For A-List Living on D-List Dimes......

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shoes Glorious Shoes.....



Forget mood rings, the easiest way to tell how a woman is feeling is to look down.....waaaay down.  If she's donning a pair of killer heels chances are she's in a sexy kind of mood, flip flops and she's carefree all the way, slippers - take cover cos she's not in a good one!

One of my most favorite shoe websites is ShopTheShoeBox.  From Badgley Mischka to BCBG, Steve Madden to Stuart Weitzman this website is a haven for shoe lovers!  And what's even better is In Style magazine has teamed up with them to offer their readers a special discount.  Lucky for you guys I'm an avid In Style-ee and am only delighted to share the promo code with y'all.  Simply type in INSTYLE20 and you will receive a 20% discount off ALL of the shoes on their website (except existing sale items!).  Yes, my friends - get shopping!  This offer is only valid until October 31 so get your shop on!!  Maybe your shoe closet will start to resemble Mariah's below (c'mon, a girl can dream, right?!).

Also my little Recessionista friends, In Style are doing a promotion right now where it's only $19.50 to subscribe to their magazine for an entire year - do it!!

Don't forget to let me know what you buy........

WEBSITES              http://www.shoptheshoebox.com/
                                 http://www.instyle.com/

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tom Ford Sunglass Sale on Monday 10/11

Nothing says I'm an A-Lister more than oversized shades and now Tom Ford is having an exclusive sunglasses sale for one day only - which means even D-Listers like us might be able to afford them!!  Become a member of SeenOn (one of my favorite websites) and snag a pair. 
Send me in a pic of you in your oversized shades and I'll post it on the LoveBidBuy Facebook page.

Happy Shopping!
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Friday, October 8, 2010

I'll See If I Can Pencil You In.......


What are you doing this weekend??  Here's where LoveBidBuy will be........

WHO??     Free Night of Theater California
WHEN??   Friday, October 8, 2010
WHAT??   Theater Bay Area are promoting the theater community in the Bay Area with a collection of free performances from 10am-4pm.  More importantly - they are giving away over 5,000 free tickets to an array of theatrical productions in the Bay Area.  So cool!
WHERE??  Union Square
WHAT'LL IT COST??  Nada!
WEBSITE??  http://www.tixbayarea.com/

WHO??     John Lennon's 70th Birthday
WHEN??  Saturday, October 9, 2010
WHAT??  Shotwell Studios is hosting a party on what would've been Lennon's 70th birthday, complete with a "Be My Yoko" art installation, a Lennon-Yoko Ono-Beatles look-alike contest and an open mike for fans to pay tribute to Lennon through poems, songs or stories
WHERE??  Shotwell Studios, 3252 19th Street, SF at 8pm
WHAT'LL IT COST??  Ten bucks!
WEBSITE??  http://www.ftloose.org/

WHO??  Fleet Week!
WHEN??  Sunday, October 10 from 1pm onwards
WHAT??  The Full Blue Angels Air Show - cool spectacles in the sky, hot boys on the ground!!
WHERE??  San Francisco's Waterfront (or your friends roofdeck)
WHAT'LL IT COST??  Nothing!
WEBSITE??  http://www.fleetweek.us/





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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass - The ONLY Place To Be This Weekend.....


There is truly NOTHING better to do in the city this weekend than go visit the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park.
What is it??  Celebrating its' TENTH anniversary this year, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival has been Mr Warren Hellman's most generous gift to the city of San Francisco and attracts music lovers from all over the globe.  Whoever thought it was even possible to view up to ninety different music acts at six stages over three days??!  Well this weekend only folks - it is!
Some of my favorites are the wonderful Steve Earle, Emmy Lou Harris, Exene and Patti Smith.  Check out the line-up here!
C'mon folks - it's a FREE show.  And of course, let me know what you think of it!

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Free For All.....

Ask any of my exes and there is one thing they will all surely agree upon – I have a very suspicious mind. I’m one who bases my opinions on people not on what they tell me but on what they hold back. I’m a great girl for reading between the lines and I’ll never accept anything just on face value. I’m also a fervent believer in the fact that there’s no such thing as a free lunch – let’s face it, a man never buys you a drink in a bar just to be ‘nice’. Even if my bank balance is hurtling towards overdraft status I will always pay my own way. I just don’t like being beholden to others. So when I started hearing all the rumblings about these great ‘free’ movie nights in parks all over San Francisco my spidey senses were piqued – there had to be a catch. I wasn’t going to be conned into this one so easily. Despite the valiant efforts of many of my friends to lure me to Dolores Park with promises of bottles of wine and their boyfriend’s cute friends I resisted for many months. It just didn’t really make sense to me. I guess I’m a sucker for the unattainable. If you put a price tag on it that I can’t afford I will base my entire existence on how I can procure it. Make it free and therefore within reach of the masses and I’m just not so sure that I’m interested. Nonetheless, with pay day being a pipe dream right now and no plans on a Saturday night I somehow found myself making my way to movie night at Washington Square in North Beach. And yes – it managed to seduce me.

I suppose another reason why I was a fervent disbeliever is that of course I’d already seen the films that are shown at these movie nights so I couldn’t quite get on board with the hype. However, I realize after my experience on Saturday night that it is all about the ambience….the mood…..the feeling…..and the movie is in essence just the thing that facilitates all this. I was quite clearly a novice to the scene. I minced down there in my new tank dress (I’m OBSESSED with eBay at the moment btw!) only to find it a solid minus 20 degrees cooler than my previous destination and getting colder by the second. Were it not for the fact that my friends car was loaded with clothes she was giving to Goodwill I probably would have only lasted about forty minutes. Another reason why I love her. The thing about movie night is it’s all about the spread. We were clearly a lot less organized than our fellow movie goers who had come equipped with tables, glassware and crock pots of food but we managed to pull together a sizeable feast within minutes - multiple blankets, layers of clothes, a couple of bottles of wine from Trader Joes (thank you once again to the lady in the yellow hat who seemed to be the only ingénue who thought to bring a wine key and therefore somehow became responsible for opening all the vino for the entire park), some delicious chocolate covered caramelized pecan delights and a phenomenal pizza from Tony’s. Seriously – I could have sat in the park all night just eating and drinking and laughing with friends. The movie, Amelie, was so cute and with the Cathedral of St Peter and Paul (the church where Marilyn Monroe married Joe DiMaggio) as our backdrop I just couldn’t help thinking to myself – life’s not too shabby right now.

