised us a bit. We thought he was older. Must have been the filthy coating! :( Anyhow, he was otherwise healthy, aside from being underweight, flea infested & having a foxtail wedged down deep in one ear. We had to leave him behind for the vet to sedate him to remove the foxtail & then they would drop him off next-door at the groomer for a flea dip & bath.

We drove home & crawled back into bed. It was only about 9:30am, after all. We woke up when we got the call to fetch "our dog" from the groomer. We were worried he would not know us after we had showered & freshened up....but, another surprise, as soon as he heard our voices in the groomer's salon, he came running out, jumping up at the counter, trying to reach us! It was wild!!! I have to admit, we were both freaking out on our way there.....what were we doing adopting a PUPPY???? We will have to train him, housebreak him, he's gonna chew our stuff, etc. What have we done? But, seeing his little happy face again made it worthwile. We were doing a good thing.

We lucked out in that he WAS housebroken & no matter what little "bad" thing he did, he learned SO quickly not to repeat it. He was SO eager to please us it was unreal. And, to this day, he still remains overly eager to please us. How can you not love this little guy??

The story goes on, but you get the point. He is "the precious". He is MY precious. He is Mike's precious. We love the little guy tremendously & while on the surface it appears WE did some good deed in taking him in, the real good deed is that he found us. He adopted us. He brings us so much joy each day. Frankie is the best boy ever!

My friends all want to come back (as in reincarnation) as my dog. They think we treat our pups (past & present) so well that they'd be lucky to come live with us. Perhaps they are right? I don't know. We try to make a nice life for Frankie because he is NOT "just a dog".....he is part of the family (and the only part of the family that is truly NO trouble).

Happy Holidays everyone!
Happy Holidays, Frankie boy! (the frankster, little Frow-frow, baby boy). We love you!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Black Friday fun!

SLACKER that I have become....I am finally getting on here to post about my recent Black Friday experience at the outlets in Cabazon, CA.

We stayed up rather late on turkey night, eating, taking silly photos, drinking in the fab pomegranate martini's my sis, Marla, makes & just having a truly FUN Thanksgiving (for a change). Marla & Micah were over, and Ian came for a few hours. My Aunt Francine also joined us. My dad was visiting from Michigan with his fiance, so it was nice to finally meet her. She is just as warm & friendly as my dad said she would be!

My youngest sister, Shawna, came from Chicago to join in the festivities, so it was equally nice to have her with us (she is not a fan of flying). Shawna has amazing porcelain skin & is the hipster I always wanted to be when I was young. She has a flair for taking wonderful photos, particularly the "silly ones" with her old-school Polaroid camera.

Last, but not least, my sister Aimee, came from Michigan, complete with her hubby & their 2 gorgeous toddlers. They stayed at our home with us.....crammed into our tiny den on a futon, but they were troopers! They insist they never slept better, but I don't see how. ha ha!!!

So, back to the main event......after a late-night bowl of Chili John's for me, Mike & my brother-in-law, Craig, we headed up to bed, knowing full-well that Marla would be calling at around 5am to wake us for the Black Friday event. We could have gone earlier, but no one wanted to rise & shine before 5am & the guys did not want to rise & shine for shopping at all. The plan was to drop them off at Casino Morongo while the girls & kids went shopping.

My dad & Maria headed out to the outlets first & earliest. We met up with them there. Apparently, they thought that the desert remained hot even in winter....they showed up in short sleeves, sandals & no jacket! To say they were chilled was an understatement....and let's not forget the chilly winds that blow through the Palm Springs area. Brrrrr!!!! Marla & Shawna headed out in a separate car next. Shawna was not too happy to wake up so early just to go shopping, but she did.....largely because Marla promised her there was an Old Navy at the end of the rainbow. I tried to warn everyone that there was NO Old Navy store out there, but I guess no one heard me (must have been the turkey day booze clogging their ears). Poor Shawna was outta luck on that one, but she still scored some great goodies at some of the other shops. Last, it was me, Mike, Aimee, Craig & the 2 wee-ones, packing ourselves into a rented mini-van. We were slow moving, hung-over, and had 2 kids to get out the door.... But, we made it!! The boys were dropped at the casino with some kisses for luck & off we went to the outlets. Aimee was so excited, I think she nearly pee'd her pants. ha ha!

Parking was a nightmare! The streets & gravel areas off the side of the highway were crammed with cars. I have never seen such a sight out there! We took the first space we found & hoofed it down towards the outlet stores & thanks to cell phone technology, we managed to hook up with the rest of our group for loads of tag-team shopping & babysitting. Hailee refused the stroller, so it came in awful handy for carrying packages. Little Brian slept part of the time in his stroller.....lucky guy! The stores were packed, but for the most part, the lines moved smoothly & quickly, no matter how long they were.

Banana Republic had some of the best deals -- everything in the store was a full 50% off, even the clearance items were an additional 50% off! Made it real easy to calculate costs when you just cut the ticket prices in half! I refused to wait for a fitting room to try on a skirt, so I did so out on the a thong. Not one of my better moments & Marla managed to catch it on film (see her Facebook page for those pix). I am guessing some other dudes in the store may have as well & I could be up on You-Tube for all I know (thanks again cell phone technology!). I tried to keep my exposed back-side up against a wall of faux UGG boots, but I am sure some "crack" was exposed. Ooops! No, I did not buy the skirt. All that trouble for nothin'!! It was cute, but rather tight & there was no way I was going to try on a second one, being the first one was SO difficult to wrangle myself in & out of!

