Seeing Stars!

No, not the celebrity kind (not outside of my tv, at any rate) but the kind which inspired all these great pieces of apparel.

Move over floral, stars are cute, fresh, and all over everything!

Starting with undergarments, try this Victoria's Secret bra for $20.99, and matching panties. Aerie also offers an adorable star print bra in several colors for $29.50.

For star tops, Urban Outfitters has a truly impressive collection of star spangled merchandise, including a long sleeve blouse, a short sleeve one, two t-shirts, and one t-shirt (my favorite) that has birds made out of stars.

Bottoms are bit harder to come by, but ebay has some options.
First I found this kind of awesome, kind of gaudy "when the hell would I ever wear this" sequined shooting star skirt. And it isn't all too cheap either with a buy it now of $145 -- however they have a 'or best offer' button, so who knows, maybe you could get a great deal on it.

There are also some black with white star leggings, and some tights with smaller stars in gold or blue. Both under $20.

For something a bit more dressy, and that I would love to be wearing this New Year's Eve, check out this black and gold strapless dress, for less than $100 - with a retail price of over $300. The stars on it are those much less common six pointed ones, so it's very unique. It's even got a bubble hem, and you know how I love those.

On the complete opposite end of the star dress spectrum, another great sale item at VS is this cover-up for $26. It just has to sit in the closet for the next six months, along with this super sexy star bikini for $29. Do you think if you sun tan in that you'll end up with a star tattoo on your thy?

Finally, there are star accessories, and my goodness, there are ever so many options. For the very most cheapest, go to they have earrings, necklaces, scarves, pins, hair clips, and belts! And wouldn't you know it, everything is under $10!

I'm also loving this foil star print scarf, which comes in five different colors and is only $7.50! Just look at those cute shiny distressed stars!

I also found these cute star cut-out pumps from Amazon for $38.95

I hate Cheap(ly made) Shoes!

My pair of 'suede' slouchy boots by Candie's are beginning to deteriorate after only been worn about five times! They were originally priced at $80, which I don't consider to be particularly inexpensive for man-made materials. Granted, I paid less than half of that, but I expected more.

The lower part of each heel seems to be splitting, cracking - perhaps. I'm tempted to return them and get these Chinese Laundry Boots instead - a $90 boot made from real suede on sale for $27 - that is my kind of boot!

Amazon has all kinds of crazy deals on shoes - just go to the shoe section, choose to only look at items 70% or more off, select your size (to avoid disappointment) and go crazy! Though should you discover an awesome deal, act quickly - amazons prices tend to fluctuate a good deal, and you never know when something will go out of stock, never to return again.

Also on the note of cheap shoes, I wandered into the payless in the mall the other day - attracted to this teal peep-toe mary jane wedge, like a bee to honey. Frickin adorable, available in size 7.5 wide (something I harldy ever find) and the most uncomfortable shoe ever. I had it on for five minutes, with my socks, and I had to get them off. It was a terrible shame, and all I could think was "if only these were nice leather that would stretch out and become comfortable, then I could be happy"

But I'll just go back to Amazon... there is a wealth of fantastically expensive shoes at 70% off or more waiting for me.

This Outfit for Under $100

Here is a really put together layered look I tried out this weekend. I feel that the one item that really pulls it all together is the red bow belt (Khols $12), worn on the natural waist. It gives a nice silhouette to the otherwise slouchy pieces.

I Started with this short sleeved Gathered neckline top, in blue (Gap $17.99). I actually found mine in more of a teal in the store, and for less. Sale prices are almost always better in the store, so it's worth it to go look if you can. Over that I put a nice Slouchy chocolate brown cashmere blend cardigan (Forever 21 $29.80).
Since this a casual look, dark wash wide leg jeans, (Old Navy $14.99), and then my standby cold weather shoe, a brown pointy toed boot by Rampage (Amazon $19.98)

And that brings us to $94.76! To this ensemble I also added my fab feathered headband, which generated plenty of positive comments though out the day.

Awesome Christmas Presents $23 and Under

With only 23 days left until Christmas I thought I might share some gifts I've been eying, for both my friends, and myself.

Ceramic sparrow salt and pepper shakers, $14 from; cute 3" birdies I would love to place on my table. I love anything with a function that is also adorable to look at.

Photo coasters - I got these for my mom and have already preloaded them with some fabulous snapshots I know will embarrass her! They can be purchased from a few different places and vary in price, I like this set of four from Target for $13.29.

