general / saving on usps shipping

This post is for anyone who uses United States Postal Service (USPS). I mostly ship for eBay through PayPal, but very rarely I have to ship a return not using a return label, or a present. (I previously blogged about reselling/shipping here.)

(1) Padded Flat Rate Envelopes. These Priority Mail padded flat rate envelopes are great. I rarely go to a post office, so I can’t comment on whether any post offices have them but I’ve never seen these padded envelopes at a post office before. It’s best for shipping from one coast to the other, or items over a pound that doesn’t need cushioning. If something needs cushioning and it fits, I put a box within the padded envelope. You can order these envelopes for free online along with other Priority Mail supplies. I always have some handy along with the flat rate envelopes for flat items, e.g. documents.

(2) Cheaper Rates on PayPal. Take advantage of USPS commercial rates when you purchase a shipping label on PayPal. It’s almost a dollar difference for a padded flat rate envelope within the US. With international priority mail, the difference is pretty significant. When it comes to shipping expenses, every bit counts and I prefer to keep them low, especially if it doesn’t require much work.

(3) First Class Mail on PayPal. If you’re shipping something under a pound (<16 ounces) and you’re not in a rush, use First Class Mail. It only takes a few days extra than Priority Mail. You can’t print first class postage on USPS.com but you can ship and print it through PayPal. Note, in post offices you can only ship First Class Mail up to 14 ounces. The <16 ounces is for commercial accounts.

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general / monday, october 5, 2015

  • I’m a big fan of Starbucks new mobile ordering.The Starbucks next to my office is notoriously slow and the building’s deli coffee is notoriously bad. In the morning, time and caffeine is of the essence. I don’t love Starbucks coffee, but this has won me over with the efficiency (and rewards program) bit. Getting enough signal to efficiently place an order on the app – still a work in progress.
  • RIP Rib and Hull (soon). I got my order and both totes are beautiful although the carryall is huge. Leather lovers, check out what is left of their Heirloom collection!
  • Continue reading “general / monday, october 5, 2015”

I haven’t felt like / had time to blog much lately, but here’s an update!

(1) Hangers. I never thought I’d be a fancy hanger snob. My mainstay are Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers (I have two shades in my closets, HSN has the best color range). My current squeezes, aluminum hangers, found their way into my check-in luggage and are super lightweight and aesthetically pleasing. You can find them at Muji (I think they are roughly 1.5x in the US > Asia and less variety) and at Zara Home in gold (much cheaper in Spain/Portugal, thanks to the weak Euro and home country advantage, but currently on sale in the US).

Sidenote: ZH was one of the few places I actually spent money at in Barcelona – definitely worth a browse but this online shopper cautions against buying sight unseen – their tableware, vases, etc. were extremely heavy. I’m also really confused why many vases cannot be filled with water?!? 

(2) Brooks Brothers. My male coworkers always wore a ton of BB, but I never gravitated toward it because I’m not an avid button down shirt wearer and it always seemed pricey. It is still pricey but I just discovered their Red Fleece line (a prepster’s dream) and their wonderful sale prices (70% is the peak I’ve seen). I ordered a ton during their last sale to check out (a lot of it is going back). I’m not inclined to venture into a store — reviews of their service are horrible.

  • Here’s a big thumbs up to their blazers.The cut and quality of their Milano fit navy blazer beats Ann Taylor and J.Crew, in my opinion right now. There is a lot of negative press for J.Crew at the moment and it’s merited. Do you want a stylish, classic blazer cut or a trendy one?
  • If you are a button down shirt wearer, they have a lot of cute styles in the Red Fleece department. Reviews said that Red Fleece was sized smaller, but I found it fit the same as the regular collection, TTS.
  • For the Loro Piana junkies, there are some styles on sale with Loro Piana wool (don’t trust the search box). BB is also on ShopRunner. So, if you like anything, sign up for their mailing list and wait for the extra sale on sale!

(3) Books. I still need to figure out where to go in Provence. I browsed through Janelle McCulloch‘s gorgeous Provence book yesterday while I was at Anthropologie. It provided a good high-level of the region. I’m also very intrigued at Monocle’s new travel guides. London has launched and New York follows in a few days.

(4) Lucky Magazine. If you haven’t heard, Lucky Magazine is no longer going to be in print. I’m waiting to see what this means for my print subscription…

(5) Returns. I ordered some vegan leather weekend bags from Sole Society (because it was featured multiple times on a popular blogger). The smell of it was nauseating. It immediately went back. I still much prefer a Longchamp that is lightweight and foldable. I also ordered some leather shopper totes from Cuyana. They are beautiful but too big. I really hope they make smaller sizes of the smooth leather tote. A recent J.Crew order didn’t go well – everything’s going back and I can’t say I was pleased with their service. Ann Taylor was worse than J.Crew though.

What I’ve been up to: got over jetlag, been getting acquainted with my Macbook Pro (so pretty!), cooking (Japanese tuna mayo seen above), and planning a trip.

  • Missed the Lilly Pulitzer x Target launch (fell asleep, the story of my life these days). Checked it out online and have no regrets. I’ve never been a Lilly person.
  • Applied for a Schwab checking account since it’s fee free and no minimums — that includes free ATM usage and no foreign transaction fees. It comes with a free brokerage account.
  • Strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier – and reduce your acne. I’ve always gone with what felt right – lower ph cleansers! (link)
  • Innisfree ships to the US now and their prices are really good! Use code USA15 for 15% off regular priced items for orders over $50 (HT: fanserviced). Their It’s Real sheet masks are buy 10, get another 10 free (just like it was in Taiwan a few weeks ago, but I’m not sure if you can mix and match online). If you buy over $70, you get samples and free international shipping (which is worth a lot). I love their volcanic clay mask and love this new packaging for travel. I do not put them on the same level as the other Korean brands I use (Mizon, Cremorlab), but I do really like their masks. (Edit – the ladies at Reddit reminded me to tell you there may be customs fees.)
  • Sephora is giving 10% off to Beauty Insiders (which is free) and 15% off to VIB and VIB Rouge members through Tuesday, April 21 with code BILOVE/VIBLOVE/ROUGELOVE respectively. I splurged for the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist Intense, which I can’t find anywhere else. Had my eye on it for a while and used giftcards!
  • Madewell has up to 30% off almost everything through Monday, April 20. Love some of their dresses.
  • Ann Taylor has 50% off almost everything as well. I’m shocked at how fast some of their new arrivals flew off the shelves.
  • I think Anthropologie‘s additional 20% off sale ends on Monday, April 20. I picked up some more Ruan Hoffman for the kitchen (vase pictured above is from a prior purchase). One of my favorite collections!

Image source: Nordstrom