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

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 :)
Enhanced by Zemanta


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!



Enhanced by Zemanta


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)!!
Enhanced by Zemanta


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!
Enhanced by Zemanta


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!!

Enhanced by Zemanta


Today's Deal 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!!

Enhanced by Zemanta


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 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.... ;)]

Enhanced by Zemanta


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.......;)


Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Up to 60% off BCBG, Nicole Miller and other fabuless dresses at  Today ONLY!!  Gimme!!


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  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!!

Enhanced by Zemanta



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!!


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

Enhanced by Zemanta


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Check It Out!

Looking to splurge on some new jewellery or need to get a gift for a special someone??  One of my favorite websites has an exclusive 36-hour sale starting today offering 20-30% off the normal retail price of Tiffany & Co, Hermes, Cartier and many more!  There are some SERIOUSLY fabuless pieces here and at a price even we can stretch to!  Check it out here!
Enhanced by Zemanta


Research, Research On The Wall, Where's The Cheapest Of Them All.....??

What a girl’s gotta realize is that trying to stay fabuless is a commitment and not just a fad. When you’re trying to work-it with a skinny little budget but have diva-like desires this doesn’t necessarily mean that when it comes to spending you ‘can’t’, it just translates into ‘careful’. Personally, I have always operated on a me-see, me-like, me-buy basis but this has gotten me into trouble. It is important that when you see a ‘gotta have it’ item you take some time to do a little research. Is it cheaper online? Is somebody selling a slightly-used version on eBay? Can you find a comparable, more affordable version elsewhere??

The only thing that beats the feeling of elation I get after falling in love with an item of clothing and making it mine is if I’ve gotten a great deal on it! Let’s face it, no matter how much money you make – everybody loves a good bargain. Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian were both tweeting on Monday about discounted Gucci bags on I’ve seen Heidi Montag tweet about YSL savings on the same site and Lindsay Lohan turned me on to this amazing penny auction site (pre orange jumpsuit of course!). Yes, we all love a good bargain but a “bargain” is of course a relative thang. What Khloe K might see as a saving on what she describes as ‘Gucci greatness’ to me is a splurge. Nonetheless, I’m sure if I set my mind to it and did a little research I could probably find a bag comparable to that which Khloe bought but at a price that works for my D-List dime collection. Now as you already know, when it comes to bags my first port of call is Chinatown. However, there are numerous other options and obviously if we spend all our money on purses we’re going to end up in an embarrassing Emperor’s New Clothes-style situation (no no not The Situation but I guess if you were to romp around in the buff all the time that’s probably the kind of hero you can expect to attract).

I think my favorite store in the world is Marshall’s. When I was living in Ireland and my only contact with American clothing labels was an annual visit to my aunt and uncle in Connecticut, the highlight of my trip was always when my aunt would bring me to Marshalls. I would literally start salivating as soon as we got into the car and by the time we would actually walk through the door I’d have developed a nervous twitch over my left eye. I’ve bought 7 jeans, Badgley Mischka shoes, BCBG dresses, Nine West purses…..and all sorts of other delights at Marshalls and all at a fraction of the normal retail cost. Of course, most of their stock tends to be veering towards the last season collection end of things but how bad?? When I think about it - when I go to a party I like to make an entrance – I don’t want to be the first there, I want the crowd to be a little warmed up before I decide to trot in. And in all honesty, it’s the same with my style. I’m not a die-hard fashionista. I like to look and feel good buy I’m not about to shank a b#tch for this season’s must-haves. That’s why Marshalls, TJ Max, Nordstrom Rack et al work for a little recessionista like me.

