When you live in New York City, it’s bound to happen eventually. Against your better judgement, you will decide that it’s absolutely necessary to attend a sample sale for one of your favorite brands.
Anyone who knows me can imagine that the sample sale environment is not my cup of tea. I don’t possess most of the characteristics required to be a good sample sale shopper: I’m anxiety prone, I like to take my time, and above all I’m incredibly indecisive. But when I saw that my all-time favorite lingerie brand, Hanky Panky, was having a sample sale at the Chelsea Market, I couldn’t resist. I figured, it’s just lingerie, how complicated or intimidating could it be?
A couple weeks before the sale, I saw a deal on Gilt City to pay $10 for one-hour of early access to the event. I was sold. In the fine print of the voucher, I noticed a note: bag and coat check will be required. I’m guessing this is a pretty standard practice to prevent theft at sample sales. I quickly decided I didn’t want to have to deal with that. I would bring only what I absolutely needed: my pocket-sized credit card case, my phone, and a reusable shopping bag that could easily fold up and clip to my belt loop. My first tip for successfully navigating a sample sale: avoid the bag and coat check, be a man, and use your pockets!
On the day of the sample sale, my Gilt City voucher allowed me to gain access at 11:00A, but I’d still resolved to arrive by at least 10:30A. My second tip for successfully navigating a sample sale: arrive at least half an hour before the doors open. I arrived around 10:20A and was number six in line. I was feeling both accomplished and incredibly nervous. Everything had perfectly fallen into place, but would I be able to hold my own once the doors opened?
Finally, it was 11:00A, the moment of truth. They checked my voucher, and I whizzed in, past the bag and coat check and line that was forming there. My plan had worked! I beelined for the bin of small v-kinis and literally started grabbing one in every color. I continued to the bin of extra-small boy shorts and the racks of small tanks and chemises with the same approach – grab one of everything. The employees were looking at me like I was crazy, offering me bags left and right to hold my loot. I, of course, had no intention of buying forty pairs of underwear or a dozen tanks, but I figured it was best to grab now and decide later. My third tip for successfully navigating a sample sale: if you see it and there’s a 1% chance you might want it, pick it up, and don’t put it down until you’re ready to make your purchases.
I survived my first lap without a hitch, but as I made my second round, things started to heat up. Every inch of the space was mobbed, and you had to shove your way in to each rack and bin. It was time to assess what I had, return what I didn’t want, and head to the checkout line. My fourth tip for successfully navigating a sample is to be sure to check the payment methods that are accepted – this particular sale accepted cash and credit card, but some may be cash only!
I left feeling excited and empowered – I’d successfully conquered my first sample sale with a total savings of $215 off retail! Despite the anxiety and insanity, it was totally worth it, and I’d absolutely be willing to brave another sample sale again. If you’re scoping out sample sales and planning to attend in the future, I’ve got one last piece of advice. My fifth and final tip for successfully navigating a sample sale is to note that you may not be able to try items on, as we were not at Hanky Panky.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday! So, there’s still time to get mom something special. Whether your mom is into food, fitness, or fashion, I’ve got seven gift ideas for you to suit your mom’s unique style PLUS a bonus Mother’s Day idea for daughters on a serious budget!
Where better to get some stylish items for your fashion forward mom than from Hot Mama. If you don’t live in the Midwest, you might not be familiar with this boutique chain, but they have a website you can shop that ships to all fifty states! Hot Mama is a concept boutique created by a mom for moms. From the design of each store to their buying techniques, Hot Mama keeps moms in mind. Needless to say Hot Mama is gearing up for the holiday honoring moms with 10 Must-Haves for Mom, one each day in May. So, you’ll have to stay tuned to their Facebook page for picks 7-10, but here are their first six must-haves for mom!
1. AG Middi Ankle, $215
2. Summer Scarves, $28-$48
3. Graphic Tees, $38-$68
4. Ray Ban Sunglasses, $115-$160
5. Sanctuary Shorts, $69-$79
6. Prairie Underground Sweatshirt, $199-$268
If your mom loves to cook and entertain, there’s a brand new cookbook that just hit the shelves in time for Mother’s Day: Extra Virgin – Recipes & Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen ($20). I’ve been watching Extra Virgin with actress Debi Mazar and her Tuscan hunk of a husband Gabriele Corcos on the Cooking Channel since its debut three years ago. Finally this gem of a show is getting the recognition it deserves! The couple just released their first cookbook, and I imagine every recipe is sinfully good given I can’t help but swoon over every single dish they prepare on the show.
What mom doesn’t love a day at the salon to make her FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD? Get her a gift certificate to her favorite salon so she can enjoy a day of pampering and beautification! Not sure which salon your mom loves? If you live in the Atlanta or Athens area, I recommend Salon Dm3. They’ve got an amazing deal going on for Mother’s Day Gift Certificates! Buy a $50 gift certificate for $40, a $100 gift certificate for $75, or a $200 gift certificate for $150! Salon Dm3 offers cuts, colors, blowouts, extensions, waxing, and other treatments. Visit my amazing stylist of over six years, Catie McWhirter! Head to their site to purchase and book. Offer is good through this Saturday, May 10!