Eye Test Necklace, $23 offered by artist Tilly Bloom from is very funky and fun, and is a fantastic gift for any of your girlfriends who love having their chest stared at. The artist offers many other pieces of jewelry, all plastic with ink illustrations, very detailed and unique.

Gem Earrings from American Eagle, they are gold tone branch looking hoops with gems inlaid, and are a great price at $12.50. I've seen similar earrings from jewerly sellers like Lia Sophia for $44.

Chocolate Brown Messenger Bag, on sale for $19.98 at Aldo, would be a perfect gift for my brother. I wish they'd included some dimensions, but it looks big enough to shlep around a 15" laptop.

Yes Frills Jewelry Organizer, is a white metal orginizer that is wall mounted, great for freeing up surface space in a small room. It has dozens of swirls and hooks, for necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Offered online only from Urban Outfitters, and is $20.

Mini Pocket Mirror, by free people comes in four sequined and embroidered variations, and at $14 is sure to add plenty of sparkle to an on the go makeup application.

I love trapper hats with their fur and fringe, and Aeropostale has this one on sale for $14.75. The fair Isle print is always classic, and I think this could be good for both boys and girls.

In search of a Brown Leather Bag

Not just any brown leather bag, I want... a bag that looks worn in, not a stiff, small, proper bag - but rather, something more utilitarian. A bag you could pack your life into, a bag that goes on adventures.

All kinds of romantic images come to mind, and I think of what the J. Peterman catalog might have to say about the bag I'm dreaming up;

"You walk the streets, that are long and dark and cold. Foot steps follow closely behind you. You have but one thing you can rely on - your brown leather bag at your side; you reach inside it, fingers close tightly around a knife."

Or something like that. Perhaps Eddie Sherman wrote that one.

I haven't fallen in love with one just yet, but so far I like this Doctor bag from Urban Outfitters (even though $68 is a bit much for PVC), and this La Martina messenger bag on ebay.

*Update* Just went to this lovely local store called Taken for Granite, and saw this postman bag by Big Buddha. Definitely up for consideration. It is also PVC, though it's $74 in the store, and $80 online, ebags is currently having a 20% off sale. There are also some good options on ebay, but the best deal is for the bag in black, not brown. So I guess i'll have to decide what is more important to me - color, or price?

Bubble Hem Coat

I love the bubble hem. I know it gets a lot of hate from some, but I can't see why. The bubble hem is fun, and cute, and while it used to be uncommon, lately it's popping up everywhere. Including coats! Winter coats, rain coats, trench coats, the bubble hem can not be stopped!

Which is why, when I spotted this gem of a coat, I had to make it mine.

This trench coat seems like a rain coat, but according to its tag (which was accompanied by a little bag of fake flowers) it is not a rain coat. It's by Samuel Dong and I picked it up for just over $100 -- which isn't too bad for such a stunning coat, and I spotted it in another store for nearly twice as much. I feel it was a good purchase, because when I put it on, it is instant glamor. I wore it to a wedding reception, and people seemed to think it was my dress!

Some of my other bubble hem finds include this double breasted wool coat from NY&Company - on sale for $90.96, a cute one on ebay for about $50, and if you happen to have a coat that you would like to transform into a bubble hem coat, Threadbanger has a great tutorial.

Really Expensive Boots I Needed

Migliorini Italian Leather Boots, $120 at TjMaxx

Yeah, that's right, I needed them. Winter is upon us, my old black boots are falling apart, and black boots are a winter wardrobe staple.

Could I have found cheaper boots, perhaps from Madden Girl, Candies, or Rampage? Sure. But would they have been Italian Leather, or Chinese plastic?

They were the only ones there, and they were in my size. And they were marked down.

God wanted me to have them, and that's all there is to it!

I love how unique they are, with the bold front zipper and medallion zipper pull. Plus, the small wedge means they will be great for every day wear - which is good because I'm already fantasizing about all the outfits I'm going to wear them with.

Often times when I find something that I consider to be out of my acceptable price range, I'll be tormented by indecision, mulling and analyzing until I get so frustrated I wont buy the thing. Then I get home and wish I had -- because sometimes one really nice expensive item is superior to many poorly made cheap alternatives.

But these boots, I knew were coming home with me.

