Category Archives: Everyday

You’re Invited!

i have become known as something of a “saver,” “coupon queen,” “knower of all discounts” among our group of friends and families.  they bring up a product / category of product / interest and i’m all, “hey, i totally saw that on xyz website you’ve never heard of, you should totally check it out!”  in essence, i’m a personal shopper without actually doing the shopping for y’all.

so i was thinking – why not share some of my go-tos with all of you guys?  not to mention, i can just name drop this post as a one-stop shop for people that need links or whatever.  if i have labeled them as a “FLASH SITE!” that means that their sales are time-restricted, from four hours up to several days, but stock is limited so time is of the essence if you see a fav brand.  here are my go-to (almost daily, sadly) websites:


Zulily
FLASH SITE! initially known as a kids’-only supply shop, now they have added sections for “moms” (i am not one but i am pretty sure i can still order clothes and shoes if i am just a female) and “home.”  generally very accessible price ranges and a great place to get gifts for little ones as well!

ideeli
FLASH SITE! this is a total one-stop shop for everything – kids, men, women, home, vacations.  they have a vast price range, from $10 flip flops up to Chanel and Hermes.


RueLaLa
FLASH SITE! another one-stop shop place, they have all the categories covered, and again, a generally wide price range.  sometimes it seems a little pricier than, say, ideeli, but it all depends on what the flash sales of the day actually are. a great feature of RueLaLa is if you make one purchase and pay their $9.95 shipping fee, shipping is FREE for the following thirty days – keep this in mind for the christmas shopping season!

HauteLook
FLASH SITE! all categories are covered here, as are most price ranges. they have a great “deal of the day” section with one item that has been vastly reduced. i got my husband a $600 Invicta watch there for only $60, so it is definitely a great spot to keep an eye on for gifts!

Gilt
FLASH SITE! one of the originals, Gilt tends to peddle slightly to greatly higher-end stock. it is a great place to go for your splurge purchase to save a little.  that is not to say, though, that everything is pricey – they have made a better effort lately to accommodate all incomes.  they also have a Food & Wine section, as well as Jetsetter (travel) and City (for those of you in larger cities, more of a local-type Groupon deal) sections. and i totally got my wedding dress through Gilt, for a beautiful $150!

JossandMain
FLASH SITE!  largely home goods-oriented, JossandMain has a great selection of gifts, decor, furniture, bedding, and all those great things everyone needs for their home.  they offer a pretty wide set of price points.


OneKingsLane
FLASH SITE!  again, this guy is mostly home goods.  they tend to offer a little bit on the ritzier side, but i have made a purchase or two through them.  today only, they are offering 30% off your purchase!

theFoundary
FLASH SITE! this is another mostly home goods-driven site.  they have occasional offerings of jewelry, tech goods, or kids’ stuff, but their bread and butter is home decor and furniture.  i have found their prices to be the most accessible of the home goods sites i check.

Save-On-Crafts
i used this site for wedding supplies.  let’s just say i spent between $450 and $500 on this site, if that is any indication!  cheapest craft supplies, home decor, DIY supplies out there.  and believe me, i price compared until my fingers and eyes bled.

MyHabit
FLASH SITE!  MyHabit offers mostly high-end merch marked down a bit – for instance, right now you can find Chanel, Elizabeth & James, Thakoon, Christian Siriano, Derek Lam, Peter Som, and See by Chloe up for sale on here. i tend to keep this site in mind if i have been or want to save up for a real splurge item and want to still get a little bit of a markdown.


BelleandClive
FLASH SITE!  BelleandClive is pretty similar to MyHabit in its offerings.  so far i haven’t found much that is in my price range on here, but they do seem to offer a wider range of price points than MyHabit. since i first started checking this site out, though, it seems that they have given more attention to offering some stuff that we peons can afford!

Fab
FLASH SITE!  are you a hipster, or want to be? fab is probably the site for you.  they offer quirky, independent, small-stock options from up and coming artists, designers, or brands.  this is the spot for a funny gift, a worldly treasure, something handmade/hand-pressed/hand-drawn.  it is a great gift site, for its unique offerings and wide range of price points!