As I steamed myself in a piping hot bath after the fact (note to self – bring lots of layers!) I just couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I had such an incredibly lovely evening. And what’s more – I spent literally no money. Love it! The girls got the vino and I splurged an entire twenty bucks on the pizza. Had I spent my night in a bar I’d have bid adieu to at least four times this much money. Had I spent my night at home I’d have felt sorry for myself. And probably given that much money to the Chinese delivery guy. I also started thinking about what an incredible city San Francisco is and how much it facilitates the recessionista lifestyle. There are so many free activities available to us in this city. Just last week I was meandering through Golden Gate Park when I stumbled upon a free concert by the Golden Gate Park Brass band. It was so cool. It was something that I would have neither paid nor planned to go to see but randomly finding it was so special. Of course, probably the most phenomenal free event in the city is coming up in the next couple of weeks – the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival (October 1-3). Yes, yes, for those of you that know me you will realize there is an element of shameless self-promotion going on here (I am lucky enough to work for the company that produces this festival and will be out in Golden Gate Park from September 27th onwards working on set-up) but regardless, this is an undeniably amazing gift that Mr. Warren Hellman gives to the city. The festival takes place over three days and with six stages features over 90 incredible acts including Patti Smith, Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez, Mike Patton and Steve Earle (these are some of my favorites). Seriously, even though I work on this event when I take a step back I sometimes can’t believe that this level of talent is available to us for zero dollars. So pack a picnic and get yourselves out to the park for a frugalista-friendly few days of fantastic music.

Being serious doesn’t really suit me but let’s face it – the last few years have not necessarily been kind to most of us financially. We need to forget about keeping up with the Joneses. Look outside the box. Check out the free street fairs and festivals that your city has to offer and you can still live that fun, diverse city lifestyle and stay out of the red. I’d love for you guys to share with me what other fun, free events you know about. Leave a comment here or on the LoveBidBuy Facebook page. We gotta help each other out, sistas!

So I guess I need to start eating my words cos after my experience last night I reckon there probably is such thing as a free lunch in this city……..



WHERE TO GO??   Film Night In The Park

                                 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

When I wasn't looking at the screen this was my view!

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Monday, August 16, 2010

On Your Marks, Jet Set, Go....!!!



So if you’re a San Francisco sista like myself it’s probably fair to say that like me this weather is fairly pushing you over the edge! Now I myself grew up in the Emerald Isle and so one might think that I have a natural appreciation and empathy towards a cool climate but you would be sorely mistaken. I signed on to live in Cali-For-Ni-A and I for one expect some sunshine during the summer months! Is that truly too much to ask? So given the adverse affect this fog is having on my normal carefree persona you can only imagine my delight when one of my favorite girls suggested a weekend away in La La Land. IN!!! She had barely finished her sentence before I was mentally packing my bags, picking out my outfits and giving myself a virtual manicure. Yes, I am one who tends to get a little carried away with things before being brought back to the real world with a bang. It’s like when I go on a first date – I have the poor unfortunate sitting across the table from me married and divorced in my head before we’ve even had our first kiss! Needless to say, the image of me working my money-maker with a Mojito in hand at the Mondrian pool was quickly shattered into a million little pieces when that pesky credit card bill crept into my mind and the recollection of a few outstanding bills that have not been yet paid (at the same time, who needs really PG&E?? – candlelight is way more flattering anyway).

How the hell can one live like a jet-setting A-Lister on our D-List dimes?? Dismayed, I started offering excuses as to why I maybe wouldn’t be in a position to make it. I mumbled on about work….a possible date….the curtain rail I needed to hang before remembering an important fact - I am a resourceful little minx. Has this fog not only dulled up my mornings but now clouded my mind and better judgment? I am the type of girl that if I decide I want something in life I set my mind to achieving it and I am rarely deterred from accomplishing my ultimate goal. I couldn’t let a couple of air miles that I don’t have get in the way of what I knew would be a much needed good time. I had to make this work. Just as I’ve advised before regarding sartorial purchases – research is of paramount importance to us chickas living the champagne lifestyle on beer money. One of my favorite websites when it comes to travel is Kayak – it is truly awesome. You type in your destination and the dates you want to travel and it cross-references almost all of the different airline companies to give you the best available deals on your chosen dates. It literally does the work for you – almost. You should know that Kayak doesn’t actually include Southwest flights as an option in their search so you might want to check their website out separately (it’s always worth a look). Other favorites of mine include Priceline and Orbitz. If money was never an option I would ONLY fly with Virgin America. Seriously – their planes are so awesome, their lounge at SFO is so great (indeed, once I was having such a good time in the VA lounge myself and my partners in crime – you know who you are - contemplated just staying there and not getting on our flight back to Ireland for Xmas – don’t think the folks would have been too impressed) and what’s more you can flirt with fellow flyers through their in-flight instant messaging system. Who wouldn’t enjoy having a mile-high first date? Not literally people…..dirty minds…..shame on you…..!

