Living the Life at Half Price

Living the Life at Half Price

Friday, April 29, 2011

Domesticated (Designer) Goddess

photo from yumsugar
I'll be the first to point out that today's point isn't really about the wares I typically write about.  However, I couldn't resist.  If you're still wondering, and somehow still haven't noticed the photos, today's post is about... APRONS!  Don't worry, it's also about oven mitts and pot-holders, and dish towels!  So why am I so excited about these items?  Well, it's because yumsugar is offering a $50 certificate to Jessie Steele, designer of the cutest aprons, oven mitts, and other domestic essentials.  Don't believe me?  Even Charlotte York Goldenblatt has a Jessie Steele apron!

To be honest, these aprons are so pretty that I'd actually be afraid of getting them dirty when I cook!  On the other hand, these actually make me want to cook.  And host dinner parties.  And pretend I'm Betty Draper (minus being annoying and such a bad mother).  Ever since I noticed Anthropologie pedaling adorable aprons a few years ago, I've played with the idea of getting one but haven't taken the plunge.  I think this is the incentive I needed!  And I think it's a great gift for Mother's Day or even for a bridal shower (if you know the intended recipient likes to cook).

A sampling of Jessie Steele on can get a whole set!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Banana Republic 40% Off!!!

One thing I have to say about Banana Republic is that they treat their customers right.  They often host 20-30% off sales, which I think is pretty substantial.  However, today, they've upped the ante with a one-day 40% off sale.  You have to admit that's pretty impressive.  In fact, I think with an offer like that, I may just have to pay BR a visit today, as should you!

Limited Time Only! King (or Queen) for a day. 40% off your entire purchase* In stores only. Banana Republic.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Saks F&F Update, and Online Sale Starts Today!

So I paid a visit to Saks yesterday, hoping to find some good deals made even better by their Friends & Family discount.  Well, I have to say, I was pretty disappointed.  Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of items that I would've loved to purchase, but I was hoping for discounts beyond the 20%.  There was just a TINY sale selection, and unfortunately, this non-profit attorney can't afford Saks at full price.  On the upside, I did scout out a Rebecca Minkoff Collection bag (I didn't know she had a more high-end line!) and a Catherine Malandrino dress to keep an eye open for at their upcoming sample sales.  Even more on the upside, the Friends & Family online sale starts today, and the online sale selection is significantly larger than in-store, so you should definitely check it out!  I've included the official Saks flier below for in-store purchases, but you shouldn't need it to get the discount.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Saks Friends & Family Sale Starting Soon!

So if the Lord & Taylor Friends and Family Sale didn't cut it for you, your troubles are over, because the Saks F&F sale is starting this Thursday, April 28, and will run until Sunday, May 1.  Pre-sale has already started.  The F&F discount is 20% off clothing, shoes, and accessories, and 10% off cosmetics.  Of course there will be exclusions for top designers, so I guess I'll just have to buy my Christian Louboutins at full price....  All joking aside, like all F&F sales, I definitely think the Saks sale is worth checking out.  Mother's Day is just around the corner, so there's a perfect excuse right there to visit it!  I'm thinking this may be a great time to buy that Alexis Bittar cuff I'd been mooning over, and definitely a great time to update my spring wardrobe... if spring ever decides to come to NY this year (SO sick of this crappy weather!).

<em>Ippolita Clear Quartz</em>, <em>Diamond & Rose Necklace</em> - <em>Rose</em>
If I had any real money to spend, I'd love to get this Ippolita pendant, or any one of their amazing bangles.  Liz, if you're reading this, I don't think Ippolita will be excluded (it wasn't last year, except for online).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Free Origins Cleanser!!

In honor of Earth Day tomorrow, I've been noticing a lot of random promotions at different stores.  And of course, I especially enjoy the free promotions.  Origins is offering a free full-sized (not sample!) cleanser if you come to their store tomorrow and trade in your "current skincare," whether it's full or empty.  I'm not sure what exactly "skincare means," whether it includes things like toner or moisturizer, but you can just call and ask!  The two available cleansers are "Checks and Balances" and "A Perfect World" which retail for $18.50 and $20.00 respectively.  I have to say, that deal is pretty unbeatable.  Obviously, the deal is only while supplies last, so get there early!  Also, you must fill out a form with your name, address, etc, and bring it with you to the store.  The form is available here.
Your two choices at Origins--get the form here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Deal of the Day--MAJOR Discount on Salon Services