BaubleBar
mmmm BaubleBarrrrrr.  the chicest, most on-trend jewels and baubles offered up at real-people prices.  i haven’t made a purchase yet because there are too many things i want!!


CoachFactory
lemme know if you need an invitation by email to this guy.  Coach bags marked down drastically, as well as all of their accessories, tech gear, man stuff, shoes, jewelry, and more, for those of us that don’t live in the same zip code as a live storefront.

BathandBodyWorks
ok so i know this is kind of a standard mall go-to, but let me explain.  join their email list.  follow their sales and try to shuffle your coupons.  i NEVER buy anything full price here, unless i’m getting something free on the side.  for instance, just this week i went and got the 2 for $20 3-wick candles (one for me, one for my gift closet is my mentality), and scored a free full-size hand lotion and a travel-size matching body wash with coupons (both of which ALSO went in my gift closet).  so basically, one candle and three free gift items for what i would have paid for just the one full-price candle.  also keep an eye on them because they like to change their branding – when they do, the “old” branding gets marked down to simply ridiculous amounts (think $1 for a full-size lotion).  in my mind, one of the BEST places to score stocking stuffers and other small gifts!


BedBathandBeyond
anyone who knows this store knows their coupon policy – i.e. they NEVER expire. i have a wad of mail-delivered and email-delivered coupons in my bag from them at all times. i tend to go for their WoodWick line of candles/diffusers, as well as the Tervis tumblers and other gifty items. it’s always good to have those 20%-ers on hand though!

WorldMarket
also a great sale holder.  sadly, they left the Memphis market a couple of years ago, so if i want to go to a “real” store it’s to Nashville i go.  if you sign up for their email list and their World Market Explorer program, you can get tons of advance notice on huuuuge markdown sales, especially furniture that is relatively decent quality (i’d say a step up or two from ikea).

Romwe
i am pretty sure this is a Chinese-based company, so your deliveries can take a while from them (free shipping though!).  they have cute, trend-based stuff at pretty solid prices, and offer discounts for signing up for their email program.

Asos
another long-distancer, this site is based in England, so your deliveries are not exactly quick – but hey, you don’t pay for shipping through them, so who cares?  super cute, trend-based, at great prices.  i got an oversized yellow clutch through them and get stopped all the time for compliments. a boutique employee in Austin even thought it was Celine (haaaaa cha right!)!


ModCloth
a bit hipster-ish/retro-ish, ModCloth has trendy clothing that is really great quality.  half of my bridesmaids (those in the yellow dresses) got their dresses from here for a measly $40!


Poshlocket
they don’t have the widest offering out there, but i wear their Jana Twisted Knot Studs so often i should get paid to be a walking advertisement. they have great basics at solid quality, and each piece is something you could wear againandagainandagain (like i do).

 &


Drugstore.com & Beauty.com
ok another one you should join the email lists on and keep an eye out for their markdowns.  i swear to god, i got an email from them once that was 40% off EVERYTHING on drugstore.com.  this is stuff you already buy at the tarjay or kroger, people!  i put together a huge order of detergent, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, etc etc and spent way, way less than what i would have in the store.  scored free shipping, too!  and same on beauty.com – if you keep an eye out for their sales, this is stuff you would be needing/ordering anyway, but rather than go in to Macy’s and spend twice as much, place an order and boom, on to your doorstep it appears!  love these sites.

Ulta
Ulta is a fantastic place to join their rewards program.  you routinely get $3.50 to $10 off of your purchases, plus they run all these lovely buy 2 get 3 type sales, AND with every online order you get 3 free samples.  i have fully stocked my manicure shelf with their buy 2 get 1 free OPI & essie sales, and it can be a great place to stock up your gift closet or your guest bathroom!

SoleSociety
beautiful shoes. what more do you want? oh, and at great prices. enjoy.


ShopStyle
ShopStyle has both a store as well as a Polyvore-type feature so you can create looks for yourself from purchase-able items (that other folks can see, so show them what you’re made of!).  they run pretty good sales on higher-end merch, so check them out!


Beso
Beso is my price comparison site. enter a specific item you are looking for (i.e. “robe” or “House of Harlow Chelsea Sunglasses”) and it runs a multi-site, internet-wide search. then simply find what you are looking for at the lowest price, and you hath saved!


