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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ross, I Just Can't Quit You

I do a lot of my shopping at discount stores that carry brand name items - TJMaxx, Marshalls, Ross. And I rank their niceness in that order.

Most TJMaxx stores are really clean and bright with lots of high quality merchandise. You can find plenty of real leather in the shoe and handbag departments and they carry higher end brands. I have a pair of $180 Coach sunglasses that were featured in InStyle that I snagged for $60.

There are also great deals to be found at TJMaxx, particularly at the end of the season. At the end of the Summer I bought several of these cute straw totes to give as Happy Today presents for $1 each!

They're really well made, fully lined and have pockets.

I also bought my sister and myself these cute cover ups on the same trip.

For only $3 each!

So if TJMaxx is at the top of the list, Ross is at the bottom of the list.

There is a lot of junk in there. I feel like I need to wash my hands really well when I leave. They have those ridiculous baskets with the tall poles on them. They employ teenaged "security guards" to watch for shoplifters. Yeah, right. The shoe department smells like pleather, a rubber manufacturing plant, and dirty feet. Almost half of the shoes are on the floor and they strap them together so tightly so that you can't really try them on. My sister and I have been known to take out nail clippers to snip that little plastic ring holding together a promising pair of sandals. Shhh.

I bought my mother-in-law the cutest pair of pajamas at Ross for $16.99. I was excited to give them to her for Mother's Day. They were Liz Claiborne and had the tag on them for $58 (I was going to cut that off, of course). They were sold as a set and actually stayed together in the store because Ross used that annoying little plastic string to link them together. Thankfully, when I was cutting them apart to wrap them I noticed that the top and bottom were different sizes. And wouldn't you know the bottoms were bigger. Not the message I was trying to send my mother-in-law. Awesome. So I had to take them back and, of course, the other sets were gone. Grrr.

My brother-in-law, Ryan, sent me this video about Ross and I laughed so hard I cried. If you frequent Ross you will not be disappointed.

Watch video

So now that I've adequately bashed Ross, let me say that I have some fabulous finds from Ross. I bought my mom a pair of black slacks for 49 cents! I bought this cute puffer jacket for $1.49!

I did not need another jacket, but I could NOT pass up a $1.49 jacket! It's puffy without adding too much bulk.

While it's fitted, it also has the double zipper that you can unzip from the bottom so that you can walk fast in the cold without looking like a penguin because your knees are bound together.

The same trip where I bought the mismatched pajamas I also picked up a little gift for a friend. I am a sucker for terry cloth and swimsuit cover ups. I have lots of both. I thought this terry cloth dress was adorable!

It's tiered, it has cute little ruffles, and some interesting texture while still being simple.

My friend could wear this as a cover up to the pool, throw it on when she gets out of the shower and wear it while she gets ready, or even wear it to grab a snow cone or Sonic drink with the boys. She has pretty green eyes and is getting ready to go to St. Lucia with her man. This is perfect for her. It even has the $42 tag on it.

But then I started to second-guess myself.

What if she hates it? She's so nice that she'll feel like she HAS to wear it even if she doesn't like it. Maybe I shouldn't get it. Then I looked at the tag and told myself to snap out of it.

I'm sorry, Ross.

*Just when I thought you couldn't possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this ... and TOTALLY redeem yourself!

* Note to my Mom: it's a quote from Dumb & Dumber. :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

99 Cent Jewelry Junkie

I like shopping for jewelry. But I really like shopping for 99 cent jewelry at NBC. The other weekend they had two large tables filled with Rubbermaid bins that were stuffed with jewelry. And everything was 99 cents. Be still my heart.

Now, most of the jewelry was in sad shape - broken clasps, only one earring, cracked stones, you get the idea. But there were some wearable or workable pieces and I snatched those up.

I got two of these Chico's necklaces. One for Sister and one for me.

There were a lot of these in the bins. Some had broken strands so all the beads off of one strand would be missing. Or the clasp would be wonky. I found two that were in pretty good shape. They each were missing only the outermost strand which is hardly noticeable and I think another strand might be overkill anyway.

I really like the bronze color of the beads. I think they'll go well with lots of different colors. The tag said $48.

Heavy bib necklaces have been catching my eye for the past few seasons, but they seemed so trendy that I haven't bought one. I had decided that I was going to get one anyway and then I was so pleased to find two bib necklaces in great shape.

I'm keeping one and sending the other to my sister.

The beads on this next necklace are really pretty in person.

There were sooo many of these. They had a neat magnetic clasp.

The problem with the clasp is that the magnets were falling out of the clasp. I found one that had a working clasp, but one strand was missing. I ended up buying a second one, too, planning on reworking it somehow.

I got home and removed the clasp from the broken necklace and restrung all the beads onto fishing line and a clasp I had left over from my days of making bead necklaces.

Uh, this took a lot longer than I anticipated. I was hoping that the teeny, tiny gold beads were attached to the larger beads, but they were not. I'm going to give this necklace to my mom which makes the work worth it because I think she'll really like it and it will look good on her.

Since the original necklace had all three strands, this single strand is now really long. She'll be able to wear it doubled:

or tripled:

I also bought my mom this Kenneth Cole necklace. She loves green.

It was in a Ziploc bag and the center stone was detached. When I got home I just reattached it with some floral wire.

The Kenneth Cole tag said $38.

I bought this necklace for myself.

The clasp was broken so I cut it off with wire cutters and replaced it with a clasp I had left over from a Goodwill necklace I restrung.

Seven necklaces for $6.93. I'm sure glad I stopped in that day!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Kind of Ski Trip

I think Colorado is one of the best places to live. I know that cities can be appealing when they're near family, if they stir up happy memories or if you have a great job there. But if you take all that away and just look at the city's geographical location and climate, (in my opinion) Colorado cities can't be beat.