So I have to be honest, I'm debating about actually buying today's Deal of the Day.  It just sounds too good to be true, and this is coming from a seasoned deal-getting veteran!  It's a voucher on for a style consultation, wash, cut and blowdry, spa mani/pedi, and a neck/shoulder shiatsu massage (not clear how long the massage is).  How much does all this cost?  $45!!!!  Does it expire?  No!!!  I figured the salon would be a cheap dinky place, but I don't think it is.  The deal is for Renait Salon on 36th and 5th, and it actually looks pretty nice!  On their website, a haircut with a stylist starts at $125.
Renait Salon
So what's the catch?  I can't really find one.  The only reason I'm hesitating (which I guess is a pretty good reason) is that I can't find ONE review for this salon.  Not on Yelp, not on Citysearch, not when I Google for reviews.  My guess is that it's a fairly new salon, but still!  I know they recently had similar deals on Bloomspot and Tippr, so I'd imagine that some people have gone.  I just want to know what I'd be getting myself into... is that so much to ask?  No!  So if anyone has been to Renait Salon or knows someone who has, write a review!  Or better yet, tell me how it was.  Thanks.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sephora and Lord & Taylor Sales!

This is definitely a good time to be in the market for some new makeup/cosmetics!  Until Thursday, April 21st, if you're a Sephora "Beauty Insider," you can get 15% your purchase online with the promo code "CHIC."  There is an in-store coupon available, so check your trash or spam if you didn't receive it.
One of Sephora's great box sets

Lord & Taylor has started its Friends & Family sale (on the heels of a recent coupon!).  This F&F sale is for 25% off (compared to the standard 20% that Bloomingdale's discounts).  Cosmetics are usually excluded from F&F sales, but L&T luckily eschews that practice, and while you can't get the full 25% off, you can get 10% off all cosmetics and fragrances including brands like Chanel, for which you'd be hard-pressed to ever find a discount.  You can click here for in-store pass, or use the promo code "FRIENDS" online.

And if you do opt to purchase items online, don't forget to do it through Ebates, so you can get an additional 6% cash back at Sephora and 4% back at L&T!  (If you couldn't tell, I've become a little obsessed with Ebates lately...I still can't get over the fact that you essentially get paid for shopping!  Don't worry, I'll be writing a post on it soon).

Happy (discounted) shopping!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Discounts This Weekend

Here are a few discounts I came across and wanted to share:

Banana Republic: 25% off full-priced items through Sunday, with promo code BR25OFF.  Click on and print image below (make sure you have the barcode) for in-store discount.
Brooks Brothers: (This is more for the boys, if any actually read this!).  15% off, or 20% off when using a Brooks Brothers credit card.  4% of net sales goes to the Golden Fleece Foundation.

Golden Fleece Foundation®

Lauren Merkin: 20% off website purchases today with promo code "TAXBREAK."  LM often extends promo codes, so I wouldn't be surprised if it happens again.
This list is certainly not exhaustive, but should keep you busy for a bit.  Have a nice weekend!

Discount Dining-- A Whole New World

I know I've written in the past about how easy it is to do everything with a discount nowadays, especially with group buying sites, but sometimes I still can't get over what an effect these changes have had.  I know I have probably felt these changes more than some other people due to my slightly obsessive deal-finding nature (which has only gotten worse since I started this blog), but it still surprises me.  Two years ago, I rarely, if ever, received discounts at restaurants.  The only thing I would check out beforehand was the menu and the reviews for the restaurant.  Now, if I decide I want to try a new restaurant out, I'll first do a quick search to see if I can get a discount.  Or other times, when trying to decide where I want to go for dinner, I'll go through the deals that I've accumulated and see if any of those appeal to me.  Of course, I don't always get a discount when I dine, but I would venture to guess that lately I get some sort of deal about 30% of the time.  And, I have to say, I like it!

Tonight, thanks to Blackboard Eats, I'm trying out Da Silvano, an Italian restaurant in the village that I've been meaning to try for years.  With BBE's deal, I will get a free bottle of wine as well as an appetizer.  And it only cost me $1 to get this deal.  Definitely a nice incentive to finally try a restaurant I had been wanting to visit for a while.