J. Crew had about 40% off most of their merchandise, which worked out well for us (translation: we have lots of shopping full shopping bags from this store). The clearance items were an extra 50% off. I love $12 sweaters!!! Marla got a CUTE mini-skirt in black, white & yellow plaid. I almost did the same, but I held off.

The Gap was PACKED.....but Aimee & I managed to fill up our bags with some fun items, including boxer shorts for our men. Mike's are green with gingerbread men on them. Craig's are colorful stripes. We thought about getting them matching undies, but laughed & opted to pass on that idea. Boys are funny about that stuff, you know. The Gap was a well-oiled machine with their super long line. I was through that line in maybe 5 minutes, much to my surprise....and with a new plaid miniskirt in hand, along with an eggplant top & Mike's new boxers. I saw other goodies, but apparently, most of the stuff I liked in that store was not on sale. Argh! Aimee bought too many things for me to list! (She has kids, too, you know!!).

There were LINES like you cannot imagine to gain access to stores like Gucci. That line was a 5 hour wait just to get inside!!! Sadly, we had to pass. Aimee wanted to cry, I'm sure, because that was the main reason we went all that way to shop -- to hit up Gucci. Ferragamo had some amazing handbag deals & while my hubby told me to get one if "I had to have one", I passed. It was sweet of him to offer, but buying handbags is "his thing" & I prefer to save that event for when we are shopping together & it's not just me in a Black Friday Frenzy! True Religion also had a long line that my dad opted to wait in, only he did not buy anything after all that waiting. I think he scored some designer jeans later at the Sacks outlet, however, for far less coin. Kenneth Cole was giving $25 off for each $100 you spent. Nice!!!

Michael Kors had some great deals, including 40% off their handbags. Impressive pricing for sure! My niece had maybe 8 of these bags strewn along her tiny arms as she paraded through the store......but since she did not have any money, they all had to go back! :)

The crowds were getting thicker & was more & more chaotic. Our strollers & arms were full of packages & our feet were getting as tired as our eyeballs. We were hungry, too. The goldfish crackers were long since what??

Me & my sisters, plus the kids, paused for a break by sitting on a curb, eating hot pretzels, churros & bottled water for a bit. By then, the sun was out & the temps were warmer, but that wind was still blowin'. We did a bit more shopping & gradually parted ways for everyone to head home. My dad & Maria opted to head into Palm Springs for the remainder of the day where they stumbled upon an art show (one of my dad's favorite things). Aimee & I made a few calls to reach our boys & picked them up from the casino around 1:30pm & then we drove on outta that town. We made a stop in Pasadena for a wonderful lunch/dinner at a Mexican place called Margarita Jones. YUMMY! Probably the smoothest margaritas I have ever tasted....and the Centenario Anejo tequila certainly did not hurt, either. Don't worry....I did not drink & drive! I only had a sip off Mikey's drink while my nephew discovered the glories of guacamole & proceeded to ingest an entire bowl of the green concoction all by himself. It was a magical day, indeed!

Hope you all had a happy "black Friday" as well.

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Black Friday

Are you ready for Black Friday?? Personally, I am counting the days since my sisters will be here visiting from the Michigan area & from Chicago....and we have plans to shop until we drop! The goal is to pile everyone into a passenger van & make a trip to Cabazon & hit the outlets, which open at midnight. Wahooo!!!! The men would likely spend their time at the Casino Morongo instead. We shall see how it all pans out.

I have not partaken in Black Friday in years. I always shop WAY early & stash everything so by the time Black Friday rolls around, I am long since done, my gifts are wrapped & there is not much left for me to do but sit home & avoid the crowds......but I have to admit that I miss that rush! It was so fun to wake up before the sun (coming from someone who is not a morning person, that speaks miles) & head out with ads & coupons in hand to hit all the big sales, get all the freebies many stores offer for the early birds, etc. I'm really hoping my man & my sisters really wanna do this because it sounds so fun!!! (And, I could really use some new boots, so at least I have a shopping goal).

Many stores open super early for Black Friday, as do many of the outlet malls, including the outlets at the Citadel. We may hit those, too, not sure. So many places to shop & so little time (and funding). I seldom read the newspaper, but always look forward to the Thanksgiving edition since that's when you find all of the sale ads & coupons. I am anxiously awaiting it all & looking forward to sharing in the frenzy with all 3 of my gorgeous sisters. I plan to take pix & document the day, so check back.

I have one sister who has been hocking stuff on E-bay in order to raise some additional shopping funds for the big day. My other two sisters have just been trying to save a few bucks in anticipation of Black Friday plans. Personally, I have been trying to just hold off buying anything now, so that I have reason to buy when the big day gets here....and saving a few bucks until then is not a bad idea, either. : )

There are too many deals to name & list. I see them online & in my inbox daily. Too many to share, I'm afraid. So, here's to the shopping frenzy that has come to be known as Black Friday! Wake up early, have a good (quick) breakfast, & don those comfy walking's gonna be a long & glorious day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CLINIQUE Bonus Time!

It's that time stuff!!! Head out to your local Nordstrom CLINIQUE counter & if you spend $25, you get a well-stocked "gift with purchase", including a Trina Turk make-up bag. Supplies are limited......Hurry!