The same can be said for eBay. A few years ago I was with a friend who needed a new dress for a wedding she was going to attend. Now in all honesty, she’s such a little hottie that she could literally wear a garbage bag and Ty Ty would probably still call her ‘fierce’. She settled on this very sexy BCBG number (is it obvious yet how much I love BCBG – no, I don’t actually work for that company!!) which looked great on her however I was surprised to see her hand it back to the sales assistant as we walked out of the changing room door. My inquisitive look was met with a knowing glance – “I’m going to see if I can get it cheaper on eBay first”, she whispered to me. And low behold, she did! She found this $300+ dress, unworn and in her size for around the $120 mark. I was completely astonished. Before this time, I can honestly tell you that I don’t even think I’d used eBay and it certainly would never have even crossed my mind to look for a ‘now’ item on it. But she opened my eyes to a new way of shopping. Prior to this encounter I had never really looked outside of the retail ‘box’. If I saw a dress in a store and the price tag read $100 I would just accept this at face value and it wouldn’t even cross my pretty little mind that it might be available elsewhere for less. Aw bless! Sometimes I can be so innocent….;) but now when I look back I just think – stupid! I bet that if I had been as inquisitive about my shopping exploits as I was of my then boyfriend’s band practice I could have saved myself a lot of dough.

Recently, my sister turned me on to Nicole Richie’s new line ‘Winter Kate’. I absolutely love, love, love some of the cardigans from this first collection but what I love even more is that I succeeded in finding them on eBay for a fraction of the price! Now of course, I have not had this success with every fashionable endeavor but I always try. I know it’s not sexy but I have taught myself to be a more informed shopper so at least when I do spend the big bucks I know that I’m getting it at the best possible price cos let’s face it - there is nothing worse than spending your hard earned cash on something and then seeing it in another store for $20 cheaper (seriously, that literally makes my blood boil!).

So look, if the price tag says ‘not for you’ don’t just lie down and accept defeat! If you were negotiating a pay rise with your boss you wouldn’t just accept the first offer so why would you change the rules for a clothing store?? Spend a little more time scoping out the competition – it could end up saving you a lot!

WHERE TO GO??  Check out
                                   Or find your nearest store at:
                                                                                Nordstrom Rack 
Enhanced by Zemanta


Monday, July 26, 2010

Check It Out!

There are many things you could call me - but shy is not one of them!  If I see somebody on the street wearing say a dress or pair of shoes that I like I have no problem approaching them to find out where they made said purchase.  Like last week, I was thrilled to hear that the fabulous sandals a fellow pedicure customer was donning were a recent purchase at Neiman Marcus.  Much to my chagrin however, they turned out to be available for the princely sum of $495.  No sale!  So imagine my delight when the cute pair of flats I spied yesterday turned out to be from none other than Target - now I didn't even need the girl to tell me how much they cost, I know that's within my price range!
Even more exciting is the fact that Target has formely announced it's plans to take over the entire 4th floor at The Metreon AND the vacant space that used to be Mervyns on Geary Boulevard (at Masonic Avenue).  Woohoo!
For more information, check out this article in The Examiner. 

Enhanced by Zemanta


Check it out!!

Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian are both tweeting today about great Gucci deals on  Looks good but if you still need a little more bang for your buck, I just spotted these great online sales and I had to share!!  Need a new pair of jeans or some plain white tees to go under your black blazer  (infact, Banana Republic has some blazers on sale for as little as $49.99)??  There's 30% of EVERYTHING at Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic plus free shipping if you're purchases are over $100.  But hurry!  This offer ends tomorrow.

Click here!!

Looking for some new shoes??  There's up to 70% off on Stuart Weitzman shoes on Bluefly today only (note to self - bookmark  It's a great website!!).  I'm not sure how much I'm loving the selection they are showing but if you need some new flats they do have some nice choices.

Check it out here :)
Enhanced by Zemanta


Get Your Group-On!!

How did I live my life before Groupon??

Seriously, not only has this website been kind to my piggy bank but it has totally opened my eyes to some interesting places and people to go, see, eat and do ;) in the city.

I’ve lived in San Francisco for the last four years and by no means is this a big city. I would have ventured to say that I fairly had my finger on the pulse but once again despite my best efforts my delusions of grandeur have proven to be just that – delusions!

Through Groupon I’ve come out with great facials (something I would NEVER ordinarily treat myself too), had my hair did – twice, lost some weight through colon hydrotherapy (let’s never speak of this again), learned how to pole dance (although I should probably use the term ‘learned’ rather loosely, put it this way, I’m gonna stick to my day job) and eaten some damn good sushi. My biggest regret is that I was away when they were offering the discount on the Brazilian Blowdry – damn you vacation time!! I want to get this treatment done on my hair sooooo badly but at $300 a pop and after a less than persuasive consultation at a salon that shall remain nameless Cintas (seriously, not only did I come out of there not wanting to get the treatment done but their so called specialist in the area kind of made me feel like a loser for even wasting her time talking about it) I decided to keep my money exactly where I like it - hanging in my closet;) (Sex & The City quote – I couldn’t resist it!!).