Is your mom into fitness? Does she travel frequently for work or play? Does she live across the country from you? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, I might just have the perfect Mother’s Day gift for you. You may have seen me feature my favorite online fitness program, MyBOD Wellness, in a post or on social media. MyBOD offers Personal Training, Pilates or Yoga sessions via Skype or Google+. Simply set up a computer, smart phone, or tablet in your living room, office, hotel room, or anywhere on your time, and one of Mybod’s certified instructors comes to you over Skype or Goggle+ for a personalized workout session. Needless to say this gift is ideal for busy, jet setting moms. MyBOD believes consistency is crucial for good health, and their online mindful fitness allows an activity plan to be maintained on the go. Better yet, MyBOD offers semi-private sessions, so even if mom lives across the country, you could have a duet session together! Please visit MyBOD’s site for a FREE 20-minute consultation before purchasing and booking
Recently I realized my mom and I haven’t had our pictures taken together since the days when we wore matching outfits, so I decided to gift her a photo shoot for the two of us. You may have seen me dote on my all time favorite photographer, Angie Webb of Suburbanite Photography in previous posts. While Angie’s specialties are senior portraits, boudior, and wedding photography, she is up for any challenge and has the creative mind and talent to tackle any shoot, which is evident throughout her amazing photography featured on this blog! Contact Angie for scheduling and pricing!
Mom’s love lingerie just as much as any girl, and of course my all time favorite lingerie brand is Hanky Panky. They’ve got an exclusive Mother’s Day pack of two V-Kini panties for $54, and while supplies last, you can get a beautiful, limited edition, hand pressed Mother’s Day card with the code MOMSDAY for FREE with any purchase. If mom’s not into lacy lingerie, Hanky Panky has lovely tanks and sleepwear to suit any mom’s style.
If your mom likes the finer things in life, gather your siblings and your dear old dad to go in on a gift together. Buy her a luxury timepiece for Mother’s Day. Last Mother’s Day, I compiled a list of ten fabulous ladies watches that would be perfect Mother’s Day gifts for Crown & Caliber, the premier place to buy and sell high-end luxury timepieces. As you skim through this gift guide and find something that catches your eye, head over to Crown & Caliber’s “Watches for Sale” to find a stunning pre-owned timepiece to purchase for your mom!
BONUS: For a Daughter on a Serious Budget
If you’re on a super tight budget this Mother’s Day, remember when it comes to mom, it’s truly the thought that counts. Get mom a great card, like the ones featured in this post on Hello Giggles. Make your own Mother’s Day brunch by trying a new recipe like this one for Cream Scones with Currants from the Food Network. Give mom a mani/pedi by creating an at-home spa treatment like the one I featured in this post back in March. If you get creative and infuse it with love, it will be the perfect Mother’s Day gift!
ATTN MEN: If you haven’t yet, it’s time to start shopping for Valentine’s Day. Why not give a gift that gives back to you? The gift of lingerie. Ladies love it and so do you. Sounds like a win-win. But lingerie can be expensive (welcome to the world of women’s apparel), so you’ve got to start shopping now to snag a good deal. Well, today I’ve got one for you: the Hanky Panky event on Rue La La. Need a little help deciding what look is best for that special lady in your life? Don’t worry, I’ve got some suggestions for you! But, you better hurry! This event ends Sunday, February 2, and sizes and styles are selling out quickly!
For more suggestions on Valentines Day gifts, check back next week for my Valentines Day Gift Guide for Gals and Guys!
BABYDOLLS and CHEMISES
Got a girl with a booty? I recommend the Bliss Pink Lace Babydoll + G-String Set.
Got a more busty lady? I suggest the Red Lace Chemise.
Each are available at the Rue La La event for just $49.90!
BRAS + PANTIES
Both thong sets are on sale for just $35.90 at the Rue La La event, and you can buy the Pink Kitten Bra for $35.90 or the Mosaic Print Bralette for $25.90!
Holiday Gifting Tips Part V – Tips for Men
In the fifth and final installment of my Holiday Gifting Tips, I’ve got tips for men. Why did I save this portion for the last installment? Because if you men are anything like my boyfriend, you’ve yet to buy that special gift for your girl. I’m gonna try to keep it simple, with 3 easy tips and 10 gift ideas all under $100 for the leading lady in your life.
You can never go wrong with jewelry, perfume, or lingerie.
If you really want to impress her, get her clothes, shoes, or accessories.
For the girl who has everything, here are some more suggestions:
iPHONE BATTERY CASE $79.95
JEWELRY STAND $38.00
GIRLS SEASONS 1 & 2 $29.92
EVERYTHING FITS GYM BAG $48.00
As part of my Holiday Gifting Tips, I’ll be scoping out deals and DYIs to help keep your wallet as full as your belly this holiday season. The holidays are the time to keep your eye on the deal. I believe that you don’t have to pay full price for anything (ever.), but this tip is especially essential around the holidays when you’re having to budget for gifts for friends, family, co-workers, and kids. In lieu of my typical Deal of the Day, for the next two months I’ll be sharing deals that are perfect to gift for all those special someones in your life. Today I’ve got deals for girlfriends and your man!
The Nordstrom half-yearly sale kicked off today with up to 40% off women and kids select styles. There are tons of awesome gifts for your girls under $25! Here are my picks:
1. Kate Spade New York Harlequin Crew Socks, $7.20
4. Diane von Furstenberg iPhone 5 Case, $23.98
5. Michael Stars Wild Frontier Infinity Scarf, $22.80
6. Jessica McClintock Graffiti Clutch, $20.98
If your man loves football as much as mine does, you can’t go wrong with a gift from the NFL Shop. Now through Sunday, November 10, take 15-40% off select merchandise! They literally have everything imaginable with your fella’s fave team logo. Here are three goodies I love for a serious steal:
1. Front License Plate, $25.46
2. Mouse Pad, $8.46
3. Chef Apron and Hat, $16.96