And, of course, Happy Shopping!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Turkey Day Shopping coming soon!

As you know, I love me those premium outlets at Cabazon, just outside of Palm Springs!!! And, I got an e-mail that they will begin their "after Thanksgiving" sales events there starting at MIDNIGHT of Thanksgiving Day. Yippeeeee!!! My sisters & other family members will be visiting us here in LA for the holiday -- eager to shop as they are, we may just pull an all-nighter & go shopping. Stay tuned for the details OR, head on out to Cabazon yourself come midnight on a full belly of turkey dinner. What could be a better end to an already fun holiday??? Shopping under the stars in a spectacular outlet mall in the desert! Wahoo!!!

If you go online to the website for Chelsea Premium Outlets & select the Cabazon location, you can get all the details, see who is having the big discounts & sometimes, even print coupons for added percentage discounts.

Happy Shopping!!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I got tagged by Tina.....ask you & shall receive!

I don't have anyone to tag that is not already playing, but I hope you all enjoy this hideous photo of me & my sis, just for kicks. This is a SUPER old photo of me & one of my sisters, circa 1983, if I had to guess. I know I was a junior in high school or about to be one, as much as I hate to admit that looking back on this photo with our fab mullets & geek attire! It was ALL about Adam Ant in those days, as well as Duran Duran. This photo was taken by our dad during a trip to Detroit to visit him & the rest of the family. I later read the rules of this game. The rules of this photo blog tag are as such....

What to Do:
Go to your photo files, pick the 6th folder and the 6th picture and post it! Then tag 5 of your unsuspecting friends! So, if I play by the rules, the real photo, from folder #6, photo #6 is the one of the peacock. I took this photo at the LA Arboretum in the earlier part of this decade. The damn bird would not open his feathers, so this was as good as it got!

Thanks, Tina!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bella Wish -- handcrafted w/ LOVE

OK, time for some online FUN shopping for a change.....a very dear friend gave birth to an adorable little girl nearly 6 months ago (my, how time flies) & this new chapter of motherhood has pushed her to find other means of making a she can stay home & be with her sweet baby more & be off in some horrid office environment less. She has created a line of jewelry & is working at adding items daily to her site on Etsy. Here is the link.....I hope it works, if not, try searching on for BELLA WISH.

At any rate, BELLA WISH specializes in ALL hand-made pieces, as well as custom orders, including adorable dog tags for the pups in your life. Items are of the best quality sterling silver, some include gemstones or charms -- the choice is yours & the possibilities for creativity are endless! All of the items are hand-stamped, hand-finished & made with lots of love & care, not to mention the attention to detail. No 2 items are alike.

My pal is so very creative & it's wonderful to see her taking this leap into self-employment. I hope that I can soon follow in her footsteps, but in the meantime, I hope you will drop by her online store & do a little shopping to support her cause.....and to keep the real-life Bella Wish well-stocked in clean diapers! ha ha!!!! Check back often as she is constantly adding new photos as new items are created. Working all alone & by just her own 2 hands takes time, you know. And, speaking of worthy causes, some of her items also provide for charitable donations to be made to various organizations when you purchase them.....just be sure to read her item descriptions & you will learn all you need to know about all of the items & any linked charity causes. (She will donate to the ASPCA on the dog tag sales, for example).

Hurry, check it out!! I am sure my pal would be happy to have you visit her BELLA WISH Etsy store and I know she would LOVE to make you a custom pendant!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Underwear from Down Under

I think I may just have a new fave vendor for underwear.....GILLY HICKS Sydney! It's actually a spin-off of Abercrombie, but all undies, bras & some lounge-wear. We went to the retail store at the new Americana at Brand in Glendale last weekend....purely by accident. I was not shopping for undies -- after all, I have MORE than a girl could ever possibly use! But, they had such a cute store-front, like a quaint old beach-house porch with big, down-filled patio furniture to lounge on... how could we resist? We were intrigued & had to head inside to see what it was all about. It's probably not fair to freeload, I mean LOUNGE on their porch without at least taking a peek inside, right?

At the front door, you are greeted by cute employees decked out in some COMFY looking loungewear with the Gilly Hicks logo all over it. Inside, it's dim & dark, with dark wood floors & you have to wander from room to room.......much like a real house only without windows or much in the way of lighting. The place is constantly being "misted" by some form of aroma-therapy, but subtle. There are girls perched everywhere in their comfy "uniforms" of Gilly Hicks lounge pants & tanks -- I guess they have to keep an eye on you in that dark place to make sure you don't shoplift! ha ha!!!!

As you wander from room to room, there are cute, simple tables & wall displays of undies, undies & more undies.....sprinkled with a few tanks, camisoles, shorts, T's, lounge pants & hoodies. Everything is soft -- like a chamois cloth!!! All the displays have very focused tiny halogen spot-lights, so while the entire store is DARK like night, all you see is the lit up displays of panties & the like. The prices are not as bad as I would have expected, either, but not cheap.

The fitting rooms have dressers inside them (as in furniture dressers) filled with all the popular bras in all sizes so you can try them all on without having to run out repeatedly to get other sizes or styles. Genius idea!

