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Amazon Prime Day has started as of 9pm ET. I’m quite sad my friend missed out on the $45 Instant Pot 9-in-1 deal by minutes, but hope Amazon revives it even for the original $90 deal!

While you need to be a Prime user to partake in most of the deals, here’s a deal for all Amazon users – $5 off $15 any book sold by Amazon.com with code PRIMEBOOKS17 (it didn’t show up when I applied it the first time, I had to return to my cart and re-checkout for it to show). I normally save books I want in the “saved for later” part of my cart and finally ordered the Yayoi Kusama illustrated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland book:

Image source: Amazon

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Merry Christmas Eve! I’m not a big giver of Christmas presents – I like to give thoughtful and practical presents and prefer to give when I find something worth giving than for the purposes of a holiday. I get more excited with good discounts on almost everything from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

One discount to note:

Texture is the Netflix of magazines! Next Issue was rebranded to Texture and has a bunch of enhancements, such as saving articles and searching across magazines. I have an older review here. Through midnight tonight, gift 3 months premium for $10 (originally $44.97). Premium has all of the weekly magazines for those of you who like People. It’s perfect if you’re going on a trip and don’t want to lug around heavy magazines or if you want to catch up on back issues or if you just want to read more without paying for the cover price. You can bookmark articles but you can also easily save any page as an image to your gallery. It works on on iPad®, iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad mini™ using iOS 7.0 and up, devices using Android 4.0 and up, and Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs and tablets. I use it on my iPad mini and can’t imagine taking up precious iPhone memory on magazines. Some of my favorite magazines like Domino, AFAR, and Real Simple are on it.

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.

Hope you had a relaxing long weekend.

Keeping:

Waiting for:

Browsed:

  • J.Crew. 30% off! I’m thinking of getting this navy blazer. I’ve been picking up some suit items from Ann Taylor lately (on sale, of course), but once you see a J.Crew Italian wool item, there is no comparison. If you’re planning on getting anything, there’s an $25/125 Amex offer that’s expiring today.
  • Talbots. 40% off one sale item, 50% off 2+ sale items. Ends tonight.
  • Steven Alan. 30% off full priced items. Note the long list of exclusions, but Clare V is included on the sale. Ends tonight.
  • SSENSE (pictured). I had a lot of fun window shopping, but am saving up for Paris bag-wise. They also have a nice Helmut Lang selection, and pointy Chloe, and pointy Repetto Brigitte ballerinas. I find both shoes TTS.
  • Salt water sandals. Amazon has them for 20% off with code FUN20SUN (only if Amazon is fulfilling). I really like my gold ones — but couldn’t justify getting more especially since they seem to last forever. The baby and kid ones look adorable as well.
  • Monocle Travel Guide — New York City. Monocle is rolling out new travel guides. London and NYC are first up. I’m really curious — there are always so many travel guides like this published in Asia of NYC… really wonder if the Monocle one has anything noteworthy?
  • Sephora continues to impress with its Sephora Favorites kits: the annual Sun Safety usually sells out, Ultimate Hair Essentials, Ultimate Travel Bag.
  • Urban Outfitters sent me a half birthday discount of 20% off, which is great because I really want these Birkenstock Madrid sandals in EVA. They’re going to compete with my discontinued Crocs.
  • Lucky Breaks has select Flight 001 items for 50% off.

Other:

  • If you have a Capital One, the Quicksilver cashback card gives you 20% off Uber through April 2016. I already have a card, so asked for a product change. They do have a nice promotion for new cardholders, however, I don’t know if I would apply for the card just for the Uber discount. I don’t use it that often.
  • If you like Zingerman’s, sign up for their mailing list. Their 25% off code may come in handy one of these days!

Google Reader and I started going steady in 2008. I pulled the image above right after Google announced that it was dropping Reader, its RSS reader*, but as I started drafting this post, I decided I was not going to research a Reader replacement until much closer to its demise and let everybody else figure out a solution.

Come late June, I found out Newsify (previously mentioned here) had already integrated their product with Feedly. I love Newsify (enough not to bother researching alternatives) so I migrated my feed over to Feedly to check it out. Despite many lackluster reviews, Feedly was better than expected. I probably read as much of my RSS feeds on my mobile as I do on my laptop, so needed a sound Reader replacement that addressed both needs. On my mobile app, there are no hiccups. The interface on Newsify is exactly the same, only the backend changed. On the computer, the biggest change is that Feedly has no search function (please correct me if I’m wrong!). I also like how they have keyboard shortcuts with similar shortcuts as Reader (use Shift + ? on any Google product to figure out the shortcuts).

*RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Blogs, news sites, eBay searches, Craigslist searches, Instagram, etc. all have RSS feeds. It often shows up as an orange icon. Instead of tracking a gazillion websites to see if anything has changed on sites, you can input all of those feeds into a reader and the reader will let you know when there’s been an update. Good RSS readers have functionalities such as search, bookmarks, tagging, categories, and sharing.

If all of this RSS talk is over your head, you can follow irene likes by subscribing via email (see upper right), or on bloglovin (which looks to me as a super user friendly blog reader), or by visiting this site (but it’s so inefficient…).

(left to right)

Row 1

Row 2

Row 3

  • evachen212, former Teen Vogue editor and object of major girl crushes everywhere
  • ohjoystudio, besides the obvious, her daughter is ridiculously cute and well dressed
  • marissawebb, former J.Crew head designer

Facts:
I love magazines.
I rarely have time to read magazines.
I love deals, but am learning self-control.
I dislike Conde Nast’s magazine subscriptions’ customer service which I will explain another day.

Much to my roommate’s chagrin, I subscribe to a bunch of magazines because it’s so cheap. Many go unread and are stacked up high in the living room because I plan to get to it some day. I’ve let a few go, e.g. Vogue, Vanity Fair, Monocle, but not Lucky Magazine! It is one of my favorite reads and has been since it came out. I read their blogs and I almost always read the magazine within the same month that it arrives at my household.

Slickdeals posted a deal for <$4/year for new subscriptions for renewals. That, my friends, is a good deal! It’s through Discount Mags, which I’ve used before. Oh, and there is also a deal for BusinessWeek. I can barely keep up with the Economist, so I will pass that one!

Paris versus New York: A Tally of Two Cities by Vahram Muratyan is the perfect affordable gift for anyone who loves New York City and Paris. Both cities are thick with culture, full of good shopping, food, museums, and the list goes on. While Paris has a je nais se quoi sparkle about it, I will admit that its trash is just as smelly as NYC’s. There is no place like New York City or Paris…

It looks like Amazon is having inventory problems at press time, but it should be resolved soon. Also, see the chic postcards that are coming out later this year!


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