And then there's Sprig, a restaurant that recently opened a few doors down from my apartment, in the Lipstick Building's lobby. I had been curious about it, but it's a little pricey, and I wasn't curious enough.  I also noticed that the restaurant was never more than half full (thanks to its wall of windows!) and knew that it was inevitable that they'd participate in at least one of the restaurant deal sites.  Well, I was right!  In my inbox this morning was a Groupon for a $50 voucher for $25.  So, it looks like I'll be trying Sprig soon!  (And as extra incentive, I recently realized that Groupon is on Ebates, so I will get an additional 3% back (that's a whole 75 cents... awesome!).

I can't wait to see what other great restaurants will come on board the discount dining bandwagon!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Olive & Bette's Sale Today!

Olive & Bette's is hosting a one day "basement" sale today in its Upper East Side location (Third Ave at 72nd), with items discounted up to 75% off.  The sale runs until 7pm tonight.  Designers include Rebecca Taylor, Splendid, Nanette Lepore, Joie, and much more.  I am really wishing I had an excuse to go shopping tonight (though I'm going to my first Yankee game of the season, so I'm not complaining!).  Get something good!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Loehmann's Love!

One of my favorite places in the city to score discount designer goods is Loehmann's.  Unfortunately, because its locations in Chelsea and the Upper West Side aren't that convenient to my apartment, I don't visit it too frequently.  However, I had recently received online coupons for $25 off a purchase of $100+ or $10 off of a $50+ purchase, which expired yesterday, so I decided to trek out to Chelsea and see if I could find myself that elusive pair of flattering skinny jeans (elusive for me at least).  I was very pleasantly surprised when I arrived to find that all Paige jeans (my favorite denim brand) were only $54.99.  I've never seen Paige jeans that cheap.  They had a decent selection (a lot of flares though--I wonder if they're really going to come back in style).  I wound up buying a pair of Paige Skyline jeans, which I think I really bought for the price and not the fit.  I also bought a pair of Joe's Jeans for $80.  Loehmann's was also selling Sevens for $99, J Brand for $80, and a few other brands for which I don't remember the prices (William Rast, Hudson, James, Rich & Skinny, etc).  Nothing was priced as well as the Paige though.

These are similar to the Joe's Jeans I bought, except since I'm short, the jeans are not actually cropped on me.   My vertical challenged-ness is one of the major reasons why it's so hard to find skinny jeans that look good!  I'm debating actually paying full price and trying the Paige Petite line at Bloomingdale's, though they  never have a big selection.  It's not easy being short!  Sorry for the insanely long caption--just needed to vent!
My main mission yesterday was to buy jeans, so I pretty much focused on that.  There was a good selection of other clothing though.  I almost bought an Ella Moss dress for $39, and I bought a C&C shirt for only $15.  For some reason I couldn't find any Theory yesterday, but they usually have a pretty good selection.  I was also impressed with the Cynthia Steffe selection, and had to force myself to say no to a $129 cocktail dress (which I really don't need) that I had recently been eying at Bloomies for around $350.

All in all, I was pretty successful (though it remains to be seen if I keep the Paige jeans).  I do want to explain to you why I prefer Loehmann's over stores like Filene's, Century 21, or Nordstrom Rack.  In general, I find that Loehmann's prices are lower on some items than the other stores.  On top of that, if you sign up for their free loyalty program (the Insider's Club), they email and mail you coupons, like the ones I used.  They also often have frequent promotions for 10% off the entire store, and do the same on many holidays, making the prices even better.

So, that is why I heart Loehmann's, and am waiting for the day when they open on the East Side!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tara's List: Alexis Bittar Cuff

On this blog, I pretty much talk about things that I've bought, or are planning to buy, and the discounts I find for those items.  But sometimes, there are things that I fall in love with, and just lust after for awhile without actually buying, for various reasons.  Because I don't buy them or find discounts for them, I haven't really shared them with you, and I think it's time for that to stop.  In Tara's List, I'm going to show you the things I am coveting, for which I haven't found a deal, or can't justify buying.  I may eventually buy them, with or without a discount, or I  may deprive myself forever.  Either way, I'm going to share!

