Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Meet the DC Bargain Shopping Examiner!

I feel it's only fair to share my shopping expertise with as many readers as possible. In an effort to do so, I've recently started writing for The Examiner.com as the "DC Bargain Shopping Examiner," If you've enjoyed my tips on CTMLB, you will definitely want to subscribe to my feed on the Examiner!

I will do my best to keep posting to CTMLB as well as Gardening in My Bathrobe and Cooking in Stilettos. You'll especially want to watch the latter to keep up with my newest project: Home Renovation! I recently bought a house in Falling Waters, WV, that was built in the late 1800's and is simply dying for a makeover! I plan on blogging the good, the bad, and mostly the ugly as I re-do the house and the gardens. Did I mention the house has a pool as well?! Regardless, let's just say my stlye du jour is somewhat construction chic.

Wish me luck and don't forget to check me out on The Examiner!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shopping Budget on Vacay

The reason I've been so MIA these past few months is because *gasp* I've hardly been shopping at all!

Of course, there have been a few must-have items like these Jimmy Choos that I picked up for 60% off (how could I resist?!).

This spring/summer my time and money have been redirected towards gardening. At times I think I've completely gone crazy (as do some of my neighbors), but it's quite fun! I've decided to document my adventures in both gardening and cooking on a new blog: Gardening in My Bathrobe and Cooking in Stilettos

In addition to my own little projects, I also have been writing about shoes for Shoetube.

So, be on the lookout for updates here, and in the meantime check out Shoetube and Gardening in My Bathrobe and Cooking in Stilettos!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Shop It To Me: the Perfect Personal Shopper for a Miller Lite Budget

They say that in primitive times people were either hunters or gatherers. When it comes to sale shopping it's more like hunters and stumblers. The hunters (I fall into this category) enjoy nothing more than rummaging through a sale bin, for the sheer possibility that there might be something amazing buried amongst the rubble. Stumblers, however, aren't opposed to sale items; it just has to be right there in plain site.

The Internet is a turf that can be overwhelming for hunters and stumblers alike. Rarely a day goes by that my inbox isn't flooded by at least 10 emails proclaiming that any given online retailer is having a sale of some sort. When I first started online shopping I loved the ease of perusing a few of my favorite stores, sorting through sale categories, and not having to jab elbows with fellow hunters. Now, however, online sale shopping has gotten even more overwhelming than a TJ Maxx clearance section! It's virtually impossible to keep track of who has which sale on what items when; I just delete the majority of emails without even opening them!

Don't be aghast! I don't delete all emails, and one in particular always gets a thorough once-over: Shop It To Me.

Whenever I start shop talk (literally) with someone the first thing I recommend is that they sign up for the most amazing, helpful, somewhat dangerous email to grace your inbox. Shop It To Me is a free, online personal shopping service that is a life saver for all (males and children included!) Basically how it works is you go to the website and create a profile. You start by providing basic info like your email address and how often you would like to receive an email from them (obvi I opted for daily). Next, you will be asked which sizes you are interested in (don't worry you can select a range) for varying items of clothing: tops, bottoms, dresses, etc. Finally, you get to sort through hundreds of brands/designers that you're interested in. This is my favorite part; there is everything from Banana Republic to Balenciaga, and they are always adding new labels!

So, what happens after you finish your profile? Start checking your email! Shop It To Me browses department stores, boutiques, and other assorted online clothing retailers to find the sale items that match the parameters in your profile. Each email is filled with pictures that link to lovely sale items ALL in your size and labels that you love. We all know how frustrating it is to sort through endless pieces of clothing attempting to find the right size, and it's refreshing to not have to browse through brands that you're really just not that into. To further prove that the Shop It To Me folks have really covered everything, they have a feature where you can send an item to a friend for their approval! They can give it a thumbs up, thumbs down, and/or add a comment about it.

Now that I've spilled the beans on Shop It To Me, I'm going to go update my profile before the server becomes clogged with all of it's eager new subscribers :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale

I first heard about this seemingly mythical Lilly Pulitzer mega sale several years ago. All I knew was the venue was big, the clothes were cheap, and much like Christmas it only came once a year.

Well, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday (June 11) kicked off the sale and it goes all weekend. Is it worth the road trip to the Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia, PA? Only if you consider 70+% discounts a good deal!

Since this was my first time, I made quite a few interesting observations and still have some questions about the whole event.

First, it is necessary to note that the doors opened at 5:00 AM on Wednesday morning. Rumor has it that much like George Washington and his troops camped at Valley Forge, so do eager shoppers in search of Lilly for less.

My shopping buddies and I arrived around 1:oo PM. We did have to wait in line for about 10 minutes to get in, but time passed quickly as we observed people leaving with big shopping bags and even bigger smiles. While waiting in line we also discovered that you could buy little pink shopping carts with a Lilly Pulitzer plaque on the front. My friend Kiri obviously had to have one; everyone at the grocery store will totally be green with envy (at least green goes well with pink!). The sale itself was in a ballroom, and when you finally made it to the entrance you were given this gigantic pink mesh bag (I'm around 5'5" and with the handles on my shoulder the bottom of the bag touched the ground!) to fill with all sorts of goodies.

Everything was extremely well organized with women's clothes to the left, shoes even further left, home items towards the back, mens to the back and slightly right (this was a rather small section), and then kids clothes were in the back right corner.