It's like being in a fun-house of dark & compartmentalized, but fun because you never know what's around the next corner in the next room! The cash wrap desk is in the far back corner of the store & if you can believe it, it's even darker in that room still! They wrapped up my purchases SO cute & the bag is adorable with sturdy, thick paper & cloth handles. My husband said this was the first time he ever actually enjoyed underwear shopping & looks forward to going again. (Normally, you can't pay him enough to set foot in a place like VS, for example).

So, after we dropped a small fortune & signed away the rights to our first-born, we made our way back out of the dark, cozy store.....and by cozy, I am not implying small. It was a big place, with a LOT of rooms! Make sure you have your sunglasses ready upon exiting because that daylight sun is blinding after wandering through that dark underwear fun-house for the last 30 minutes or so........all in all, a really fun experience! And, the undies are very comfy & flattering, too!

On a side note, I found that most of the panties run smaller than normal, so keep that in mind if you are buying stuff without trying it on -- and, let's face it, how many of us try on undies before we buy?? Not many & certainly not I.

GILLY HICKS -- a whole lotta fun for your undergarment needs! I highly recommend at least touring the store, but I dare you to walk out without buying SOMETHING. :)

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Shoes on Sale!

It's that time of year for the Nordstrom shoe sale....40% off clearance merchandise. It's a great time to score some nice prices on some even nicer shoes, if you have some extra dough lying around your wallet....which currently, I do not. At any rate, I recommend this sale to anyone who has feet!!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I heart Salvatore Ferragamo more post for the day & then I am done, I promise!

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO is having their "factory store" sale for Labor day weekend (last day of the sale is 9/1/08). The factory store would be the locations at your local premium outlet mall. in my case, the closest location is in Cabazon, just outside of Palm Springs.

Handbags, my weakness, are 40-60% off retail prices. I have been known to come home with a fantastic deal during such sale events! I know these handbags don't come cheap even at outlet mall sale prices, but they are awesome! Who would not want a bag marked down from say $1100.00 to maybe $400? Many Coach bags can cost $400 or more, you know......

Shoes are 75-80% off at this outlet sale. Clothing & other items will also have significant reductions. Last Fall, I scored a pair of Ferragamo shades for only $99.00. They have seldom left my face since I bought them!

So, if you have a taste for premium goodies, particularly handbags, I highly recommend checking this event out before it's too late. There are other stores in Vegas, Florida, NY, etc. Pick me up a little something pretty if you go..........

Happy Shopping!

Love me some Loehmann's!

It's that time again at Loehmann' know the time......when all the clearance merchandise is yet another 50-70% off the clearance prices. Wahooo! I suggest you all high-tail it over to your local Loehmann's store before it's too late. I have been there the last 2 weeks thanks to a generous b-day gift card from my bother & his wife. Too bad I spent it all before this new sale began, but it's all good. I did get stuff I liked!

Happy Shopping!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Did I fall off the Earth?

I have to confess, not doing much shopping these days & I find myself wondering why I even need this blog page now? Ha ha!! My intent was to share the all the deals I find, but alas, I have not been shopping to share.....

I had a b-day recently. That always sends wonderful gift cards my way to places like Loehmann's, Macy's, Target & Victoria Secret. I went online just yesterday to spend the VS gift card so we shall see how that turns out. Loehmann's is always great & a long-time fave store of mine. I found a few cute tops, including a "Retro Sport" Raiders t-shirt for my man.....he loved it. It was soft & worn like he has owned it for a million years......right up his fashion alley! Let's just hope our fave NFL team performs better this season than in recent past seasons. I still have some Loehmann's credit to spare for another day.

I went to Macy's to spend a gift card I had for that store........shockingly, I bought myself a sweater for Fall in a color no one ever sees me in -- purple! Well, OK, maybe it's a very muted egg-plant shade, but it's still purple (and I hate purple). I was drawn to it for some reason. It's by American Rag and I very much look forward to cooler weather so I can try it out. I still can't believe I bought purple..........must be my old age!!!

All that aside, there are some upcoming deals:
Macy's / Lancome - gift w/ purchase of $29.50 (Starts this Friday) - looks like a nice GWP, too!
They also have another "One Day Sale" this Saturday, but it starts on Friday.

Sorry for the lack of cool information this time around. Trying to save money, so I am shopping less, which makes life far more boring, I know.

Happy Shopping!

Friday, July 11, 2008

EXPRESS....hardly !!!

SO, for those of you that like EXPRESS as much as I can dance a jig today because they have finally launched online shopping! Why it took them SO long to get with the times, I will never know.....but the day has finally arrived. You can find them at:

I can't afford to shop these days, but I can browse & browse I will do!

Happy Shopping!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Feeling LUCKY?

After all, today IS "Friday the 13th!"....
twice-yearly sale is on now through 6/30/08 (online & in stores). They claim you can save up to 50%....not a bad deal! My brother lives in their denim. A close friend swears they are the only brand to make a true Capri for her less than tall stature. I love many of their Mexican Dia de Los Muertos inspired skeleton art t-shirts and tanks....which are super comfy, by the way! (Be warned, the tanks run small!) Heck, I think everyone probably owns at least ONE clothing item by Lucky & loves it.

So, if you love Lucky, now is your time to buy. Hurry up before my friends & family get all the good stuff, though.......and, while you are out, grab me a nice skeleton T-shirt! ha ha!

By the way, if you are a proud dog-owner, they even sell some great dog leashes & doggie t-shirts, all for under $25 on sale now. FUN!