Woot
while not the most user-friendly setup, woot can be a great place to score most especially techy stuff.  so if you’re looking for phone/iPad accessories, a new tv, speakers, whatever, click on their “Community-Sourced Deals” link and search away. somehow the people that run and contribute to this site find INSANE deals on stuff.  a great place to look if your child absolutely must have the brand new Nintendo DS/Wii/XBox/PlayStation/Atari whatever this christmas.


RETAILMENOT.COM
i am typing in bold here, people. this site cannot be underestimated.  are you making a purchase from ANY RETAIL WEBSITE ON THE PLANET? open a new tab, pull up RetailMeNot, and run a search for coupon or promo codes for that store.  you’re welcome.  i have used this site to get free shipping, discounts, free items, and more.  ALWAYS USE THIS SITE.

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Top of the Pops

let me start this post by saying i am in no way playing favorites among friends, family, or acquaintances when i make these choices…just stating my humble opinions!  i wanted to share with you what ended up being some of our favorite wedding gifts, whether for the luxurious touches they brought to our life, the usefulness of the item, or just for the fun of it!

(oh, and these are in no particular order…)

this Wusthof Classic 4.5″ Hollow Ground Santoku knife has CHANGED MY LIFE, not to be too dramatic about it.  it makes cutting pretty much anything a total pleasure.  i feel all fancy and top-cheffy using it, love it!

our galvanized party tub.  already used two weekends in a row, i think this baby is going to get a workout this summer out on our dock.  no more going in and out of the house for fresh beers for Mr. Anderson and co.!

our Marimekko Pippurikera Sage Comforter & Sheets Set; helllloooo soft snuggly luxury.  once our bed was made with these lovelies, the dogs were officially relegated to sleeping in the office every night.  they get tucked in and actually like the routine of it, while pete and i get to reclaim our bed and sprawl in this softness.

our set of 12 Nosh Bowls is seriously one of the best things we could have gotten.  we have one to hold change by our front door; we have one to hold our espresso filter cups by our new machine; pete loves to be fancy and use them for mise en place while he prepares dinner (“i’m on top chef!”); they have so many uses it is literally limitless what you can do with them.

Hotel Collection Robe, Waffle Pique Bath Robe

Hotel Collection Waffle Pique Bath Robe in white – we got two of these babies and i will confess to living in mine pretty regularly.  i feel pretty swank laying around the house in this and my slippers.  i even slept in it the other day….allegedly.

  

via gift cards and money gifts, we picked up our Stok Quattro 4-Burner gas grill – pete will definitely tell you this one was in his top 5.  with interchangeable plates you can use it to grill, saute, bake a pizza, and steam veggies.  it is super sturdy, and has really done us right so far.

there were dozens of other gifts that have improved our lives in every imaginable way, but i would say that so far (a whole entire 53 days in) these are our most-used and frequently raved over gifts.  can’t recommend any of them enough if you have any wedding gift shopping to do!

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His Corner

this is the corner where my husband lives when he is home.

he takes the ampersand pillow and the anniversary date pillow (both wedding gifts, Crate & Barrel and ihavenoideawhere respectively) and stacks them on the large gray pillow, so he can fully lounge back and have ample neck support.  he is always hot, so he patently ignores the Lacoste citron blanket (another gift!  this time Macy’s.)

you don’t even wanna see my corner – i have the chaise lounge end and it has served as desk, craft table, bed, snack spot, and many other incarnations since this couch came into our lives a few months ago.

i have to say, i am a total, 100%, unapologetic sectional convert.

if you’re interested in seeing the couch in full, click here.