Fake Snake

I found myself in love with a pink, purple and gold faux snake skin bag by Big Buddha. When I found a Big Buddha bag in TjMaxx this past March I scooped it up and carried it all spring and through the summer. I loved it so very much - and many others did as well.

This time around I did not encounter the bag in TjMaxx, but rather a local boutique who was selling it for $75 (which is less than amazon, oddly enough)

But still, I find myself seeking cheaper alternatives, like this oversized clutch from fredflare, or this larger bag by Vani on ebay - both under $30.

Good things come to those who Ebay

Sometimes, when the closet is rebelling against housing my newest purchase; I must sift though the articles on the tightly packed on hangers and determine if it has seen the light of day in the last year or so. In some cases, things have never seen the light of day - as I never remove the tags from an item until the first time I wear it.

There in my closet I found a red satin shirt purchased last December ($10 on clearance) never worn, in addition to a (rather impulse purchase) pair of green and white gingham ballet flats; which never seemed to go with anything.

So I put them up on ebay, not even hoping to earn money, but just to get them out of the house. Failing that, they would go to the thrift store, but since they hadn't been worn I decided ebay might be worth the effort.

And it was! I got $40 between the two, minus the fees and then rewarded myself with a beautiful laptop bag by Abbi New York. Purchased on ebay for $43!

Perfectly Irregular

If you have never seen a shoe by Irregular Choice, you are in for a delightful surprise. These shoes look as if they could have walked out of a fantasy film; they are just that whimsical.

Mind you; these are not for the faint of heart, the conservative dresser who fears bold statements -- Irregular choice shoes demand attention.

And they should get it, because they are fabulous.

I love the vibrant plentiful colors, the use of uncommon fabrics, the scalloped edges, the cute odd prints, and the crazy cut-outs.

Even the more 'tame' styles still share unique signature elements - like red soles printed with the Chinese lucky cat.

I sadly do not own a pair myself, and simply admire them from afar; they are as so many other things, a bit out of my price range.

All is not lost -- a few other designers attempt to create shoes as inspired as Irregular Choice. While the selection is meager in comparison, they are out there, should you seek them.

Shoe Dreams

I'm a big fan of online shoe shopping, even if it does mean dealing with the occasional return.

Of all the shoe resources I'm most partial to Amazon's for their selection, search engine, and return policy. However, I often find that Amazon offers lower prices for the same shoes! Why would they do this, I wonder? My only conclusion is the shipping - Endless offers free shipping and returns, Amazon does not, so perhaps they pad the prices to cover that.

But at Amazon, I have my wishlist, and in that my favorite daily ritual - adding shoes I want, and then constantly checking to see if the prices drop. Which they very often do. It is sometimes a dangerous game, where I shoe I'm wanting will go out of stock, and then I'm filled with regrets - "if only I wasn't so frugal, I could be wearing those now; instead, they are gone forever."

This past week I actually got two wins: the first, some super funky black pumps by Naughty Monkey. Originally $85, and out of stock for the last three months, the shoes popped up for just over $25 and I hastily purchased them.

They are really cute - best described as furry dragon skin. Actually, that doesn't sound like a shoe anyone would want, but rather a mutant creature, like pink spandex cheetah or some other hybrid animal fashion faux pas. I'll just put a picture -- they are cute, I swear!
My other big score was on this pair of sandals (yes, I'm aware of the date, and yes, it will be very cold for the next six months) I've been lusting after all summer, and all fall, evidently.

They are turquoise leather, with wooden soles and metal hardware. By Frye, and with an original price tag of $148.95. I've watched the price drop twice already, but finally decided to stop trying my luck today, when I noticed they went down to $44.69. They also come in a beautiful fuchsia, and a perhaps more practical cognac color.

While I know I wont be able to wear these for quite some time (unless I go on some sort of tropical vacation...) I'm confident that I will still be much in love with these when that time comes. I recently had a very pleasant surprise when I took my sweaters out of hibernation - three post season sale articles long forgotten about. It was like christmas, or when you find a crumpled up five dollar bill in some old pants.

One last pair which I am still wating for are these turquoise pumps by Steve Madden. I was hoping for a price drop and they've gone out of stock. Every day I go to Amazon and try to will a pair into extistance. For some other girl to decide turquoise isn't really her color and return them.

A purse I can fit everything into, and then some

I have a bit of an obsession with large bags; I can't help myself - I have developed a need to carry on my shoulder everything I could ever possibly need.