Happy Shopping!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Not much shopping lately....

I have not shopped much lately -- at least not for clothing or shoes! We spent a tiny fortune on a recent vacation and really need to cut back a bit for the time being....but that has not really stopped us with regard to buying for the home.

I think this weekend alone, saw 3 trips to Home Depot & 2 to Lowe's (the Lowe's trips were both in one day) -- and, we still need to go back! :) Since I hit both places in one weekend, I glanced around to compare prices.....sometimes, it seems Lowe's is cheaper & other times, it seems Home Depot wins out. This time, we browsed at small bathroom cabinets that you hang on the wall....since we yet again, have re-painted our "master" bathroom for like the 3rd time in less than 3 years! (Loved the last color, but due to other paint & decor changes upstairs, that bathroom needed to match better & now it does!). ANYHOW......both stores had nice cabinets, but overall, I guess Home Depot won on better pricing this time. One particular, very basic model was under $50 at Home Depot & over $60 at Lowe's. Otherwise, they had similar items with similar pricing & overall, they all cost too much for what they were -- laminated fiber-board with a cheap handle for the door! I would say most were close to $100 or more!!! We are seriously contemplating painting our brown one white -- but we all know how "fake wood" is not fond of paint. ha ha!!! We shall see....

So, our entire weekend consisted of trips like this, shopping for stuff many might consider boring (lamp-shades, paint, bathroom storage, window screen materials, caulk, wood trim, small rugs, etc.), but I had a blast -- I'm just exhausted now & I suspect my husband feels much the same way.

The home improvement process never ends for people like us -- we get bored & need to change stuff. We find something cool & HAVE to have it....which prompts everything around it in the house to be changed or moved! Ha ha ha!!! Sometimes, we want a larger home just so we can continue decorating....because we are running out of projects! It's kinda sad for people like us that LOVE to decorate. We have even been caught decorating for friends & relatives over the last couple of months / years because we can't do more & they ask for help -- so, we pack up some tools & head on out for FUN. Yes, it's FUN for us to move furniture, hang mirrors or shelves & mount a curtain rod on a Saturday long as my man has a beer by his side & a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos for me, we are good to go! Have tool bag -- have creative skills, WILL travel!!! :)

Happy Shopping & Happy Decorating!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Nordstrom SALE

It's that time....the half-yearly sale at NORDSTROM. They claim up to 40% off. I know the best deals during this time are often found on shoes, so hurry up!

This is probably the last retailer that has true sales -- unlike Macy's where nearly every Saturday is a "super Saturday". Sure, you can still get deals at Macy's, don't get me wrong -- I like them just fine, but something about Nordstrom making us wait.....well, it's just more fun when you get a deal there! :)

Something to keep in mind if you cannot make it to the Half-Yearly sale @ Nordstrom.....all the left-overs will end up at Nordstrom Rack & probably for even less cash!!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, May 2, 2008


If you have not shopped this site should! Shipping is generally only $2.95 for starters -- try & beat that anyplace else online!!! And, seriously -- just $2.95.....whether you buy a giant set of suitcases or a tiny pair of earrings.....just $2.95 to ship & they ship FAST, I assure you.

Overstock is nothing new -- I have been with them for a couple of years myself` & I am sure they have been around far longer than my experience with them. You can buy bedding, housewares, home decor, shoes, clothing, jewelry, art, flowers, wine, furniture, patio items, plants, electronics & thousands more items I cannot even begin to list. The web-site is VERY easy to use, which is an added perk. I almost always use them now for gifts that need to go to out-of-state friends or family because I cannot beat the shipping rate or the speedy delivery time! In most cases, anything I order arrives on the doorstep within 2 days!!! Yes, 2 days & YES, for only $2.95 !!! Not to mention, NO sales tax!!!! (Just when you thought it could not get better.)

So far, I have not had to return anything I have purchased. I have ordered linens, jewelry & luggage (a gift for mother last year). All arrived in a swift 2 days, no sales tax & less than 3 bucks for shipping. Impressive, huh?? I have used my powers of persuasion with my sister & she is hooked now, too. We found some adorable leather baby shoes by Papush for our pal "Schmoopy's" baby shower for under $24. They were so cute!!

Sometimes, if you are lucky, they offer $1 shipping or even free shipping. Just sign up on the site for their e-newsletter to receive special offers on shipping or on sales. I get on average one e-mail from them every other day & there is always some great deal to be had that at least gets me to go & look closer....even if I don't buy. : )

My only negative comment with Overstock was this past Valentine's sister & I ordered a heart-shaped topiary through them for our mother (to be shipped to her home in Las Vegas). The order sadly did not arrive on time....not sure what the delay was, but we all know V-day is a crazy time of year to order flowers or plants. It did arrive a few days late & the plant was alive & well (until our mother managed to kill it, of course). So, while it did not arrive timely, it did arrive, which is more than I can say for my recent shopping experience with (which had been GREAT to me in the past).........we will save that "venting session" for another post, however (sorry, Tina! Hope your b-day was still a happy one.)

At any rate, if you have not tried Overstock, I suggest you take a few moments to browse....I know I will (because my i-Pod Nano needs new ear-buds -- ha ha!!!). Happy Shopping!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Estee Lauder & Nordstrom

It's "gift with purchase" time at Nordstrom for those that like Estee Lauder products! Spend just $37.50 & you get your choice of a really great gift that includes eye shadow, lip stick, lip gloss & skincare products in a zipper make-up bag. You get to choose the type of set that best suits your skincare needs (anti-wrinkle, firming, etc.). You can get the deal online or in stores so act fast while supplies last!