But seriously, Groupon really is on to something. Not only is it a smart business model but you really do feel like you get value for money. As I’ve said before, I’m every marketer’s dream – make it look pretty enough and I PROMISE you I won’t read the fine print. I’ve fallen victim to ‘great offers’ before – like those offered on and other such websites (note to self, do NOT buy vouchers they are purely designed to seduce you into spending more money and there are always lots of terms and conditions about what you can and cannot order and when you can do it. Waste of time and money).

But Groupon is not alone, it also has some sistas from another mista in the form of and The thing that’s really cool about these sites is that they offer more lifestyle options than just purely restaurants or boring Home Depot coupons – I got a great deal on custom framing today which is perfect as it reminded me of the three prints I had at home that need framing (thank you again to my actual sistas who sent me the coolest Cannes Film Festival poster from the year I was born – next time we Skype, you’ll see it on my wall!). These sites have also opened my world up to so many new eateries and salons that I probably would never have bothered to try before. Their deals definitely say quality and I know they are picky (my company has tried in vain to contact Groupon about featuring our venues on their website and they’ve never even returned our calls!).

So my little D-List divas, Groupon and the like are definitely going to help us succeed in our quest to live a champagne lifestyle on beer money. If you haven’t already…….go check ‘em out!!


Enhanced by Zemanta


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saving Sunday

When it comes to shopping, depending on where you go $100 can feel like $10 and sometimes $10 can feel like $100. I can walk into BCBG (one of my favorite designer labels. There’s an understated coolness to their clothes and I love the fact that you don’t need to be stick thin to fit into their pants!) and barely find a sweater for under a hundred bucks. If I’m lucky I might walk away with a necklace and the ensuing empty feeling you get in your stomach after having a salad for lunch when you really wanted the pasta. I feel one of two ways when I leave that store – sorry for myself, that there was so much I wanted but couldn’t afford or dumbfounded that my credit card wasn’t declined and resigned to the fact that I now can’t go out for the next two weeks.

However, when it comes to H&M, I can spend my money with a swagger. $12.95 for a cute black t-shirt dress? I’ll take TWO! Spend a hundred bucks in this store and you literally walk out with an entire new wardrobe. No joke. The trick with high street fashion is that you need to know where and when to save or splurge. And despite what Lady Gaga protests (love her btw, she kissed me backstage at a show two years ago!!), for most of us fashion needs to be functional. When you’re a babe on a budget it just doesn’t make economical sense to spend on cutting edge items which will be out of fashion in a mere month. Moreover, if on a day to day basis, like me, you spend most of your time in skinny jeans and flats then why would you splurge on stilettos?? That signature black satin D&G bustier might flatter your curves in all the right places but, come one – how often are you actually going to wear it? Silly little fashionistas…..;)

I love it when People magazine, US Weekly et al show you how to get a star’s look for less however most of the time they are critiquing red carpet looks. Reality bites. While my naturally nosey nature loves to know where to find a more affordable Valentino style dress my average Saturday night is a little more grabbing a bite to eat than bottle service. We need to know how to emulate star’s day to day looks. Lucky for you, I have decided to DEDICATE myself to finding fabuless fashions so every week I am going to bring you ‘Saving Sunday’. I will show you how to spend a hundred bucks (or less) and still sizzle like a celeb in fashions not just fit for Hollywood. And this week I will be spotlighting Zara and their beautiful black blazers.