Despite what Kim Kardashian’s hair extensions doth protest………sometimes less IS more. And this applies to your weekends away too. Yes, it would be truly fantastic to have two nights out on the tear but remember – double the fun also means double the dollars. What’s more, if you only fly to your destination first thing on a Saturday morning as opposed to after work on Friday not only will you save on an extravagant night out on the tiles but you’re also probably going to get a better deal on flights. Even better. And when it comes to hotels the same is also true. I have to say, I’ve learnt not to be a big spender when it comes to hotels (I say this as though I really have any other options – humor me, people). Yes, the Mondrian in LA is really cool but you can still hang at the Skye bar at night while actually staying down the street in accommodation that’s half the price. I always feel that spending money on hotels is completely wasteful – a hotel is where you should be resting your pretty little head and recharging with some beauty sleep before the following days antics. A nice hotel encourages you to stay there and is so inviting that you fail to venture beyond its compound walls and experience the real city or country vibes that are available to you. Better again, if you have a kindly friend who will take pity on your sorry ass and offer you their couch for the weekend – take it! There’s nothing better than experiencing a new city with a local. You get to cut out all the tourist trash and get to the real life and soul of the place. Love it.

Needless to say, being the industrious little maneuverer that I am, I have fanangled a way to make my weekend away work – and I’m SO excited. There are few feelings in the world that parallel to that overwhelming sense of satisfaction that you feel after settling in your sun lounger, taking that first sip of sangria and exhaling. Aaaah – you have arrived! Watch out LA……;)



PS: Virgin American has a fabuless sale going on at the moment! Check it out here!  You'll now have more money to spend on luggage like Mariah!!





WHERE TO GO?? http://www.kayak.com/
                               http://www.priceline.com/
                               http://www.airgorilla.com/
                               http://www.orbitz.com/


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Friday, August 13, 2010

What Are You Doing This Weekend....???!


WHO??  Free Oysters On The Half Shell at El Rio
WHEN??  Every Friday night at 5.30pm
WHAT??  In a bid to attract the after-work crowd, El Rio offers free deelish oysters to all fellow drinkers who frequent their establishment at 5.30pm.  Hurry though - they go fast!
WHERE??  El Rio, 3158 Mission Street (at Cesar Chavez)
WHAT'LL IT COST??  For your oysters - nothin!  Wash it down with a $3 pint or Wells drink.
WEBSITE??  For more info, click here!!

WHO??  Fabulous Fashionista Sample Sale
WHEN??   Saturday, August 14 (10am-4pm - I would advise to get there early!)
WHAT??  A shopping extravaganza!!!  Up to 70% off fabuless dresses, tops, cashmere and bags from designers including BCBG, Ella Moss and James Perse.  Love it!
WHERE??  Fort Mason Center, Building D (click here for a map)
WHAT'LL IT COST??  Entrance is free!  70% off these designer labels - priceless!
WEBSITE??  For more info, click here!!

WHO??  Candlestick Antiques & Collectibles Faire
WHEN??  Sunday, August 15 6am-3pm
WHAT??  The Alameda Flea Market comes to San Francisco - yahoo!!  But on a smaller level, last month there were 150 vendors compared to the sometimes overwhelming 800 in Alameda!
WHERE??  Candlestick Park.  For directions, click here
WHAT'LL IT COST??  From $5-$15 depending on what time you go at.
WEBSITE??  Candlestick Antiques & Collectibles Faire

Have fun my Recessionistas!!  Don't forget to tell me if you know of any other fabuless events happening this weekend!
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Break-up or Bankrupt??


Can you ever forget the first time you truly had your heart broken? I will never forget that fateful day back in ’98 when a three minute phone conversation literally DEVESTATED my world. I was sixteen at the time and the focus of my affection and attention was a much older man (he had a solid three years on me). When he called me on that Sunday morning to tell me that he didn’t like me anymore (a sensitive soul he was not) I genuinely thought my world had ended. While I threw myself in a heap on the floor sobbing my father did what every man’s gut instinct is to stop a girl from crying – he threw money at the situation. ‘Are you ok, pet’, he said to me, ‘would you like to go shopping?’ Five hours later and with a “stylish” faux fur trimmed winter coat resting in my bag it seemed that life was once again worth living. Now one can obviously ascertain that my heart’s ability to mend itself in such a short space of time was clearly indicative of my age but have I ever really changed?

Let’s think about it, how did I get over my last break up?? Well, I got my hair cut and colored, hit up Ambience for a new cocktail dress and my two wonderful girlfriends came with me for an obnoxiously expensive dinner and cocktail extravaganza at Le Colonial. No joke. Last year, when I stopped dating whats-his-name all of a sudden my AMEX did the talking and a few days later parcels from Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s and BCBG magically started to appear on my office desk. How strange! And it would seem that I am not alone. No sooner have us girls uttered the words ‘so long, sucker’ we are busy getting to the task of washing that man right out of our hair. Literally. Back in 2006, after all-American sweetheart Reese Witherspoon bid adieu to her beau Ryan Philippe she was soon seen sporting a much sexier and edgier hairdo. Similarly, not long after Anne Hathaway left Raffaello Follieri she reemerged on to the Hollywood scene with a modern bob and a sophisticated new wardrobe to match. Indeed, break ups seem to be synonymous with major style makeovers which have everybody else saying ‘ooh la la’ but on our D-List dimes ends up being more ‘oh Christ, why did I not pay for that overdraft protection plan?!’. Nonetheless, clothes might be a safer option than cuts - before you go doing anything dramatic with your hair please spare a thought for poor old Felicity actress, Keri Russell, who dramatically cut her luscious locks after a traumatic break-up in 1999 (see below). Truly tragic.

