Month: November 2013

My day shopping with a J. Crew employee

Title pretty much sums it up. My friend came up to visit so we met up in SF at the mall (I just made myself giggle- thanks a lot HIMYM). She’s currently working at a J. Crew Factory while looking for a non-retail job and today, I got to experience some of her employee perks.

Our first stop was Madewell. Because they’re sister companies, my friend’s 30% employee discount applied to almost everything in the store. When we walked in, she had to announce herself to the management of the store and they gave her a list (three pages long!) of the items that employees had special/additional discounts on (e.g. items that are 60% off list price) but I don’t think these discounted items can get an additional 30% employee discount, but no one’s complaining. There was also a list of exclusions (fairly short compared to the special discount one) where even her 30% off discount didn’t apply (e.g. leather leggings). And anything not on the special price or exclusion list was eligible for 30% off (including sale items, stackable with any sale promotions).

Needless to say, I went a little crazy. I didn’t get too crazy, but I did end up buying more stuff than my friend (lol). I ended up with a skirt that I’m not sure where I’ll wear, but it’s emerald green and fit amazingly so I couldn’t resist. I also managed to pick up a denim shirt I’ve been eying for months. Together, they make a new outfit so yay? Also, I really want this Penfield shirt (to go with my beloved kasson).

I also got a pair of Happy Socks (for boots). Altogether, I spent (aka friend bought, I paid her back) about $60 including tax (skirt- $30, shirt- $20, socks- $5). And wow, I never want to shop at Madewell without my friend ever ever again.

At J. Crew, instead of a paper list, she was handed an iPad with a case that had a handle with the list on it. I don’t even know. I didn’t look at this list because I didn’t really want to buy anymore stuff, but I found a flannel button up that I wanted and it was on the list! However, it was still a bit pricey (since J. Crew tends to be marked up more than Madewell, the discounted items weren’t as “cheap”) so I decided to wait until it hits the sale rack. Crazy stuff… almost makes me want to work at J. Crew or Madewell, but my friend’s working Black Friday and she has to do night shifts and fold clothes until the wee hours of the night when there’re new clothes, so I’ll pass for now. But it was super cool and nice of her to let me get to use her discount(s)!

On another note, holy crap there are so many things I want from Old Navy right now. Tammy got a peacoat last time we went to SF and I liked it so much that I later also bought one online (we both got it in S). I went to try some of items I’ve been wanting and my goodness, I need to get a job. The pretty things: infinity scarf (Tammy got one of these too and it’s oh so soft), honeycomb-knit sweater (I want all the colors; S for normal fit or M for an oversized fit), blanket coat (XS was the way to go with this one) and flannel shirt. I also need a new pair of flannel pajama pants (mine are 2+ years old and have holes in awkward places). I want all the things in all the colors.

-amy

Bags, bags, bags! (Longchamp Planetes and others on sale at Nordstrom)

Longchamp’s Le Pliage tote bags blew up a few years ago and I just never understood the appeal. To be fair, I was a backpack person. I needed things with lots of pockets and compartments for all my books and little knickknacks. I also didn’t understand why someone would pay $100+ for a nylon bag when you could get a decent leather one for the same price (yes, rain might ruin the leather but leather protector?). But then a few months ago, I stumbled upon this beauty:

I fell in love. Deeply and stupidly in love. Honestly, I have never even seen this bag in person since most people have the Le Pliage and it serves the same purpose for a lower price (normally $145 where the Planetes is $180), but from reviews from online sites and bloggers (like this infamous one), I knew I wanted this bag and that I’d be great for my height (5’2″). I love the fact that it’s made of sturdier material because the flimsiness/sagginess of many of my friends’ Le Pliage bags upsets me. I also dislike the handles/flap (texture and color) of the Le Pliage bags and the gold hardware can look strange on some of the colors, but that’s just my opinion. The Planetes looks so much sturdier just in pictures and the color-matching handles and flap is perfect in my eyes; the silver hardware is A+. I feel like if I threw my laptop (13″ MBP from 2009) into the Planetes, the bag wouldn’t distort and collapse under its weight. In my opinion, this bag looks more formal and can be used in more contexts. Also, I can’t help but also love how few others have this bag and won’t easily be mistaken for someone else’s bag (no idea if this actually happens, but I’m paranoid and with the sheer number of Le Pliage bags in this college town, I wouldn’t be surprised).

However, I sadly could not justify the $180 (not including tax) price tag for a simple black tote bag when I have a large bag/purse and my backpack. I searched the internet for used or new bags at lower prices to no avail and pretty much gave up and began to lose interest for a few months until today. I even contemplated buying the Le Pliage at full price but decided that since I wasn’t in love with it, I should hold off for a little longer.

I checked Nordstrom’s online today because I’m on the lookout for a nice wristlet (Tammy got this beautiful and perfectly sized one in black and I oohed and ahhed and smelled it for minutes) and happened to see that many bags that are usually not discounted, discounted. The Longchamp Le Pliage shoulder bag in small and large are also on sale for $100 and $116 respectively. My interest in these bags suddenly came back in full force. I nearly bought the Le Pliage in large navy on the spot due to the attractive new price point, but I decided to keep browsing a little more and I’m so glad I did. When I saw the Planetes large tote in black also on sale ($144, down from $180, click the above photo’s caption for the link), I swear my heart stopped. I haven’t slept much/well for the past week and thought my eyes were deceiving me but I kept checking back to that tab and sure enough, IT WAS ON SALE. At $144, it’s still pretty pricey for a nylon tote bag, but after pining for this bag for months, and seeing it on sale, I went for it. With tax, it came out to be around $150 but I’m so excited. It’ll be my Christmas present to myself. Also, if I get interviews for graduate school, I feel like this bag would be perfect for flights, especially since all of my bags but one are on the small side, and the one large bag (all leather/suede with buckles) weighs the same as a toddler even when there’s nothing in it.

In my head, I’m already calling this bag “my baby.” My gorgeous, sleek baby that’s arriving at my house before Black Friday. Ahh! I’m so excited. I’ll take pictures when it finally gets here.

The plum colored Planetes is also on sale for the same price but I feel like it would be a too large swath of plum and it’d be a more difficult fit in my wardrobe (I usually dress in dark neutrals with one pop of color… usually red or green).

Other bags I noticed that are on sale are MBMJ Classic Q Isabelle (Tammy is a MBMJ fan), MBMJ Classic Q Natasha (Mini) (apple red not on sale), Tory Burch Robinson (Mini) (the bug print is so cute) and the Coach Tanner (Mini) Satchel (give it to meeee).

As usual, Nordstrom provides free shipping and returns! And because I feel like this post sounds like an endorsement, this entire post was not sponsored by anyone. I’m just really excited for this bag!

Chicken soup for the soul, noodles optional

I made chicken soup for the first time in my life. It tastes delicious, if I say so myself. I’ve had a string of disastrous attempts over the years so you can possibly imagine how happy this soup made me today. Honestly, I have been going around telling/texting everyone I know a picture of my soup with an “I made soup!” announcement.

Super simple and perfect for college students budget-wise. Also, great for sad and/or cold days.

chicken soup

Prep time: about 15-20 minutes for this untrained culinary failure
Cook time: 30m to 1hr

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Sephora wishlist

Been browsing Sephora to look for things to stock up on/try since F&F usually happens around this time of year. It may be restricted to only VIBs and above, but I’m embarrassed to say I’m just shy of the qualifying VIB amount (mainly due to buying gifts for people and my mom, don’t look at me like that!) so I could essentially get the “rumored” 20% off discount if I buy a few things prior.

Here are some of the things I’ve been wanting to try:
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