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Reading with Readers

i consider myself pretty technologically “with it.”  i’m hip with what’s down these days, and all that.  i write and read blogs, i do all my banking online, i have a touchscreen cell phone, i only watch downloaded shows and movies, and i have and know how to work an ipod.  but let’s skip back to that first point – i read blogs.  how do i read them, you ask?  well, i link to my favorite ones over there —–>
and just click through, every day.  sometimes more than once.  i had heard tell of readers, but thought meh, i could just click and wait for things to load to see if anyone’s changed anything.  well, i was talking with leslie today, and i finally became convinced to give the reader thing a try.  so now i’m subscribed to all of you beautiful people over there (and then some, because i’m a stalker and find friends of friends and links of links) through google reader.  and as leslie pointed out, now i can increase my volume of blogs read exponentially without having a 40 page long front page to my own blog with all my loved links.  of course, i’ll probably still add some links and take some down on the right there, but we’ll see.

any google reader using tips?  i’m brand new to it as of about twenty minutes ago, and need all the advice i can get to use all its doodads!  and p.s., subscribe to me, too!

Stewardship

just a quick post today…i am SO ANNOYED at how often i see blatant, and i mean blatant, grammatical errors in advertising.  spelling, too.  for one, here’s an image on a window of starbucks, a business that happens to be, oh, i don’t know, on EVERY STREET CORNER IN AMERICA and is therefore a business that is spreading bad grammar far and wide:

it should be “I wish every day WERE a holiday.”  wishes and hopes always use “were.”  gahhhhhhhhhhhh.

and then there’s this atrocity, on the cover of the local germantown news (although, to be fair, it seems to me that all news in memphis is related at about a 4th grade reading level):

you have got to be kidding me.  right?  please say yes.  this was on the front cover.  if i were the person placing that ad (and didn’t make the egregious error myself) i would be humiliated and enraged.  and i would send them a document of 900 point font saying “FORECLOSURE” to make sure they’d get it right next time.  i am so sad.  i feel like advertisers and the like have at least some semblance of a duty to double check their spelling and grammar before it goes out, since (unfortunately but not shockingly) a large portion of middle america’s school kids are reading ads way more often than they’re reading their textbooks.  c’mon, people, you have like a jillion dollars (i’m looking at you, starbucks), give me like $500 and i’ll take a quick glance at all your copy for correctiveness.

What I Actually Did This Weekend

out of my list from friday i did all of three of the things listed: cleaned and worked both days, and went to see our friends play at newby’s.  the weekend played out in a strange way, i think mostly due to my weird sleeping and non-sleeping schedule…friday after work i was (for no real reason) so unspeakably tired i just went home and fell asleep on the couch.  i was woken up around 8 by the rev, asking me if i wanted to go with him and our friends to see the meat puppets play at the hi tone.  i waffled but finally dragged myself out of the couch and my serasoft blankies and joined him at the show.

super dark, i know, but that’s the bassist of the meat puppets.  you may be familiar with the band due to their appearance on the infamous mtv unplugged with nirvana.  they’re kind of a big deal.  anyway, it turned out to be an AMAZING show, for several reasons.  for one, the music was excellent and we were right up next to it.  but probably a better thing was the fact that i was repeatedly harassed by a leather-clad hippie with no noticeable odor protection other than patchouli.   he spent the entire night right at my shoulder trying to press forward and get in front of me, which i finally decided was certainly not happening.  ultimately the music got hectic enough that he decided to start moshing, and i was able to share my feelings on his constant presence in my life that night by throwing him to the ground.  i have never been a mosher and usually would have shied away from the whole thing, but i had pretty much had it.  he laughed through the whole thing and was wasted/stoned enough to love it, so i didn’t really do any harm to him and was able to vent my annoyance appropriately.  it sounds kind of ridiculous reading it back, i guess you had to be there…suffice it to say it was incredibly fun and a great show, despite the hippie and beer being spilled down my shirt.

because that was such a late night, i slept til after noon on saturday.  the rev and i then had a horrible afternoon trying to find food, with him miserable due to ear infections, and then i worked for the evening.  again we went out to a show, this time for our friend zach’s band the winslow family band’s show at newby’s on highland:

look, there’s zach (on drums)!  they were awesome, and we hung out there again for another late night.  and again on sunday i slept in, waking up in time to shower the bar smoke out of my hair and go to work.  last night was much more tame, involving dinner at pete’s parents’ house and some grocery shopping.  the whole weekend felt off-kilter, i think because most of it happened in the dark and i was asleep for the other half.  not my typical modus operandi, but it was fun.