In the women's section there were tables set up with boxes on them arranged in clusters by size. These boxes were where you would find sweaters, polos, and other assorted tops; prices ranged from $5-$50 depending on the item. Beyond the tables were clothing racks not only grouped by type (dresses, skirts, tops, pants, etc.) but each rack was organized also organized by size. Pants in general ranged from $30-$50, skirts were around $50, and dresses were as low as $15 and I didn't see any over $90. Not too shabby when you consider $250+ the cost of a full-priced Lilly dress.

And if all that sounds a little too organized for the adventurous shoppers who want to dig and find the $300 dress for $10 fret not. In the one back corner is a sample/clearance section. This area was a total free-for-all, but rather exciting none the less.

All in all it was a very productive day and I managed to come in well under budget!

The one lingering issue I dont understand is what is there at 5:00 AM that is worth camping out for? In my book 70+% is a good deal and there was plenty of that to go around without pulling an all-nighter. However, there is a very small part of me that wants to know...

I've pasted the hours below. The sale ends on Saturday, so you better hurry! Oh, and I've heard that they may be doing another warehouse sale in the fall...

6/11(Wednesday) - 5am - 8pm
6/12 (Thursday) - 7am - 8pm
6/13 (Friday) - 7am - 8pm
6/14 (Saturday) - 9am - 2pm

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Landover C-Mart Liquidation

Forget all those sayings about how "every cloud has a silver lining." How about something more of us can relate to such as "behind every store closing, is a liquidation sale!"

As I checked my email this afternoon I was greeted by a subject line in all caps informing me that the Landover C-Mart was having a liquidation sale. It took awhile for it to sink in what exactly was going on: C-Mart is no more! At first I was devastated, but that feeling soon passed to one of excitement as I realized:

A. There is another C-Mart's (even if it is an hour or so away),

B. They're opening up www.cmart.com,



While it's only appropriate to mourn the loss of a great discount store, let's not let our tears get in the way of that $75 Prada Skirt. Besides, Friday is a National holiday, right? RIGHT (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)???

Straight from my inbox:

:::::LIQUIDATION Begins Friday, March 28 at 8AM!!:::::****

The LANDOVER STORE IS CLOSING: HALF OFF THE ENTIRE STORE***This is not a hoax or a gimmick. The rumors you have been hearing our true. We're CLOSING our LANDOVER STORE in preparation for our biggest project EVER... ONLINE SHOPPING AT CMART.COM Coming 4/28!! (that's right... NEXT MONTH!)MAJOR retailers have been closing their doors due to a weak economy or diminishing sales, BUT, our motive is the exact opposite.Over the past eight months, C-Mart has undergone substantial upgrades and modernizations under the direction of its new co-owners, Brad and Dan. During the 2007 acquisition, Bondroff and Shuman were relatively vocal of their intent to not only make the C-Mart buying process more efficient and enhance customer service but to undoubtedly expand the reach of the C-Mart brand to a national level. In order to carry out this goal it was obvious that C-Mart WAS GOING TO NEED TO ESTABLISH ITSELF AS AN E-COMMERCE RETAILER!So What Does this Mean for YOU??Starting THIS FRIDAY, at 8AM, the entire LANDOVER store is an ADDITIONAL HALF OFF the LOWEST TICKETED PRICE! This is not a sale... this is a LIQUIDATION! We're clearing the space out!! Everything must go and we will then close the doors for good. So THIS FRIDAY go in late, call in sick (**cough, cough**) because once the merchandise is gone IT IS GONE! THEN WHAT? Then visit CMART.COM and begin shopping for all AMAZING new deals at are regular UNBEATABLE C-Mart prices. That means... NO LINES, NO DRIVING, NO MORE SEARCHING FOR YOUR SIZE because everything will just be clicks away! And SHIPPING??? It's FREE! Absolutely FREE. That's from apparel to housewares to FURNITURE! Not for the first month... It's free PERIOD! SO mark your calendars for 4/28 and log on to CMART.COM!


Located at: 1000 Joppa Farm Road, Joppatowne, Maryland 21085

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Off 5th Shoe Sale!

The only thing that causes more damage than a virus in my inbox, is an email advertising a shoe sale at an outlet mall!

January 30 through February 13 at Off 5th it's Buy 1 Pair Get the 2nd Pair 50% off!

I know that sometimes the shoe racks at Off 5th can be extremely disappointing. There are countless times that I have scroured rack after rack looking for something to catch my attention, only to find that either

A) Nothing strikes my fancy

B) Any shoes that do get me hot and bothered are either a size 5 or a size 11 (I'm an 8)


C) The price tag is still to $$$ for my pocket

BUT then there are the $140 Manolo Blahnik's and the $160 Christian Louboutin's that make all those futile trips worthwhile.

For those of you in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, you have 3 Off 5th's within a 60 minute drive: Leesburg Corner, Arundel Mills, and Potomac Mills.

Personally, I can't think of a more perfectly productive weekend than one spent outlet hopping!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cleaning House at Nana!

I know I've been mia for several weeks now, but I think this will make up for it!

Tomorrow at Nana from 5-8 p.m. EVERYTHING in the store is 50% off!!!

If you haven't been to Nana before, I think tomorrow is a good time to start. You can read all about them in a previous post . In summary, they carry new and vintage clothing lines, which makes it basically a perfect one-stop shop. It is also a great place for accessories, and they carry Hobo bags (did I mention they're marked off 50% as well?).

I think I feel a cough coming on and am going to need to leave work early tomorrow for a "Dr.'s appointment."

*cough, cough* ;)