But you know, it’s not just the break-upèe (made up word, yes, you now have permission to use this) who starts dolling out the dollar bills like it’s going out of fashion. When a good friend of mine broke up with her ex only a few months ago and she admitted to me how he always hated her wearing short skirts, well of course the only rational thing for her to do was to go out and buy twenty mini-dresses. Makes sense for her – she was trying to mend a broken heart. What did not necessarily make sense was the sympathy shopping that I myself partook in. Just how was it that my purchase of a pair of Badley Mischka pumps (duh, Nordstrom Rack ladies – I’d never pay full price obviously) somehow an act of sisterly loyalty? Why did my retail therapy in any way help her? I’ll never know the answer to this (anyway, from what I’m told us women are meant to be loved not understood) but ultimately I guess it did….and as she admitted to me that day, ‘I know I’ve spent a lot of money – but in the long run it’s probably cheaper than a psychiatrist’! Too true but, it doesn’t just end with sympathy ‘shopping’. There are also the sympathy drinks and the sympathy trips to the movie theater and the sympathy manicures and the sympathy pedicures…. Breaking-up has become a multi-million dollar business and all at our expense! Hasn’t the movie industry taught us that all we need is a big bucket of ice cream to get over him? And while we women start weeping into our wallets most men just need a beer and a shot to get back into the groove. How rude!

I’m a fervent believer that it is better to love and have lost than to never love at all but seriously girls, when it comes to your next break-up try not to end up bankrupt. It may seem like a good idea at the time but the high of indulging in that $200 pixie-cut hairdo and pair of Louboutain pumps will not last. Stick to cups of tea and chats with your girls.

This too shall pass……



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Thursday, August 5, 2010

What To Do This Weekend.....


WHO??   Off The Grid
WHEN??   Friday, August 6, 5-9pm
WHAT??   This is a roaming mobile food extravaganza which travels to different locations daily. Not only does it serve up delicious food but there's also music, craft and soul.
WHERE??   Fort Mason Center - click here for directions.
WHAT'LL IT COST??   Nothing - it's free!
WEBSITE??   Off The Grid


WHO??   San Francisco Aloha Festival
WHEN??   Saturday, August 7 (&August 8), 10am-5pm
WHAT??   A two day festival of arts & crafts, island cuisine, educational exhibits and Polynesian dance. Psst! It's alcohol-free so maybe hit it up after some bottomless mimosas at Dell'Uva!
WHERE??   SF Presidio Main Post/Parade Grounds. Click here for directions!
WHAT'LL IT COST??   Zero Dollars!!
WEBSITE??   San Francisco Aloha Festival

WHO??   San Francisco Theater Festival
WHEN??   Sunday, August 8,
WHAT??   This event is aimed at giving those with low incomes the opportunity to enjoy the theatrical talent of the Bay Area. The festival features a variety of theatrical performances from shows including 'Beach Blanket Babylon', 'The Big Lebowski' and 'Ray Of Light' Theater. Sounds amazing!
WHERE??   Yerba Buena Gardens arts complex as well as in the Metreon, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SPUR and the California Historical Society
WHAT'LL IT COST??   Just like all best things in life.....it's free!
WEBSITE??   San Francisco Theater Festival
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One For The Boys......Kinda...!


Despite the fact that the girlie-ness of this site verges towards being almost vulgar at times it would appear that I do in fact have some male readers. I was asked by some to maybe consider writing a couple of guy-friendly articles. Fervent to please as I am, I immediately got to thinking about how I could impress the boys with a witty, charming article that would solve all their sartorial grievances. My mind works at a million miles an hour yet despite the multitude of ideas that popped into my head I ultimately could not get away from one undeniable fact – I just love my girls! I love my single and fabuless girls and I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to write for any other reader. Sorry boys!

Throughout my life I have surrounded myself by fiery females. When I was younger, I identified these girls as fun. Indeed, ten years ago, it was all about the boys and the booze – and not necessarily in that order. Our weeks were filled with desperately planning for the weekend, laboriously plotting outfits in minute detail and having the luxury to spend all day Saturday getting ready. The greatest irony in the latter, of course, was that we ultimately looked like we’d quickly wrapped a hair band around our waists, draped some chain mail across our chests and applied our make-up in the dark. The glory years. Indeed, these did not necessarily come across as high fashion, carefully crafted looks that say the likes of Rachel Zoe would put her name to (LOVED the premier of the new season of her show the other night by the way – I ‘literally’ died!) but you can’t argue with this – we tried. Since then the skirts have gotten a little longer but in truth not much has changed – these girls are still a hell of a lot of fun (although I think it’s fair to say that thankfully we no longer have a penchant to drink ten Jagerbombs on a random Tuesday night!).

Nonetheless, where would we be without a little male lovin’ every now and then. Yes, despite what those bra-burning b*tches would have you think - we all need a hero. No, no I’m not telling you to start hawking yourself out on Craigslist’s ‘casual encounters’ or take any saucy pictures for Match.com. But seriously girls, what does a single lady do when things start getting a little less Dior and a little more DIY around the house? Just as I saw Kimora Lee Simmons say, I too like to think of myself as ‘every woman’ and I’m not afraid to get my hands a little dirty every now and again. I can cook (even my fire alarm cheers me on), I can clean and I am excellent at art directing where pictures should be hung. Having said that – you are high off your mind if you think that I am ever going to waste some of my hard earned dollar dollar bills on buying a drill when Piperlime has a sale on boots. The fact that there is a hammer in my home is shocking to me – it must have been left there by a past tenant. If I only own one eye shadow brush you cannot seriously expect me to own an iron. So what does a single sista do when Bob the Builder type operations start popping up around your house but without the obvious person to help you – Bob. Let me introduce you to your new crush – http://www.neighborgoods.net/. What Jesse Metcalfe was to Eva Longoria in Desperate Housewives this website will be to you (minus of course the hotness that was Jesse Metcalfe in Desperate Housewives – dammit). It’s such a simple concept. Sharing. You heard me – share. The idea is that as a community we pool our resources so we don’t all have to waste money on things we only use once or twice. Genius! So if I have a ladder (which I obviously don’t) I can post this online and show that it is available to a safe network of users and then when you’re hanging that chandelier that you just bought at a bargainous price from the Alameda Flea Market you can borrow it. Love it! Of course the area of this website that I would like to see develop further is indeed the ‘apparel’ section. As of yet, I can only find a couple of pairs of running shoes (boo) and a mink coat (random) but I have that tingling feeling of anticipation that this is going to be a good thing for us girls. Watch this space!