Future Perfect is probably one of my fave moisturizers they carry & I absolutely LOVE the Idealist Skin Refinisher because your face will feel smooth like a baby's bottom! I can't live without it now that I have started using it.

Happy Shopping!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Yippeee!! Baby D. has arrived!

OK, so this has very little, if anything, to do with shopping, but I just got a wonderful phone call from Jimmy, telling me that "baby D" has been born! YAY! Baby D. is the sweet angel yet to be named, born to my friend, of something like 23 years, Stacie (aka: Schmoopy) took them a long time to reach this point & to have this little girl, so I wanted to shout from the roof-tops once I got the awesome phone call announcing her arrival. YAY! Baby weighed in at 8 pounds 6 ounces -- she & momma are doing great!

I am SOOO happy for them! I get to visit them at the hospital tomorrow.....I plan to bring Momma & daddy a basket of edible goodies....mostly CARBS at the request of Stacie, who was on a strict pregnancy diet due to gestational diabetes. *SIGH* But, all that is behind them now....a healthy & beautiful baby girl has entered this world to 2 spectacular parents & I could not be happier. I will be shopping for some dark chocolate short-bread cookies, cheese, crackers, and fresh fruit for the basket to be topped off with a tiny plush baby duck for Baby D.'s nursery.

Yipppeeee! What a happy day!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Did someone say Make-Up??

My first trip to ULTA was last night.....a friend had been telling me about it for months now & I finally went in for a test-drive. My first reaction: WOW! Where do I begin? This place is huge & there is so much to look at!! I don't have near enough time or money to do what I wanna do in this place!

At any rate, my goal was simple, I wanted to investigate a mineral make-up called PUR so I needed to focus fast! Of course, my first stop inside the store was the cosmetics section under the Ulta label itself. Ooops! Much like Sephora, another fave store, Ulta carries its own line of cosmetics, including a line of mineral make-up -- just not my color.
: (
I did manage to grab a couple of eye-shadows that looked pretty at only $6.50 a pop! Then, I make my way over to the non-drugstore brand cosmetics section (the store is set up where one side is "drugstore" cosmetics & the other side is "department" store products, with hair products & salon in the rear). I found the PUR aisle & played with the various items....of course, MY shade of pressed mineral base was sold out, but I did find a cute little starter kit in my shade for about $35. It came with a nice chisel brush, the pressed mineral base (in Golden Medium) a mineral bronzer (for lack of better terms or its real name) and a marble mineral dusting powder of sorts for highlighting, etc.

Normally, I used the pressed mineral base by Jane Iredale & I LOVE it!!! It's pricey at about $52 (sold mostly at spas) although I can often find my colors on E-bay for less. I had heard about PUR and since it was around half the price, I thought I should give it a try. Besides, I am currently rather pale (it IS still Winter, technically) and my current Jane Iredale shade is too dark now. I needed a paler shade for the moment.

So far, really like PUR. The color is a good match & the true test will be when I work-out at the gym because my Jane Iredale stays on FOREVER! I love that --- no touch-ups during the day!!! I hope PUR does the same.

All of this aside, my main point for this post is to share that ULTA is a fun store with a GIANT selection that will not disappoint any cosmetic lover! And, I learned that new shipments arrive on Tuesdays, so if they are out of your color, at least you know when to check back, like myself!

I walked out of ULTA about $50 poorer & with my hands & wrists covered in all sorts of test colors, but it was a worthwhile trip! I joined the "frequent buyer's club", for free, so I can earn points for freebies after continued shopping there. I can't wait to go back!!

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Upcoming Flea Markets

Missed the Rose Bowl Flea Market last Sunday due to some unforeseen circumstances...*sigh*. We were really bummed to have missed it, but it forced me to investigate some upcoming other similar such flea markets, so that was a good thing.

RG Canning, the event company that hosts the Rose Bowl Flea Market, also does a monthly Flea Market in Ventura. The schedule is not quite as exact, but there is an event this month on March 30th from 9am - 2pm. It's only $5 admission for those that arrive at 9am or later. If you go as a early bird, admission is $10. No pets allowed, so they say. It's located at 2706 Harbor Bl. in Ventura, off the 101 Freeway. I am sure it's beautiful out there! Here is their link:
This event is held one Sunday per month & dates seem to vary. There are no scheduled dates in July or August or December of this year.

Another big event is this Sunday, March 16th in Long Beach. It's the Long Beach Outdoor Antique & Collectibles Market & it looks & sounds huge from what I read online!! Again, only $5 admission between the hours of 6:30am - 3pm. This one is held at Veteran's Stadium near Lakewood Bl. in Long Beach. Just might have to make up for last Sunday's loss by checking this one out this Sunday! If we do, I will report back with my findings. Here is the link to their site:
The downside is rain is predicted for this Sunday........but we shall see! This swap meet is held the 3rd Sunday of each month. They boast 800+ vendors on 20 acres containing antiques & collectibles at "bargain prices"! The event is held rain or shine.

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Premium Denim -- Why pay full price?