Crystal Encrusted Rhodium Orbiting CuffToday's item is a crystal-encrusted Alexis Bittar cuff.  First, I have to say I LOVE Alexis Bittar jewelry--there's something so pretty and feminine about his crystal-encrusted Lucite and metal jewelry.  I've also been searching for a silver-colored bangle forever that would fit my abnormally small wrists (I don't really care what the material is).  So when I saw this cuff, I got especially excited, thinking I could push the ends closer together, and the bracelet would actually fit me!  But I was wrong.  When I went to try it on, the salesperson told me I couldn't make it smaller (and I was afraid of ruining the bracelet so I didn't try).  I guess this bracelet is going to fall into that growing category of things I want but can't have.  While we're at it, I might as well show you some of the other Alexis Bittar bracelets I was eyeing (which clearly won't fit me either).
LOVING these!  From Nordstrom
 Crystal Encrusted Rhodium Hinge Cuff
   I want this one too!  Stupid wrists!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Friends and Family Sales Galore!

So in case you haven't noticed, Friends & Family season has started!  The Kate Spade F&F sale starts tomorrow (but it's only 2 days), and you can get 25% off your entire purchase in stores, outlets, and online.  I'm really liking some of Kate Spade's summer bags this season, so I may seize this opportunity.
The next F&F sale that I'm excited about is the Shoe Box sale, which starts today and runs through Sunday.  The sale is for 20% off spirng/summer 2011 shoes and handbags. The Shoe Box is a great store that carries a wide selection of designer shoes and handbags.  If you aren't familiar with the store, check out their site to get a better idea of the brands they carry.  The designers range from lower end lines, like Steve Madden, to higher end shoes like Giuseppe Zanotti.  Some of the handbag designers they carry are Lauren Merkin, Kooba, Botkier, and Rebecca Minkoff.  Definitely something for everyone.  There are a few stores on Long Island, one in Murray Hill, and 2 in the Upper East Side.  Check here for addresses and store info.

Ann Taylor and the Loft are also hosting a F&F sale, which runs until April 10, and is for 30% off.  I don't think I need to explain further.  (BTW, does anyone else think that it's odd that Katie Holmes is the new face for Ann Taylor, because I certainly do!).


Even Urban Decay cosmetics is getting in on the F&F action!  Through April 19, if you use the code 1SFNF at checkout, you will receive 30% off your purchase.  This would be a good excuse to try their miracle primer that I had raved about!  And don't worry-- Friends & Family season is not over.  Saks' F&F sale will be coming soon.  And of course, I'll be here to alert you when it starts!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

15% Off at Lord & Taylor

Now through April 15, you can get 15% off at Lord & Taylor, both online and in stores.  On top of the 15%, you can get an additional 10% off if you use your L&T card (if you open up an L&T card, you'll get 15% off instead of the 10%).  There are some exclusions, including Theory and BCBG, but that's pretty typical for L&T.  It's certainly not an amazing deal, but better than nothing, right?  And if you can find something that's already on sale, you may get a great deal.  See below for the in-store coupon and more info.

In-store coupon

Monday, April 4, 2011

Friends and Family Sale at Scoop!!

If you missed the Bloomingdale's Friends and Family sale, or if you just prefer boutiques to department stores, you're in luck, because Scoop NYC is hosting a friends and family sale through tomorrow, April 5!  AND, the discount is 25% off all full-priced merchandise, compared to Bloomie's paltry 20%.  I don't love the exclusion of sale merchandise from the discount, but I guess beggars can't be choosers!  Scoop has three stores in Manhattan (Soho, Meatpacking and UES), as well as one in Long Island.  The discount is also available online by using the code FRIENDS25 at checkout.  

I'm loving this $505 Alice + Olivia dress, which I'd totally buy at 25% off if it weren't for the fact that I have nothing to wear it to, and I've imposed  a shopping moratorium on myself due to recent excessive spending.  But it doesn't mean you can't buy it!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Support Japan Through Fashion Part 2!

I apologize for being MIA lately--I don't have a good reason, I've just been lazy.  But I didn't want to leave you hanging over the weekend, and I really wanted to let you know about a great sale that will take place this weekend--organized by a group called Fashion Girls for Japan.  Basically, 60 designers, including DVF, Thakoon, Alexander Wang, and 3.1 Philip Lim have donated racks of clothing to this sale.  The items will be at least 50% off, and all proceeds will go to the Japanese relief efforts.  Click here for a complete list.  So you can score fantastic deals and do something meaningful.  Admission is $5, which will of course be donated, you can buy tickets online ahead of time, or at the sale.  The sale just runs through the weekend, and is located at the Bowery Terrace at the Bowery Hotel (335 Bowery if you don't want to Google the address).  The hours are 11-7 on Sat. and 11-5 Sunday.  
Fashion Girls For Japan