There’s one thing that Zara does damn well – tailored jackets (and this is not a common thing for a relatively inexpensive high street store). Throughout the years I have bought numerous black blazers at Zara (and promptly left them in bars all over the city – hence the ‘numerous’) and that is a wardrobe staple that never goes out of fashion. San Francisco is not a city where you tend to need a coat but in the evening time a light jacket or cardigan will always end up being your savior. Whether it be a boyfriend cut or more fitted style that suits your individual look I can guarantee that Zara will have the answer for you. $79.99 will cover you for one of their blazers and you can get allotta looks out of this. Sexy-secretary it up with a high-waisted pencil skirt and fitted shirt; smarten up your skinny jeans and white tank look; wear it over a soft and flirty summer dress for a more vintage feel or drape it over your cocktail dress and team it with a pair of Gladiator sandals for a high fashion look. I promise you – it will be eighty dollars you will NEVER regret spending.

Some of my favorite celebs who know how to rock a black blazer include Penelope Cruz, Kate Hudson, Sienna Miller, Rachel Bilson, Jennifer Aniston and Kate Moss. Whether it be teamed with a pair of leather pants or cut-off denim shorts the black blazer has remained a celeb staple and is showing no signs of stopping. So what are you waiting for?? Grab that fake Coach purse, slip on your new black blazer, sizzle in your A-List look and put your $20 change in your piggy bank. See – we’re already saving, sistas!

(PS.  Happy Birthday to my sister, Sara!!)

WHERE TO GO??  Find your nearest Zara store at

Enhanced by Zemanta


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Chow Couture

Now let’s be honest, when you think of your local Chinatown, fabulous fashion finds are not something that instantly spring to mind. In truth, I have avoided Chinatown like the PLAGUE since my first flirtation with it three years ago. Before even stepping foot on its actual soil I had the misfortune to ride the bus through there. Now I don’t really care if some 60 year old woman, who has beaten herself into a purple velour tracksuit, thinks she’s Beyonce. In fact, I say more power to you sista! However, I’m still somewhat traumatized by the woman who sat next to me with some sort of live animal in her shopping bag. I think it was a chicken….. it could have been a rat……I’m probably better off not actually knowing the truth…..but this bad boy was going CRAZY in her plastic bag and I mean CRAAAZZY! She just sat there completely expressionless, unfazed and unperturbed by the fear permeating through the back of the bus. That was enough for me. I decided there and then that anything I needed from Chinatown I could order off a menu from the comfort of my couch……

Of course, I felt this way until that fateful day a few weeks ago when I had the misfortune to find myself alone, magazineless and with an hour to kill in none other than – Chinatown. I lasted as long as I possibly could in a restaurant where nobody spoke English and I brought the median age down by about fifty years before I realized I was outstaying my welcome and was going to have to just start trawling the streets.

Lucky I did, as I had what could only be described as a Sex & The City ‘forbidden experience’ but unlike Carrie and the girls, I truly embraced it. I was aimlessly browsing through a store offering fake Guess bags and ugly faux-Hermes scarves when the owner approached me and suggested I might like to take a look in their ‘back room’. Cue angels singing ‘aaahhhhhhh’.

Oh my GOD, the bags in this tiny little back room were AMAZING. I’m talking about perfect Coach bags, chic Chanel, Prada clutches, Tory Burch totes…..the works! I literally stood dumbfounded for minutes before I got to work touching….feeling….checking the interior of the purses….now I’ll be honest, I’ve a good eye for the fake and phony (and I’m not just talking about bags) but these items were perfect, they were treasures to be owned and loved and tucked into bed at night. After whiling away the best of an hour (I was now late for the appointment I had been killing time for in the first instance) my spidey senses honed in on the most beautiful Coach tote in a soft, supple yellow leather. Mmmmm delicioso!! And what was even more sumptuous was the price tag - $40?? Doth my eyes betray me?? Yes it’s true, my little recessionistas, this Neiman Marcus delicacy was mine for a mere forty bucks. I couldn’t believe my luck!

Now I have genuinely no idea if these bags were fake or had perhaps ‘fallen off the back of a truck’. All I do know is that they certainly fulfilled my A-List living aspirations on my D-List dimes. The trick with making fake look fabulous is not to look like every designer label that ever existed vomited all over you. Nothing says fake more than a girl wearing Gucci loafers with a D&G t-shirt with a Louis Vuitton tote, a Burberry scarf adorning her neck and Chanel logo studs in her ears. If you have to emblazon a designer’s logo across your chest chances are it’s cos you can’t afford the real deal. I vowed only ever to use my Chinatown find casually during the day – cos let’s face it, a Coach purse is an everyday essential for an A-List lady – not a luxury. If you want to emulate the look you need to also embrace the lifestyle. Don’t save your few fabulous finds for special occasions – flaunt them as if you have fifty.