So remember ladies, I’m all about Kimora’s concept of being ‘every woman’ but sometimes we still need a man around the house…….boys, I may have failed in my quest to write an article for you but hopefully your girl will come home a little more appreciative of you this evening…..And of course – let me know what you think of http://www.neighborgoods.net/!


WHERE TO GO??    http://www.neighborgoods.net/
                                   http://www.piperlime.com/
                                   The Rachel Zoe Project (just because!)
                                  

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Monday, August 2, 2010

The Best Things In Life Are Flea...


So here we are on the dawn of a new week, your text messages for the next few days will be more about conference calls than cocktails and at 6am you will now be saying ‘get up!’ not ‘good night’. Aaah, you’ve gotta love the weekends and I do hope that you did not let your Sunday ruin your Monday. I most certainly didn’t.

I gots to be telling you, there are fewer places I love more in the world than the Alameda Flea Market. So I was delighted when my two soul sistas agreed to indulge my penchant for a good deal and drive my car-less ass out there. It’s not just that I love a good bargain – which as you all know I do, in fact, I did have a friend of mine recently compare me to William Shatner as the Priceline ‘Negotiator’ – “yes”, as SJP in Sex & The City 2 would say, “but with cocktails…!”. I digress. Indeed, I do love the notion of buying treasures for tricks but the thing that struck me most while perusing through this amazing market yesterday was, in fact, the people. Yes, the people at the Alameda Flea Market are a truly wonderful group. They are, dare I say, kind. They are considerate. Random other shoppers have a genuine interest in knowing which bargains you’ve discovered and if you wouldn’t mind pointing them in the right direction. Sellers truly take pity on sob stories like myself and gladly knock a couple of zeros off their original asking price. We had one very kind gentleman take pity on us three princesses – after spending all our money and indulging on way too many wares we were trundling back towards the car park with trolleys piled high, laden down with goods and carrying a new kitchen table between two of us - had they seen us coming towards the Mexican border, they would never have let us through – yes, this kind soul stopped us to ask how we were planning on transporting all of this stuff home? Hmm, we hadn’t really thought about this. We were so high off our bargain buys we had neglected to think too far into the future and were completely avoiding the fact that we ultimately knew this was never all going to fit into the car. Now not only did this lovely man offer to take the table off our hands and deliver it safely to my apartment later in the day, as he wasn’t finished shopping yet he also told us where the key was hidden to his truck and gave us directions so we could rid ourselves of this cumbersome burden straight away. What a star. Delighted with ourselves we set off to drop off the table but oh boy, was that a big car park. While the lovely Mike was indeed helping us a bunch by letting us deposit this in his truck, we still had a long way to go before actually getting there. But why were we so concerned? No sooner had we come to this realization ourselves did a knight in shining armor come to our rescue. Literally. And what’s more, this guy was H-O-T HOT - he offered to drive us in his truck to wherever it was we were going. “Your place”, is what I wanted to say but I settled for car park zone ‘BB’. Now let me ask you this – do you think we’d have seen such benevolence at Barney’s?? Have you ever born witness to such kindness of spirit at Saks?? Me thinks not.

I believe this friendly atmosphere is indicative of a number of kindred spirits coming together in a common place with a common goal in mind – to get a good deal. It doesn’t matter whether you spend a hundred dollars or a thousand there are simply only two types of people that spend their Sunday afternoon at a flea market – those who can’t afford anything else and those who can but still love a bargain! From the moment you walk into a store in the city you are being judged. The sales assistant is trying to figure out if it’s going to be worth her while waiting on you and the other shoppers are assessing whether you look like you can afford more or less than them. I do it. I size up other people and if I like what they are wearing I am similarly interested in which items they are looking at (I also have NO problem elbowing them out of the way in order to find my size). For most women, shopping is a kind of sport – like football. We enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death and the bliss of the buy. When you combine this with the added element of getting to negotiate your price (come on, you know how much we love to argue) the result is pure, unadultered ecstasy.

Good things come to those who wait and yes, every month I am waiting and anticipating the Alameda Flea Market which takes place only on the first Sunday of every month. However, I am VERY excited to hear that the folks who bring us this flea fantasy have just taken a year-long lease at Candlestick Park and so every third Sunday the Alameda Flea Market will be taking place in our city! I’m telling you sisters, the best things in life are flea……;)



WHERE TO GO?? Alameda Flea Market



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Friday, July 30, 2010

What To Do This Weekend......


Feeling a little lost and at a loose end this weekend??  Here's where LoveBidBuy will be....!
  
WHO?      The Kick-Off of San Francisco Fashion Week
WHEN?    Friday, July 30, 6-10pm
WHAT?    The re-birth of San Francisco Fashion Week kicks-off with an exclusive fashion event celebrating the fashion renaissance in San Francisco.  For more information on featured designers click here!
WHERE?  Vitaminwater Social Club San Francisco (557 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133)
WHAT'LL IT COST??  Tickets are $20 online if you click here $30 at the door but don't be late!  There's only 50 available.

WHO?    Renegade Craft Fair
WHEN?  Saturday, July 31 & Sunday, August 1, 11am-7pm
WHAT?  A showcase of over 250 local indie-craft talents
WHERE?  Fort Mason Center Festival Pavillion (click here for location information)
WHAT'LL IT COST? It's f-f-free!!!!
WEBSITE?   Renegade Craft Fair
 
WHO?    Alameda Point Antiques & Collectibles Faire aka The Alameda Flea Market
WHEN? Sunday, August 1, 7.30am - 3pm
WHAT?    The most AMAZING flea market in the world - from furniture to fashion, pillows to pantry items, the Alameda Flea Market is a haven for all things beautiful and bargain friendly.
WHERE? Here's a link to directions
WHAT'LL IT COST?    From $5-$15 depending on what time you go.
WEBSITE?   Alameda Point Antiques & Collectibles Faire
 
Other events of interest include the Barney's Warehouse Sale (click here), West Coast Country Music Festival (click here), Outside Art (click here).
Let me know if YOU know of any other exciting events happening in the city this weekend!!  Post a comment below :)
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Not So Zapp-y....