Who doesn't like a great pair of jeans? I think we all do! If you are one that prefers "premium denim", please don't pay full price!! These jeans (you know the brands: True Religion, James Jeans, Joe's Jeans, 7 for All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, Paper Denim & Cloth, Yanuk, Buffalo by David Bitton, Rock & Republic, Salt....just to name a few) can all set you back upwards of $150 to $200 or more per pair!!! I don't know about the rest of you, but I can't see paying that when I can often find these exact same jeans for far less!

I have never once paid full price for any of these brands! In most cases, I pay $30 to $80 per pair, which I think is fantastic. After all, you cannot go into place like The Gap & find jeans there for under $60 (unless they are having a big sale). So, that being said, why not buy premium, get a great fit AND a great price??!! (And, I like The Gap, don't get me wrong, just not for my jeans).

Best places to shop for such deals on premium denim: Loehmann's, for sure!!! Also, a few times a year, Marshall's will get in a huge load of premium denim & their pricing is on average about $10 less per pair than Loehmann's. All first quality -- no defects that I have detected to date.

I have Joe's & James jeans, both from Loehmann's, that I have paid $79.99 per pair for. If you sign up for Loehmann's Insider Club, you will often receive e-mail discounts....the last one I received was for an additional 15% off my entire purchase. Not too shabby!!! (More on my love affair with Loehmann's later......) Jeans by Paper Denim & Cloth or Salt will run you about $39.99 from Loehmann's, which is even more amazing. Oh, and the jeans I have purchased here by Buffalo, I have really scored....anywhere from $11 to $25 per pair! I see these jeans at Macy's starting at $95 a pair.

I also have jeans by 7, Joe's, Salt, Paper Denim & Cloth and more that I scored at Marshall's in recent years & those started at about $24.99 a pair up to $79.99. No coupons, though. Usually, I get wind of the Marshall's premium denim influx by E-mail. Everyone should sign up for their "newsletter" via E-mail so you know when the good stuff is arriving.

Bottom line: Hit the web-sites for both Loehmann's & Marshall's & sign up for their E-mail newsletters / the Insider Club (Loehmann's) so you can get hot tips & extra discounts. Then, head on out for some great shopping. Your denim-covered butt will look like you spent some serious coin, when in reality, you scored 2-3 pairs for the price of one, had you bought them at Barney's or some cool shop on Melrose!

Hey, and when you tire of your premium denim, you can always get your money back -- you sell them on E-bay! Often times, I auction a pair off & it makes more than I what I originally paid!! E-bay shoppers enjoy a good deal & are not afraid of "used" denim, as long as the stuff is clean & in good condition.

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sunday is my Fun Day!

If you are like me & tend to believe that one man's trash is another man's treasure, then I have a few fave shopping haunts to share with you......

2nd Sunday of every month, rain or shine: The Rose Bowl Flea Market
It's at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, just like the name implies. Parking is free, but they have steadily upped the admission price. I think we're up to $8 per adult now!! It's fun, though, despite the entrance fees. No pets allowed, but we often see smuggled in dogs -- I just don't have the balls yet to try it! Concessions are costly, as is the beer, so if you are pinching pennies, you may want to pack some H2O & snacks of your own, but I love me the frozen lemonade on those hot shopping days! There are areas of new items for sale, but mostly, it's old antiques of every variety. And, if you need some great (new) "Persian" style rugs, hand-made in various places in the Middle-East, there is a "rug guy" there to can find a huge area rug for MUCH less than retail. Trust me, we have shopped these babies around.....what would have cost us far beyond $3500, we paid maybe a third!

You can find anything from cell phone accessories, to clothing, to Spanish clay tiles, to plants, to edible items, jewelry, handbags, belts, candles & soap.......then, you have your antique toys, vintage clothing, furnishings, etc. TOO much to name! Plan to be there for at least 2-3 hours & wear comfy shoes!! A recent score: Rustic teak coffee table for $140 which we have seen similar items at local shops like Jackalope Pottery for nearly $600 !!!

The general admission begins at 9am. If you get there earlier, be prepared to pay far more than $8 just to walk in the door!

3rd Sunday of every month: Swap Meet at Glendale College (GCC) in Glendale
This one has free admission, but you will pay $2 to park, which is a deal right there! It's a small group of vendors & if you are prepared to dig through the junk a little, you can really score BIG & pay next to nothing for those items you just found! I have scored a bunch of home decor items for prices so low, you would not believe me if I told you! And, yes, there is a lot of junk......but amongst the junk, we find many gems.

If you get hungry, it's the "Roach Coach" for food or drink. I recommend you eat before you arrive unless you like that sort of thing. And, yes, you can bring your pooch along for the shopping trip!

1st Sunday of every month: Swap Meet at PCC (Pasadena Community College) in Pasadena
Another one with free admission, although I have not been there lately -- it may have changed. And, you will need to supply a couple of bucks to park the car. This one is pretty large, so again, wear those comfy walking shoes! You will see mostly antiques & some "junk"......but when you find your treasures, the vendors often have GOOD pricing!

There is not much here in the way of concessions, but you won't starve to death if you go on an empty stomach. They do have some food & drink offerings for sale. Just nothing fancy.

For all of these events, I recommend bringing what I call a "Granny cart" -- it might look lame, but you won't be alone pushing one around filled to the brim with treasures, I promise! My man even modified ours to add a pair of drink holders -- it's fabulous! And, by all means, be prepared to haggle on pricing! Unlike a retail store, nothing is set in stone!!