But beware! Most fakes are betrayed by inaccurate logos. If you’re a novice when it comes to deciphering which is Chanel fact or fiction, take a minute to check out this great website Not only does this site specialize in selling fake purses for less but it also gives you tips on how to tell a good fake from a bad fake. Genius!

And you know the best thing about getting a great deal on a great bag? Unlike trying to beat your ass into a pair of J Brand skinny jeans on a menstrual Monday one size truly does fit all! Hurray for all us pear-shaped people in the world! Now go and get your Guci, I mean, Gucci on…….;)

UPDATE!!  I just made a believer out of one of my closest friends!  Inspired after reading this posting she actually succeeded in dragging my hungover ass down to Chinatown and we had an even better 'forbidden experience' than I had before!  Just as we were walking out of this store that had sub-standard fakes the saleswoman said she could show us more if we were interested.  There was an awkward pregnant pause.  She knew what we were looking for.  We knew what she meant.  But like a first date.....nobody wanted to make the first move.  The next thing we know we're following this little Asian man out of the shop, up a hill, through an alley, into another store, behind a curtain, past a doorway and into, what can only be described as, fake purse heaven!!  There were literally hundreds and hundreds of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Coach, D&G, Prada.....I could go on and on!  I scored a beautiful red leather Jimmy Choo bag that normally retails at $1,225.  My price?  Forty of my hard earned American dollars.  Loves it!  And my friend got a fabuless white Gucci number for $45.  The sense of satisfaction just eminated from the two of us.  We were positively BEAMING leaving the store.  And the best thing of all......we even had change for a nice glass of wine afterwards.  Cheers!

WHERE TO GO??  Hollywood Kool, 904 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94108

Enhanced by Zemanta


Friday, July 23, 2010

To Vintage Shop or Not To Vintage Shop......That Is The Question.....

As an Irish lass, the thought of buying clothes in a second hand/vintage store was always to me – abhorrent. As the eldest of three girls, I never had to endure the embarrassing hand me downs as I was always the one, well, handing down so the prospect of wearing some stranger’s clothes was not just foreign to me but downright disgusting. You mean to tell me you expect my delicate porcelain skin to be laminated to somebody else’s underarm sweat patch?? No spank you!

However, as with my waistline, my hardened outlook on this has softened throughout the years. I guess Ireland just doesn’t do vintage stores like America does…..or more specifically, like Haight Street does! Forget the hippies and the overwhelming cacophony of aromas that pervade the area the thing that Haight Street has to offer is the shops……oh my God, the shops!

The first time I was introduced to Haight Street shopping was after I went to see Vivienne Westwood’s exhibition at the de Young Museum. The clothes on display were fabulous – literally, faaaabbbbbuuuullllooouuuusssss. I just wanted, wanted, wanted but of course like Amy Winehouse said to rehab my bank balance told me nooo, nooo, nooo. I was still a relative virgin to the city at the time so when my friend suggested we rub our two pennies together on Haight Street I stared at her blankly. Little did I know…….

My two favorite stores on Haight Street are Wasteland and Ambience (yes, yes I know Ambience is not actually a vintage store but you literally feel like you have stepped into somebody’s closet. There is just an abundance of merchandise in their store ranging from $10 tanks to $250 cocktail dresses. Ambience gives you the option to both splurge and save and for this, I will love it forever). But I’m not here to talk to you about normal retail stores I want to make believers out of all you non-vintage shopping shoppers!

Wasteland is a serious Mecca for all you wannabe fashionistas out there. Angelina Jolie famously bought an LBD at a Wasteland in LA for the princely sum of $26 and wore it to an Hollywood movie premiere! They are super picky about the clothes that they actual accept there (let’s just say my two garbage bags of garments I thought would end up adorning their shop walls ended up at the Goodwill store a half block down the street) and it shows. I found a pink satin YSL cocktail dress there only three weeks ago for a mere $65. YSL at $65! Hello, I just saw Khloe Kardashian tweeting about the great savings on YSL bags on two days ago. My curiosity was piqued but to my dismay the cheapest bags featured on the site were a whopping $565 – now if that’s with an alleged ‘up to 70% off’ can you even begin to imagine how much the clothing line actually starts at?!