Tim and I got to live in Colorado Springs for four years and we fell in love with Colorado. We like to get back to Colorado as often as we can because it's so fantastic and because it is home to two of our favorite people.

My sister, Ashley, and her husband, Ryan.

We had to get in a ski trip this season so we planned a trip to Copper Mountain Resort.

We had a blast. Skiing, eating, hot tubbing and shopping with good friends who are also family makes for a great trip.

While Ashley and I enjoy some moderate physical activity in a beautiful setting, if shopping were a sport we could be serious competitors in the "bang for your buck" event. We took a morning and drove out to the Outlets at Silverthorne. The drive itself made for a worthwhile trip.

Ashley scored big time at Ann Taylor. They had a huge sale section and everything was an additional 50% off.

This might look kind of strange on the hanger, but it was really cute on her. And the price ...

$2.39 after the extra 50% off!

This shirt was very flattering and had interesting colors. It was also machine washable while looking like it would demand special laundry attention. A big plus.

$4.89 is a good deal!

My camera did not capture this cardigan's cuteness.

I know she'll wear this a lot and it was only $7.39. And look at the cute buttons!

Not pictured: a beautiful, deep teal scarf that could be worn year round.

I got one thing. A red coat.

For some reason all the coats were marked even farther down to $59.99. Works for me!

We both tried on this top at Banana.

Let's just say that standing side by side it was a lesson in how to wear a tunic(Ashley) and how NOT to wear a tunic (me). I am ALWAYS drawn to tunics. I'll hold one up and say "aaw, look at this" and Ashley just shakes her head and instructs me to put it back. They do not agree with me. I do buy the least offensive ones just because I can't resist. This particular one was highly offensive.

Ashley bought it. And it looked great on her.

I had my big score at Restoration Hardware at Cherry Creek right before we went to the airport.

This is how the girl wrote up the hold tag.

Is Restoration Hardware in the business of selling orchards now? (And don't get me started on the apostrophe. What could these orchards possibly be possessing? Ugh.)

No, they don't sell orchards, but they do sell exquisite faux orchids! And I am a sucker for a realistic faux orchid.

I bought two of the Trough style for my dining room.

They are still $89 a piece at RH online, but for some reason they were half off.

Plus, all sale items were an extra 10% off and then I noticed some small scratches in the containers (that I don't mind at all) so I asked for another discount and the manager gave me another 5% off. It's not much, but it almost paid for my stuffed chicken pita at Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill. Mmmmm. Love that place.

So these were $38 each! My sister is orchid-sitting until she can hand deliver them to me sometime in the (hopefully) near future. I know they're in good hands.

Ashley picked up a FREE top at Banana because they sent her a gift card for her birthday.

Banana is so thoughtful!

It was a great ski trip and we look forward to our next get together!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow and Swimsuits

I was so delighted to look out the window this morning and see the beautiful snow! I thought I heard Tim in the garage getting ready to leave so I quickly made it out there so we could share the magical moment. I threw open the door.

Me: Look at the snow!
Tim: It's like a winter wonderland!
Me: I know!
Tim: (chuckling)
Me: Are you mocking me?
Tim: Uh-huh.

Whatever. I quickly grabbed my camera and shuffled outside to take some pictures. I absolutely love how quiet it is when everything is blanketed with snow. Everything is bright and still. It takes me back to Colorado. Sigh.

Even though outside it looks like Summer is far, far away, I know that my afternoons by the pool are only about three months away. I have a few new things for fabulous and classy poolside lounging.

I bought a new cover up.

While it might look a little boring, I really like it. It has a cute keyhole opening with a little bow adorned with wooden beads.

The price was right, too. Not $40, but ...

99 cents at NBC's 99 cent sale!

I went to Goodwill the other night and found a tote for the pool that I absolutely love! You know how I need a tote bag for every occasion.

It was only $4.00! And it has a great lining that can handle sunscreen squirts and snow cone drips.

I love the faux woven look.

It's very Bottega Veneta-ish.

Yeah, yeah, I know that's quite a stretch, but I'd say my Goodwill tote is as close to Bottega Veneta one can get for $4.00. Have you ever felt Bottega Veneta leather? Put it on your To Do List. It's UNbelievable.

As I was photographing the tote in my backyard (Yes! That's the magical snow from today!) I rememberd a cute little envelope I bought at Ann Taylor Loft.

I was just drawn to these. Maybe because they're so shiny. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but I knew I could use it for pictures, receipts, To Do Lists, coupons, etc. The price made it too good to pass up.

And it was an extra 50% off so $2.44!

This will be great to hold my pool card, driver's license and snow cone money and it matches the tote perfectly.

I even have some new sandals. I got these muted gold sandals at the Gap Outlet.

I was kind of disappointed when I saw that they weren't real leather, but that is actually better for summer. I won't worry about them getting wet. How much?

So I'm set with pool accessories, but what is the main thing you need for the pool? A good swimsuit. Luckily, I've snagged a few over the last year. ALL under $5.oo and all from NBC.

This is a good family or mixed company swimsuit.

At $3.00 it's almost disposable.

I usually don't wear swimsuits quite this busy, but for $1.00 I thought I'd give this next one a try (with my own black bikini bottom, of course).

This one is my least favorite, but it was only $3.00 and it's really well made.

This is going to be one of my guest swimsuits. So if Sister forgets her suit she's taken care of. :)

This one's my favorite.

If you've seen these in department stores you know they're well over $100, but I got this one for $3.00. Score!

The snow continues to fall and I love it! Look at the bushes lining our sidewalk!

While I wait for Summer I'm certainly going to enjoy this!