Stay tuned for more on this subject, but there are 3 of MY local faves in this category.....Happy shopping!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Few of my Favorite Things...

The premium outlets in Cabazon, California! Need I say more?

Well, in case I do.....Cabazon is the home of Casino Morongo on Indian land. Sales tax is lower than in LA & you are just minutes from downtown Palm Springs.

These outlets are by far the best I have been to.....I always seem to score, as does my hubby. Just a few of the wonderful stores: Gap, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Ferragamo, Nike, Dior, Barney's New York, Theory, Hugo Boss, Osh-Kosh, Puma, Bose, Coach, Tod's, Michael Kors -- just to name a few! There are 3 huge shopping complexes & there is no way I could list all the stores, not to mention I have yet to hit them all myself, despite my numerous voyages to the area. GO EARLY if you go on a weekend & actually expect to find a parking space.

Normal Shopping Hours: Sun-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 9am-9pm. Check their site for holiday hours, special sales & coupons.


Wear comfy shoes.....and if you forget that tip, just buy some while you are there shopping!
Happy Shopping!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Shop Shoppin', Shoppin' at ROSS

If you find a good Ross store (because let's face it, some of them suck booty)....then you know how cool Ross can be. One of my favorite locations is the 2-story Ross in Pasadena on Lake Avenue.

All Ross stores offer a 15% discount to seniors on Tuesdays.....that means it's all the old crap from the week that did not sell & they want to get rid of it before the new goodies arrive. Lines are extra long on Tuesdays. New merchandise arrives at most LA Ross locations on Wednesdays.

Best days to shop at Ross: Thursdays & Fridays. All the new goodies are out for the taking! If you wait for the weekend, the stores will be more crowded, lines will be even longer than usual (if you can imagine that) & you may miss out on some of the good merchandise that I already went & bought on Thursday or Friday!

Many people don't like Ross because the stores tend to be sloppy, crowded & the lines are long. I understand all of that, believe me.....but if you can go on either a Thursday or Friday during the day (translation: on your extended lunch break), then you will likely score better merchandise while the store is slightly better organized. I am afraid the long lines seldom subside regardless of days or times you shop. You will have to "dig" a lot through the acres of clothing racks or shelf upon shelf of home decor, but it's often well-worth the hunt! They have some name-brand merchandise. If you have children, Ross is a must!!! They can get all the Roxy & Quicksilver they desire for a fraction of the price!

Ross is an excellent place to by stylish, affordable home decor items for general use OR if you intend to sell your home & you need to do some staging before you list with a realtor.

Ross Warning: read the tags on the clothing & bedding/towels......those items can be "irregular". It's clearly marked on the price tag, if this is the case. Try on the clothes -- in most cases, it's all good. With linens & towels, I have yet to find any irregularities with my naked eye that I cannot live with. Happy Shopping!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Barney's (NOT the "beanery")

The big Barney's Warehouse sale is back once again at the Santa Monica Airport. The sale runs from 2/7 - 2/18. You can save 50%-80% on designer fashions in for men, women & children (clothing and accessories) and items for the home.

This sale is not for the faint of heart. You have to do a LOT of digging in this huge place! And, let's face it, the items are designer & prices are not dirt cheap for the most part. Savings start small early in the sale & end up at a larger percent off as the sale draws to its close. Be prepared for crowds & "Andy Gumps" if you need to relieve yourself. There are NO fitting rooms, either! Don't be shy -- people will be dropping their drawers & changing clothes all over the warehouse right in front of you. They do have mirrors, though. I find the best way to shop is in a dress with a fitted top & fuller skirt, so I can slip pants on & off underneath without overly exposing myself!

Might be the only time some of us non-celebs can MAYBE afford a pair of Manolo's! Some of the items are pure junk if you wait until the end of the sale, but my man has scored some premium denim for about $40! Speaking of men, the suit selections are awesome & they even have employees there to measure you to help you find the correct size.

Santa Monica Airport Hanger, 3021 Airport Ave, Santa Monica. 310-276-4400.

Happy Hunting!

The time has come: Confessions of a Shop-A-Holic

A bit about me:
I like to shop.....a LOT. I don't often get to shop as much as I would like since I switched jobs to an area that is less than appealing, but work is work! I need to support my habit.

My friends all come to me when they need to know WHERE to find the best deal on something & have repeatedly tried to get me to post my "wealth of useless information" somewhere more public. So, why not today? Why not here?

I am quite busy with work, driving in LA traffic & the who knows how often I will post, but I am giving it a try. ENJOY!

Best time to shop COSTCO

Confessions of a Shop-a-Holic:
It's almost that time of year again..........the BEST time to shop @ Costco where there are NO lines, NO crowds & you can actually enjoy the experience & get out of there reasonably quickly if need be: Valentine's evening!!!!!!!

Everyone is out on "date night" for the fake "Hallmark holiday", paying for overpriced flowers, dinner & jewelry...... and you can actually get some serious shopping done there in peace! I do it nearly every year. Of course, the few lonely souls left to work there that night look at you kinda "how sad......the poor girl can't get a date." ha ha!!!!
And, for those of you that actually enjoy this particular holiday, please don't take offense to my comments. To each her own!!! : )
Happy Shopping!!! Happy V-day!! XOXO