I see the boxes file into my office on a regular basis, I’ve heard the buzz about the amazing return policy so I knew ultimately that one day I was going to have to check out Zappos for myself. I gotta tell you – not so impressed. I found a great pair of boots in Nine West last week for the princely sum of $129 – not too shabby, some might say, but as the industrious shopper and fervent bargain hunter that I am I figured I’d least give it a shot at trying to find them cheaper elsewhere. A friend recently recommended I read ‘Delivering Happiness’, Tony Hsieh’s tale of how his idea became a multi-million dollar worldwide machine. I’ve yet to get to that book (The Omnivore’s Dilemma is my current nighttime indulgence) but it certainly sounds like an inspirational story. With that recent conversation in mind, I figured this project was the perfect opportunity for me to test out Zappos.

Now I’m a straight-talking kind of girl. I don’t beat around the bush. I know exactly what I want and exactly how I want to get it and I expect a website to respect that so I definitely felt dissed by the search engine in Zappos. At first, I was going for a leisurely stroll through their boot collection when I casually noticed the interesting dichotomy of having a $1,250 Ralph Lauren over the knee boot alongside a $60 gum boot. A gum boot.  Seriously!  Don’t believe me?? Check it out here !!

Let’s just say that the little wellington girl was no match for the beauty that was her older (and more expensive) sister. What’s more, it further highlighted to me the limitations of my spending power. The Ralph Lauren boot said ‘sexy senorita’ while the plastic dud just said ‘sad’ – and at the end of the day, that’s all I could afford. Double sad. Bemused (and if I’m to be honest - slightly irritated) by this, I realized that with 4,003 options of boots to choose from I needed to knuckle down to the task at hand and find what I was looking for. I selected ‘demi boots’ as this was ultimately the style of boot I was interested in. Now Zappos, let me ask you this, in the streamlined search for a ‘demi boot’ what kind of a crack head would throw a snake-skin pump into the mix??! I kid you not – on page 1 of my search for a ‘demi boot’ I was presented with a black & white, open toed, snake-skin pump! On page 2, the first item was a gold and brown version of the same shoe. Even stranger again, the item alongside this snake skin delight was an army style camouflage boot – a big, clumpy ass boot that in no way corresponded to this sexy, albeit slightly obnoxious, badly positioned peep-toe treat. I have to admit, at this point my frustration was teetering towards fever pitch so I decided to abandon the Zappos dream and stick to what I know best – Piperlime (I have a Rachel Zoe girl crush).

Now I don’t want to be a hater but one would expect when you search for a specific type of shoe on a website that sells shoes that you would be offered - and only offered - shoes of that style. If I was looking for peep-toe sandals and I was presented with a ‘demi boot’ I would be similarly offended. I decided to take my irritation to the next level and b@tch on the phone to my best friend about it. And thank the Lord that I did cos she introduced me to my new BFF – Shop Style! How the hell did I not know that this website existed before?? It is simply GENIUS. You merely type into the search box what it is you are looking for (demi boot) and it cross-shops hundreds of thousands of online stores and brands to give you all the different options and price ranges of what it is that you are looking for. Once you find a style that you like and click on it you are taken directly to the seller’s website. I’ll say it again – GENIUS!!! Better still - I did manage to find a nicer pair of boots than the initial Nine West option and at a better price (somebody seriously needs to hide my debit card from me)! At the end of the day, us online shoppers are LAZY. Yeah, come on – you know it. We all work hard and our time off is valuable blah, blah. I doth protest that my time off is “too valuable” to be spent trawling through a million different stores on a Saturday afternoon trying to determine whether the boot that I want to buy is the best boot in the world at the best possible price but in truth – I just can’t be bothered. This is now why I am in L-O-V-E LOVE with Shop Style as it does it for me!

D-Listers – DEFINITELY click on this link and add Shop Style as one of your online shopping favorites!
PS: Has anybody tried the recently Kim Kardashian-endorsed site Shoe Dazzle?? I’m intrigued but a little suspicious……let me know what you think of it!




                                   http://www.shopstyle.com/

                                   http://www.shoedazzle.com/


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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Calling All Recessionistas!!



I like to fall in love AT LEAST once a day.  And thankfully today is no different than any other.  My sources just informed me (thanks Tracey in the office!) that the fabuless Barney's Warehouse Sale will be hitting San Francisco's Fort Mason THIS WEEKEND!!! 

You do know what this means, right??  50-75% off all those gorgeous bags...and dresses....and shoes.....oh my!

Cancel Friday Night 'Happy Hour' ladies - we all need to be up bright and early on Saturday:)

For more info, click here (but be wary if you're working in a quiet office.  This is one of those damn sites that throws you under the bus by playing music)!!
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Pretty Provocative Prices

If you're like me, then you love expensive underwear.  However, my budget is a little more JC Penney than Agent Provocateur.  So imagine my delight when I saw that the latter is having a three day online sale with up to 75% off!  I repeat - 75% off!!!

Check it out here!!

Now if only there was 75% off the number I saw on my weighing scales this morning so I might actually look like one of the girls on that website in my new underwear.  One day.  Sigh!
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Sandal Sale You Say??!

That's right ladies, Blue Heaven Boutique is offering a whopping 40% off a great selection of sandals on their website today.  What's more, on further look I disovered up to 60% off some great summer dresses and accessories. 
Check it out here!!