Wasteland seems to acquire a prolific amount of stock by designers including Marc Jacobs, Betsey Johnson, BCBG, Calvin Klein, Versace, and Christian Louboutain. You truly can live the champagne lifestyle on beer money at this store as you would be hard pressed to break the $70 mark on any one single of their vintage items.

But let me tell you, when it comes to vintage shopping PATIENCE my fabulous friends truly is the only virtue. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a Wasteland on our doorstep. What I soon realized is that not only do you need to painstakingly browse through numerous shop rails to find what you’re looking for you need to painstakingly browse through numerous actual shops themselves to find the one or ones that work for you. You kind of need to interview a bunch of them before you decide on your prime candidate. And when you choose the ONE remember that loyalty isn’t just a quality you need to look for in a friend…..if you are loyal to your vintage store it will be sooo good to you baby! Trust me.

I introduced two friends recently – one a rock n roll dude, the other my favorite little vintage shopping vixen (way more die hard than myself) – and afterwards I was surprised when the rock n roll boy turned around to me and said ‘wow, she looks expensive’. I swear, I don’t think my friend has EVER paid over $40 for an item of clothing in her life. The perception of vintage shopping is that it’s for hairy-legged hippies and here was my darling friend not only donning some cutting edge looks but moreover doing it on the d-list dime way that I love!

So get off your butts and start trawling through those dodgy looking second hand stores – you never know what you might find! And psssst………just cos it retails at $200 but you got it for only $20 doesn’t mean you have to tell anybody….. ;)

Enhanced by Zemanta
WHERE TO GO?? Wasteland, 1660 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
                                  Buffalo Exchange, 1555 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
                                  Static, 1764 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117


Thursday, July 22, 2010

For A-list living on D-list dimes......

So it's 2010, I'm teetering close to the edge of 30-dom, even size 6 is a distant memory and I'm nowhere near to making my first million dollars.....what's a gal to do when you have A-List aspirations but only D-List dimes??

Like most 20-something year old ladies, I love fashion....but fashion doesn't really seem to return the favor. I guess it seems that my proportions are just all wrong - I have a skinny little wallet and a big fat ass and from what I can deduce these two are supposed to be in the opposite order!

Now I'll be honest with you, my fashion aspirations are a little less Conde Naste and a little more US Weekly, more JLo than Gisele. In fact, I think it's probably more appropriate to say that I love clothes, shoes, bags, jewellery and make-up than actually 'fashion' itself. I do not believe that fashion is art. The idea that Joan Rivers can compare a red carpet dress to archictecture is hysterical to me. And if I have to look at one more Victoria's Secret cellulite-free model I may be sick.

My dirty little secret is that I am OBSESSED with celebrities and fashion and the idea of combining these two little delicacies into one blog that I could write was too delectable an option for me to resist ;) I LOVE reading about celebs, I LOVE knowing who or what they are wearing but in all the hours I have whiled away online reading other people's blogs I realized that nobody seems to take into account that the vast majority of us are a) not size 0 and b) on a budget!

These fashion blogs taunt my ever dwindling bank account with their $700 shoes and their $300 purses that six months later (at which point I might be able to muster up the few shingles to afford them) are oh so last season. Let's get real for a minute - people are losing their jobs, unemployment is at an all time high, even those of us whose income has not been directly compromised by the economy have learned to be a little more conservative with our cash (last serious moment - I promise!).

We need a forum that reveals not only what fashions are a-la-mode but more importantly, a-la-cheap! Forget Oprah's Favorite Things ($50 for cookie dough - hello?!), as a fashionista come recessionista I will reveal to you my tricks of the trade, the back alley websites the fashion industry don't want you to know about, where Chanel bags tend to 'fall off the back of a truck'....come on girls, let's start living the A-List life on our D-List dimes........