Daydreaming

things i will do this weekend:

– work, both days

– go see the winslow family band here in memphis

– clean the house

– house painting stuff

– take the dog to shelby farms despite the colder weather…i need some vitamin D and trail time with my little (and big, for that matter) man

– bake something

– christmas shop

things i wish i were doing this weekend:

– manicure/pedicure at the nail bar again…there is one sound that equates to this luxury and it is “ahhhhhhh”

– sleeping a whole, whole lot

– finding time to go see an exhibit at the brooks

– making dinners for the week

– getting a massage

Clean Spaces, Clean Mind

i’ve always had a thing with keeping my spaces picked up.  not necessarily scrubbed down and sanitized, but at least uncluttered.  in college i made my bed every morning right when i got out of it.  for one, i couldn’t get back in as easily if it was all perfect.  (i’m good at out-foxing myself like that!) and two, in a room as big as a closet, the more smooth, blank horizontal surfaces i had, the better.  a clean room meant a clean mind for me.  i am so much calmer if i feel like i have things together around me, and dirty rooms are something you can always tackle and beat into submission.

it’s gotten worse as my personal spaces have mushroomed in size.  i won’t say our house is always picked up, it’s not.  it goes in waves.  usually the waves go: clean, katie works doubles for a few days, dirty, katie gets a night or day off, clean, repeat.  but i always feel like i’m a bit more in charge, a bit more pulled together, if the house is picked up.  and there is nothing like waking up to an entirely clean house, just as there is nothing like waking up to dirty dishes, dog toys everywhere, and a living room pillow explosion.  it can either make or break a day for me, it’s that serious.

how my living room should look...

pete helps out when he can, but he’s busy too.  and i’ve found that guys just don’t get as emotionally invested in whether or not the dishes have been put up and the laundry’s been folded.  so i succumb to my neuroses and straighten, wipe down, dust, fold, etc., usually when he’s not home (i get distracted by the lure of couch time and hours of dexter when he’s around).

does anyone else have this association between spaces and mental stability?  i know where i got it: my mother.  she’s more insane than i am (you are pretty much not allowed to even cook on her flattop stove lest you drip something on it).  i hope this tendency of mine doesn’t ripen with age, or i am going to have to work from home in order to keep it as clean as i’d like.

Baking Fail

last night, rather than make the muffins posted about yesterday, we had people over for a cookout instead.  no baking occurred, just cleaning and throwing sticks for gibb and lounging around with friends.  maybe tonight?  nope, working.  maybe tomorrow night?  nope, volunteering at a halloween party for inner-city kids.  maybe saturday?  saturday has some openings.  saturday might be good.

in other news (but still slightly on my new tangent of hi i have no time for anything), the following is a depiction of the sorry, sorry state of my nails:

1029091339blurry cell phone picture, but i’m sure you can see, nonetheless, the missing dark polish.  ick, ick, ick.  also, my sister thinks that that middle finger is horrifying, because i have a permanent indentation and bump next to it from pressing so hard with pencils and pens as i grew up.  this is one way you will tell if i have ever been replaced by a clone.  anyway, hopefully tonight after working til 8:30 i can carve out some time to repaint my nails.  unfortunately at my second job my hands are often front and center as i display items for purchase…embarrassing.

Currently

…eating Special K italian tomato & herb baked crackers with roasted red pepper hummus.
—creating a mental to-take list for my flight(s) this weekend.
…realizing i forgot to get three tubes of chapstick from walmart just now (went on my lunch break) – one for my bedside, one for my keyboard at work, and one for my purse.  i have a problem, you say?
—wanting to make cincinnati  chili for dinner on this dreary memphis day.
…trying to remember the recipe for pound cake that i actually will be making tonight (not for dinner).
—wishing that H&M had an online store so i could plot my upcoming purchases.
…dying to repaint my nails.  i hate when they get all chipped and outgrown-polishy.
—wondering if i can get by traveling with everything for my trip in one large canvas tote that has no zipper.  maybe i’ll sew in some buttons…
…mentally amping up for a walk in the rain with gibb after work – he has a yellow rain slicker, i have zero waterproof coats.  dog parenting success, life skills fail.