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Today's Deal


Hmmm.....is Groupon getting their ideas from me??!  Doubtful.  Nonetheless, given that my thought for the day is how to stay fit while making sure your wallet doesn't lose any weight I was delighted to just see that Groupon are offering 90% off yoga classes!  $15 for FIFTEEN yoga classes at Cocoon Urban Day Spa??  Take that, Jen Aniston!!

Check it out here!!

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Life In The Fit Lane



When it comes down to it, getting an A-List look is not something that’s unattainable as long as you’re careful about where and what you buy. However, let’s face it, if the clothes rack you’re working with is a little more stout than svelte no matter how many designer brands you adorn yourself with your look is ultimately going to be a little less ‘work it’ and a little more ‘wah, wah, waaaahh’!
Unfortunately, thin is in - except of course when it comes to your wallet. Jennifer Aniston is genuinely fabulous at forty-one but at twenty-nine and on my salary – I neither have the time nor money to take Pilates classes every day. Kendra might have found it hard shifting that baby weight but unlike the vast majority of new mothers she was in the fortunate position of being able to work with a personal trainer (who by the way, used to train David Beckham for God’s sake). I love reading SHAPE magazine and I like to hear of new and improved ways to keep fit however many of their top tips are a little too ch-ching for me.

No truer words were spoken than the voicemail of top San Franciscan trainer, Greg Bianchi – ‘the city is our gym’. At first I used to find this somewhat amusing but I soon realized that he is absolutely right. Gym memberships and workout clothes are not always kind to our credit cards and at the end of the day, we live in a beautiful city that naturally offers workout levels 1 through 10 and what’s more, it’s the exercise partner that’s never going to flake.

Now I gotta tell you, working out is something that does not come naturally to me. In high school, when it came around to gym class time I was always the girl who’d forgotten my running shoes or was conveniently running late. So when I decided to challenge myself to running a marathon last year my friends and family were more than a little bemused. Let me tell you this, running is – HARD. Especially if like me you’ve never done it before. However, it is a truly phenomenal calorie burning activity. I decided to do my training with Team in Training and raise proceeds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. However, I cannot tell you how many times I cursed myself while running around in circles at Kezar track and contemplated just packing the whole thing in and giving everybody back the money they had donated to me. But I persevered and boy was I glad that I did. Just as Pamela Anderson got to ‘check’ doing Dancing with the Stars off her ‘to-do’ list I too achieved completing a full marathon and while I don’t see myself training for another any time soon I did develop a love for just getting out into the open air and running. And what better city to run in than San Francisco? If you fancy a flatter course with beautiful surroundings try Golden Gate Park or go for a run along the Embarcadero. Looking for more of a challenge? Why not tackle a trail run in the Presidio or run from the Marina up to Golden Gate Bridge? According to Runner’s World, running burns up to 100 calories per mile and as a low cost, easy-to-do, year round activity the only thing you’ll be losing is pounds not pennies.

Looking for tighter buns and thighs? Well, you can forget the Stairmaster. Stair climbing can burn up to 600 calories an hour and is more fun out in the sunshine than being cooped up in a sweaty gym. Why not tackle the stairs at Kezar Stadium? I like to do a couple of laps around the track as an easy warm up and then break up each set of stairs with some abs exercises or pushups. Alternatively, you could try the Lyon Street Steps in Pacific Heights. An added benefit to the latter location is indeed the eye candy (see below)! Many of my friends have scored not only fitter figures but first dates through running the Lyon Street Steps – so what are you waiting for??

If you’re looking for a little more of a toned and defined look check out some of the free exercise programs on Comcast ‘On Demand’. Jillian Michaels, Kendra and many other celebrities/ trainers showcase sections of their DVD workouts here. Whether you are looking for Pilates, Yoga or some good old fashioned aerobics there is a multitude to choose from. My favorite, beyond a shadow of doubt, is Jillian Michaels. I gotta tell you, she rubs me up the wrong way on ‘The Biggest Loser’ but she really does know what she’s talking about and I have definitely found her workout programs to be more focused than others I’ve tried. The thing I like about the selection of workouts is that they tend to be quite short so I can fit in a quick ten minute abs drill before I go to work and a 25 minute ‘bikini blast’ after a run. Check them out and let me know what your favorites are!

So save yourself an extra sixty bucks (plus) a month and open your eyes to how your neighborhood can be your own personal trainer. And don’t worry, you don’t even have to feel too D-List about this. Even celebs go with low-cost workout options. Marisa Tomei, this month’s SHAPE covergirl, attributes her fabulous figure to hula-hooping! Pick one up in your local Marshall’s for a mere $6.99 and start a workout that’s not just fun but fabuless! Giuliana Rancic, E!’s in-house stick insect, claims one of her favorite cash-conservative workouts is jump-roping (or skipping, as we call it in Ireland!). Again, head to either Marshall’s or TJ Max and you’ll be hard pressed to break the eight dollar mark on this.

Then of course there are those other skinny celebrities who claim never to workout. Damn them! Nonetheless, I do love that Joan Rivers claimed ‘I don’t exercise. If God wanted me to bend over he’d have put diamonds on the floor’! Now there’s a girl after my own heart……!

WHERE TO GO?? For tips on tried and tested routes check out http://www.mapmyrun.com/ for  two reasons – 1) you can map out a run before you go on it and so figure out what distance you’ll be covering but even better still 2) you can read other runners reviews of where to run in the city – find a route that works for you and your fitness level. Love it!
PS. Just so we’re clear – I haven’t actually gone on a run in a good three weeks so I guess I’d better get out there and practice what I preach!!


[Disclaimer:  Not ACTUAL Lyon Street Stairs eye-candy.... ;)]


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Let Them Eat Cake....


Now I am not a fan of celebrating my birthday.....but, I couldn't resist celebrating LoveBidBuy's first milestone - we're a week old today!!  Woohoo!!  Let's see if we can last a year.......;)

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gimme!

