Thursday, July 28, 2011

Enter Norma Kamaili's $98 Classic Bill Swimsuit Contest


Amazing (and may I say iconic) designer Norma Kamali is having a Facebook contest featuring her classic 1940s style classic bill swimsuit.  To enter to win, go to her Facebook page by July 31st, and select your favorite look from a variety of models/bloggers who are wearing her swimsuit.  For more chances, you can check in at Norma Kamali New York on Foursquare or send her some Twitter love.  Here are the links to enter on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare!


Rules: Contest open until July 31, 2011 at 11:59 EST.  One entry per person.  Valid for US residents only.  Winner chosen by random drawing and will be contacted by email or private message on Tumblr.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Savings on Calvin Klein and Kenneth Cole Today on eBay

Pictured: Savings on Calvin Klein and Kenneth Cole today at eBay.
For more at eBay today, check out the Fashion Vault today with savings on Kenneth Cole and Calvin Klein. The sale is open until Fri. 7/29, 9pm PT  with savings of 60%.  There are some good looking maxi dresses in this one.  These fashions are new with tags, they are not pre-owned pieces being sold by eBay sellers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

YP.com launches Deal of the Day in Los Angeles


 Heads-up Los Angeles, there are some new savings in town!  Angelinos can sign up to receive daily emails with deals that offer savings of 50% or more on products and services for real life needs in the areas of food, health & beauty, entertainment and home services. 

Backed by the industry leading YP brand from AT&T Interactive, Deal of the Day complements thousands of coupons already available on YP.com. To make it easy for savvy shoppers to access the wealth of savings, there is also  a new deals tab on YP.com. The new tab allows you to search, find and redeem deals by city and category. There are so many ways to save with the YP brand!

Each deal will be available for five days, and new deals will debut daily Monday through Friday. Click here to use my invite to check out YP.com.  Let me know what you think of the service and if you find a good deal to share.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Shop at Home Save and Splurge Contest: My Best Save and Splurge


So, with high hopes and my regular dedication to finding the best of less, I'm heading back to BlogHer 2011 and entering the Shop at Home Save and Splurge Contest!  Of course, that means I will be checking in at the Shop at Home Save & Splurge Suite in San Diego. The suite will be a mix of my favorite retailers (and their coolest products) plus socializing with Bloggers and the Shop at Home team in the penthouse suite in the Hard Rock Hotel with gorgeous views of the San Diego and bay. Look for me there on Saturday at BlogHer as I'll be stopping by to sample products, enjoy cocktails and get to know the Shop at Home blogger team.  Last year, I went shopping with the Shop at Home team in the garment district in NYC, and really enjoyed it.  So here's to more fun in 2011. If you haven't checked out Shop at Home, give it a look.  They offer fantastic savings via coupons and discounts at many types of stores, including grocery, big box and fashion retailers plus regular contests. 

Now back to the Save and Splurge Contest.  Shop at Home has asked me to tell y'all about a time when I saved so I could splurge.  This is a tough one to pick.  Savings and scrimping is really my thing, my basic raison d'etre if you know what I mean. But that is now.  There was a time I didn't care about saving on items, fashion or otherwise.

My best save and splurge may surprise some of you, because it wasn't to save and splurge on fashion items, it was to save for my nephew who suffers from Autism.  I wanted to save enough monthly to help pay his tuition to a special school to help children with Autism.  Early intervention is very important for children with Autism, so I really wanted my nephew to get help while he was little.  He needed so much help, and I vowed I would get on a strict budget so that I could contribute to his special education. Before my nephew Max was diagnosed with Autism, I spent most of my discretionary income on fashion, and I frequently paid retail for the latest trends.  Now, with the need to help with Max's private school tuition, I needed to change all of that.  I cut out my retail fashion splurges and vowed to only buy when things were on sale, or when I had coupons or discounts.  I also went on eBay and sold between 10 to 15 designer handbags that I hadn't been carrying on a regular basis.  I realized how frivolous all those handbags were, and that I didn't need so many.  Finally, I modified my dining out habits.  I stopped eating big dinners out.  I did more dinning at happy hours when there were specials on appetizers rather than splurging on big dinners with full price wine. I also started to cook more at home. I started shopping using coupons only for grocery stores that did double coupons (religiously.)

Pictured: Max today at his special horseback riding therapy. (Photo: M. Hall)

It wasn't easy, but over time, I was able to save up to $1,000 per month which I contributed to Max's tuition.  That is my best save and splurge ever.  There is nothing like the reward of watching my nephew now be able to communicate with me using sign language.  Or look me straight in the eye and mouth my name, slowly, but still clearly.  Speech is not easy for him, but words are now possible.  To read more about Max's journey, and the school he attended, check out the Autism Take Flight blog that I authored to help his school's fund raising activities.

