general / brain dump

(Image source: The Animal Print Shop)

I. Food

  • I’ve been following David Lebovitz‘s pastry blog for ages. His new iPhone app just relaunched and is only 99 cents. I got it even though I don’t have my next trip planned. There is tons of food p0rn!
  • This recipe for the famous wings from Portland, Oregon’s Pok Pok look surprisingly easy.
  • If you frequent Starbucks, I hope you have a loyalty card (which can be created from any gift card). I don’t go as frequently as I used to, but if you do, I highly recommend buying a discounted gift card. I’ve been a happy customer of They are legit and Starbucks gift cards sell on average for 20% off. Though $80 or even $100 sounds like a lot, Starbucks fans know that that doesn’t last very long. has a ton of other retailers as well so it’s a nice, indirect way to get a discount on something that never goes on sale. Why pay full price when you don’t have to? (Note: I’ve never sold any gift cards through them and can’t comment on that.) New customers get $5 off orders over $50.

II. Fashion

  • Gilt City has a free 30% coupon for J.Crew Factory through September 14. It works on top of existing promotions but does have some fine print. In general, I’m not a fan of outlet quality but have really liked some of the J.Crew incarnations at Factory. You can find reviews if you Google, but often the Factory version is more wearable (whether it’s longer, in easier to maintain material) and the price isn’t bad. These Baggus (already on sale) are excluded from the promotion but are still a great find! These jewelry trays are cute.
  • Love the new Clare Vivier spot design. Especially this Margot tote and this pouch. If she ever did a collab with Baggu…

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to shop / reviews!

(1) There was a frenzy a while back and this Love Sam lace blouse sold out. But, then Shopbop restocked and Anthropologie got it too. It’s a copy of Etoile Isabel Marant’s Garbo blouse from last summer. I don’t have the appetite for Etoile Isabel Marant prices, so this will suffice. It is on the shorter side and runs big. It’s super breezy for hot summer days. It comes in black as well on Shopbop, but it’s too dark for the summer!

(2) I’m not keeping this mesh dottie top by Sweet Pea from Anthropologie, but some people might like the style. It’s a bit too vintage for me.

(3) My favorite proper striped boatneck mariniere is from Uniqlo (second would be Petit Bateau!). Warning, it runs big and is a heavier cotton so it’s not for hot weather. I have two from a few years ago and they both have held up very well. Sidenote: If you get your hands on the Airism slip, it’s fabulous for hot weather. It’s hard to find though – sold out super fast in the US and I didn’t even see it in HK/Singapore.
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to shop / {sale alert} 50% + 20% off yellow baggu leather

Image source: Anthropologie

This sunny, cheery Baggu leather pouch is 50% off + 20% off at Anthropologie (roughly $16). The latter discount applies to the rest of the sale section. Tempting, I know.

And while Anthropologie doesn’t participate in any popular cashback sites, you can get airline miles! Hop over to evreward for more details.

to shop / temptation of summer sales

I have been too lazy to sit down for proper non-sale blogging and have even been too lazy to browse sales. Until last night. One thing led to another and I got back in full browsing mode. There are good sales right, but not at its peak yet. Saks’ Repettos are still over $140. Pradas are getting fairly cheap. Ferragamo has a good sale but I missed out on my sizes :( And a pair of pretty classic Valentino bow pumps are almost 50% off and in my size only. Err… good thing I’m saving money. In looking through my blogroll, I picked up on this week’s Steven Alan and Anthropologie sales.

Steven Alan’s biannual sample sale is online only this time. Free shipping with code UNRSS12 (thanks, unruly things)! They have a bunch of nice stuff. I only splurged on a boyfriend shirt (and have no idea how it will fit). There are also tons of classic ballerinas by Anniel on sale for $99 for a wide range of colors. Sizing is TTS, so if you’re an 8, go for 38. The Keds are also cute, but an unpractical color.

Anthropologie usually does markdowns on a weekly basis, but the amount of markdowns every week vary. It’s also quite easy to monitor what you like goes on sale with the ‘save for later’ and ‘save to wishlist’ options. I like Leifsdottir’s silky red Catalyst Wrap Blouse at $39.95 (originally $188); LeifNotes’ Westwood Skirt with eyelet detail at $19.95 (originally $148); and LeifNotes’ Dot-Gleam Dress at $29.95 (originally $188). Looks like the Leif-lines had the most striking markdowns this week. And you really shouldn’t pay retail for any of it, because it’s pretty overpriced, in my opinion.

to shop / rethinking shopping

I was overdue in cleaning my room by a few years. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I didn’t love shopping so much and had a normal amount of me-time. I didn’t have much time to do it, but I easily filled up 3 bags of thirty gallon trash bags before I left the country. Major thanks to the roommate for arranging a donation pickup! I cannot wait to go through another round of layoffs. I should’ve pulled a Steve Jobs uniform ages ago, for work, and saved a TON of money.

The plus of purging was that I could easily identify where not to spend my money:

  • High maintenance items, which means items that need to be dry cleaned for every wear or ironing is required. I rarely iron and am not a big fan of dry cleaning. I had some Forever 21 items that fell under this bucket. It pains me that I have $20+ F21 items that I only wore once!
  • Fast fashion:
    • Old Navy. Especially since I fell behind on returning within the generous return period.
    • Tops made of cheap material like modal/rayon blends, because they don’t last!
    • Gap. These weren’t unwise purchases. On the contrary, I got a TON of wear out of these $10-20 items, but they no longer have a purpose in my wardrobe and had to be let go. There was an amazing skirt in 2001. It was called the flirt skirt, a-line, knee length, lined, and had flattering seams. I got it in gray, khaki, black, and cream. It was on sale for $10 or less and they served me well probably through 2007. I haven’t worn it since. I also very sadly bid adieu to a cream blazer from the former-Marc Jacobs designer years. It fit well, was in perfect condition, and I even had to get it dry cleaned once when I got red wine on it in 2007, but I just don’t do puffed sleeves anymore and I rarely see those sleeves come off tastefully on an older woman.
  • Pants/shorts. The first to go when one gains weight!
  • Uncomfortable shoes. I think it is hard to find shoes that fit well and I can rarely determine if a pair will fit by just trying them on in store. I donated no-name shoes I bought in Taiwan department stores that ended up being super uncomfy and beyond repair. I thought they were expensive at the time — maybe $50 on sale. It’s better that I can’t remember the actual prices. Lesson learned to be super picky about shoes!
  • Super trendy items. When I visited Taipei a few winters ago, I picked up a scratchy dolman sweater that had a giant houndstooth print that I eyed while I was in the line for egg cakes. I probably paid $20-30 for it and never wore it and never will. I also cannot allow myself to buy anything else with sequins. It’s not my style.
  • No more t-shirts/tights/underwear/Uniqlo Heat Tech/leggings. I am an Petit Bateau addict. I think I’m set for a while and even have to start purging some of my PB t-shirts. I also accumulated a huge stock of tights/leggings/Heat Tech. Especially since there used to only be one Uniqlo in NYC and it sold out really fast!

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