Up to 60% off BCBG, Nicole Miller and other fabuless dresses at http://www.bluefly.com/.  Today ONLY!!  Gimme!!

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Oh Me Oh Maui!!


Mark Twain was on the MONEY when he proclaimed that the coldest winter he ever felt was a summer in San Francisco.  Thankfully, we had a sliver of sunshine today but if that didn't quench your thirst for Vitamin D then why not plan a little jaunt out of the city??  And since your planning a little getaway I would encourage you to check out http://www.hawaiianairlines.com/.  While out on my lunch earlier today (yes, that's me in the reflection of the bus shelter - as you can see from my boots I was NOT anticipating any sun!!) I spotted this ad for discounted flights to Maui.  Hawaiian Airlines has a great sale on right now for flights from San Fran to Maui for just $348 - and these aren't just one way flights, my little recessionista friends, they are RETURN!!  Even better, you can enter a competition to win a three night stay in a luxury resort.  Now that's my kinda trip! 
If you are not lucky enough to win this stay however and are a little concerned about accommodation prices check out Thorn Tree.  This is the travel forum extension of Lonely Planet's website.  A friend turned me on to this last year when I was looking for accommodation for a trip to Brazil.  I was so impressed with my finds and the honest accounts people give of various hotels, hostels etc that I used it again when planning a recent trip to Spain.  Not only do travellers on the site review accommodation but they also give tips on restaurants and things to do and see for literally every location around the world.  It's fantastic.
Hmm, I guess now we need to start thinking about where we're going to get our bikinis........ ;)  Hey, HR, how many more vacation days do I have left??!

PS.  Hawaiian Airline's sale ends on July 30 so hurry up and check it out here!!

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Gagalicious!

Just came across this competition on Facebook to win a trip to LA for two and tickets to see Lady Gaga!!  Don't mind if I do!!  Check it out here and let me know if you win!!

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Living La Vida Local


We all fall victim to the lure of the department store or glossy magazine-endorsed makes and in the quest to look like an A-Lister, it is often easy to assume that one needs to focus on having a wardrobe full of designer labels. But ‘brand’ does not always equate to ‘beauty’. In fact, some of the worst outfits I’ve ever seen have been those endorsed by A-List designers – the double insult in this case is that not only does the innocent fashion victim look completely ridiculous but they spent a lot of money for the privilege of doing so!

Now I don’t like to be a Debbie-downer BUT we are in the midst of an economic crisis. So these days, not only do I try to be a little more conservative with HOW I spend my cash but I similarly try to be more mindful of WHERE I spend it. Like most, my brain does not get started without a jolt of caffeine in the morning but let’s face it, Starbucks needs my $3 a lot less than the ‘Ma and Pa’ coffee shop down the street. Likewise, the $100 I might spend on a sweater or dress is better appreciated by a local, new designer than Donatella Versace (I don’t even think a hundred bucks would cover the cost of a wine glass on her St Tropez yacht!). As I’ve said before - I’m no die-hard fashionista. But, I do like to keep abreast of what’s going on in the fashion world and there’s nothing more that I love than hearing a buzz about a new label and being able to boast that I was one of the in-the-know few that got to don their designs “months ago”! Come on, don’t leave me hanging - we all like to feel a little smug every now and again…….right?!

Like New York, LA and many others……San Francisco is undisputedly a wonderfully creative city. Whether it be music, fashion or food, there is always a hot new name or label in the mix. Sadly over the last couple of months we’ve seen a lot of our favorite little spots go out of business and that’s why it’s of paramount importance that we do what we can to support our local merchants. What’s more, most of their prices won’t outrage your overdraft so it’s win-win!!

One of my favorite San Fran stores is Shotwell. Now I’ve got to be honest, I had the privilege of getting to know the two owners, Holly and Michael, when they got married at the Great American Music Hall last year – so I would probably have a loyalty to them regardless. However, when I finally went to check out their Union Square store – I was blown away. Not only is the store itself visually beautiful – the intricate attention to detail is incredible – but I was delighted to see that they stock a large selection of local San Francisco designers and their price points are, as Juliette Lewis would say, speaking my language, baby! I recently was given a gift from there of Heathen’s ‘bitty box necklace’ (pictured below) –sooooooo cute! I love it! And I love the fact that it was made by a local SF-er and sold by a local SF-er like myself! Shotwell also carries other local designer labels including Vanessa Gade, Sea Pony and Official Tourist and at the end of the day, I would much rather that my $$ could help build both the business of a local designer AND that of a local store owner too. We’ve all given Mr. Macy and Mr. Bloomingdale their fair share of our salary over the years – so why not focus on trying to spend it where it will really be appreciated??

Another of my favorite San Fran hotspots that showcases literally hundreds of local artists is Collage Gallery in Potrero Hill. A self-described home decor store and art gallery - this shop is quite literally full to the brim of little surprises. I have lost many an afternoon exploring every little nook and cranny of this extraordinary store. If you’re looking to give your living abode a little love then look no further – home décor items range from a selection of vintage numbers and letters to old typewriters, hand-blown glassware, revamped antiques and prints. Some of my favorite locally designed jewelry includes both delicate gemstone pieces and other more unique designs made from vintage buttons, typewriter keys, scrabble letters etc – and I’ve certainly never seen anything over the $100 mark. It truly is an Aladdin’s cave of treasures and what’s more, it certainly won’t break the bank balance.

Now I know I just spent all day yesterday bending your ears about Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack and don’t get me wrong – sad but true, these are some of my favorite place in the WORLD!! Nonetheless, I do think it’s important to give back and support our community. And it sure doesn’t hurt that you (and your apartment) can end up looking fabuless while doing so……..;)

WHERE TO GO??  Shotwell, 320 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94108
                                Collage Gallery, 1345 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107




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