Do I still have haute couture in my life? Well of course! I recently enjoyed the OutNet anniversary sale and scored a ticket to the special event shopping where I bought an amazing Valentino black cocktail dress for wait for it, only $2.00!!  Yes, it's possible to even buy Valentino and be budget savvy.  And with the help of Shop at Home, it might even be possible to live like a Blogger Rock Star at the Hard Rock Cafe for a few days.  Sometimes things are sweeter, when you save so you can splurge on more worthwhile endeavors, like Max's education.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Los Angeles: Special Sale at Last Chance Boutique Culver City for Autism Eduation


Last Chance is a boutique that carries a mixture of women’s, high end and contemporary designer clothes.  The small outlet store/ boutique has been in business for 10 years now and continuously supports local brands (Cynthia Vincent, Eva Franco) and loves to give back to the community. Researchers estimate that 1 in 38 children now has autism, but diagnosing the condition is fraught with difficulty. With such a high rate of autistic children, the store wants to give back and help support schools, medical offices and other programs to help the kids.  It's a good time to get your shop on for summer frocks and help a worthy cause. I've been to Last Chance in Culver City and they have great stuff.  So mark your calendars for July 8th and July 9th to shop there.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Save the Date: A Summer's Day at Bullocks Wilshire Tour is on July 30th

Pictured: The back of the old Bullocks Wilshire store, now part of the Southwestern School of Law (photo: M. Hall)
Some Los Angeles residents may remember the art deco splendor of the old Bullocks Wilshire store.  It was one of the first shopping stores to open in the suburbs and features a parking lots for its patrons cars.  Wealthy Los Angeles residents shopped there as well as movie stars.  Stars like Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Mae West and Doris Day all shopped at the renowned department store.  Sadly, the store shuttered its doors in 1993 after the Los Angeles riots and the recession of the 1980s. For a while, the fate of the historic building was unsure. Once the most fashionable place in Los Angeles, the building sat gathering dust until it was acquired by the Southwestern School of Law. The Law School has done an amazing job restoring the building to its former glory, while making it fully functional as a law library with a state of the art Moot Court Room facility. However, every summer the school reopens Bullocks Wilshire for a wonderful tour, which also offers attendees the chance to chose to have lunch or high-tea in the legendary Tea Room where stars like John Wayne stopped in, and models in the latest fashions floated between the tables of ladies who lunched. This year, the tour will take place on July 30th. General reservations for the tour will open on July 6th.

Pictured:  Tour Guide Carole Weiner enjoys a tea break in the Bullocks Tea Room (photo: M. Hall)

I took the tour last year, and enjoyed seeing everything from the old perfume cases, to the Irene salon, to the mural and of course, the Chanel room. I'm sure I could have been a better law student if I had the chance to study in the Bullocks Wilshire building. Contracts law might have been just a little more exciting studying in the place where Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst once bought their saddles and sporting goods. Perhaps the spirit of Ms. Davis could've helped me study interesting reads like the Laredo Hides Co., Inc. v. H & H Meat Products Co., Inc case. My tour guide, Carole Weiner, Associate Director of the Leigh H. Taylor Law Library, was a wonderful host. Ms. Weiner regaled us with entertaining stories of Judy Garland shopping and sipping Martinis in the dressing rooms, and Bullocks special couture designer Irene Lentz selecting her client's accessories after selling them one of her souffle creations.

If you didn't have the opportunity to shop Bullocks Wilshire as a customer or haven't seen the building before, I highly recommend the "Summer Day at Bullocks Wilshire Tour" on July 30th. A chance to dine in the Tea Room in its original splendor and hear the stories of the gilded age of shopping is not to be missed!  And here's a little vintage shopping tip on how you can still keep enjoying fashions from Bullocks Wilshire: eBay.  Check the listings for items from the old store.  They are timeless.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Calypso St. Barth on Sale on Target.com + their own website

 Calypso St. Barth finally went on sale on Target.com at 30% off of retail. Although it's been on sale in stores for some time, Target.com was still selling the collection for the original list prices on their website.  Seriously silly. Why not reduce in-store and online at the same time don't ya think? Although this collection was well designed with natural fabrics like cotton, linen and silk, consumers balked at the Tar-jay prices. I also think consumers are getting smarter. Buyers  are not going to jump any more at these budget designer collections, because there are simply too many of them.

Pictured : Big savings on Calypso St. Barth on their website.

If you are a fan of Calypso St. Barth check out the sample sale on their website. The price point on the sample sale is pretty close to some of the Target sale prices. Use the code SAMPLESALE to save even more. No wonder Target had to finally reduce their website prices.  Stay tuned,  the prices may still continue to drop...I have a feeling.