My wallet alone is bigger than some bags -- and the very best part about the wallet is that a strap can pull out and transform it into a wristlet, and the change pouch is large enough to accommodate my iPhone. Should the opportunity every arise, I'm all set.

But normally, the wallet stays in my purse, along with my keys, makeup (including nail clippers and file), camera, phone, sunglasses, chocolate in some form, purse holder thingie*, reusable shopping bag, safety pins, advil, tampons, tissues, pen, checkbook, ect...

So here is my fall bag of choice: the Zip It Up Tote by AVON. It's faux distressed leather, has four outer pockets, two shoulder straps, large exposed zippers and metal hardware. I got it in the maroon color, and from a distance, it looks like real leather. Once you touch it, the jig is up - but who cares? I also am a big fan of its paisley lining. $26

The best part? While I was in Ann Taylor looking at this $129 NYLON bag, one of the sales asscoiates told me how much she loved my bag. I told her where I got it too. Just think, mine was only 103 dollars less.

*The Purse Holder thingie, or as some might call it, the purse hook; is this fabulous little invention that allows you to hang your bag up on a table while you are out dining. This is far superior to putting your purse on the back of your chair, on another chair, or even on the floor (I would sooner sit with my bag on my lap all night than put it on the floor, but some people might).

The top of my hook is a little pink bejeweled purse that gets lots of comments and admiration. Ten dollars Very well spent. (I know those 'official' ones are $19.99 but Amazon has some cheaper, and more colorful options)

Trapper Hats

Trapper Hats, while not in abundance, are definitely around this fall. My favorite is this plaid one from, in the chocolate color. It is far too pricey at $85, though I did see the hat in purple plaid at TJMaxx for $40. I was tempted, but decided to look for even less expensive versions.

American Eagle has a cute wool trapper with acrylic fur for $29.50
Urban Outfitters has a few options for $34, one in wool, very similar to the AE hat, one in quilted nylon, and one with a pom pom on top. (perhaps the pom pom one doesn't qualify as a trapper, but it's kinda cute, for someone who can pull off a pom pom)

But I decided the best option would be to make one! I got the wool from a church fair for a dollar and the fur was leftovers from a costume.

Great Finds at the Gap

This weekend I made out very well at the Gap's sale, getting five pieces, a dress, a skirt, a top, a jacket, and a hat for about $85.

I was very pleased to find one remaining plum ruffle top (that I had been wanting) in my size, so I immediately scooped that up. It was marked down to $32 from $48.

To go with it, a gray wool skirt, at $24 from $48. While I really loved this skirt in the camel color, they didn't have it in my size. I even checked for it on their web site to no avail.

Next I found a plum tunic dress, marked down twice, from $54 to $17. I really love that this plum color is in this fall, it looks so great on me!

Then I got a super cozy cropped jacket in camel, double breasted - just that kind of thing where you can pull off the casual chic look. I do fear it will have a very small window in the fall season when it can be worn - I'm usually wearing heavy winter coats by the second week of November.
Perhaps it could work over a sweater, or with some long gloves? The jacket was down to $30 from $68.

Lastly, and only because it was three dollars, I got a brown and turquoise plaid hat. I always want hats, and then I never wear them. So I figure even if I only wear it once I'll have gotten it's worth. More so than if I'd paid $16.50. It is terribly cute, I should try harder to be a hat person.

To top it all off, I applied for a Gap Card and saved an additional 20%! Big score. So all in all I got $234.50 worth of clothes for just under $85. I win.

A mostly horrible day at the mall

Every so often I'll take a trip to the Post Mall with my mother and younger sister; it's a pretty decent mall and we generally have a good time. I had three main objectives for the trip:

1. Redeem my coupon for free panties from Victoria's Secret
2. Take advantage of all the Macys 20% off coupon and get the Steve Madden Pumps I've been lusting after
3. Convince an employee at Forever 21 to let me exchange the skirt I bought for another size even though I don't have the receipt

The first task is easily completed with much joy. I do love going into Victoria's Secret and getting nothing more than a free pair of panties. They wrap it in tissue and put it in a little bag and everything. Some people are insanely loyal to Victoria's Secret and I can't fathom why - every time I find a bra there I like they never have it in my size. Once one of the employees even told me that most girls with my cup size have had their breasts augmented. I really wasn't quite sure what to even make of that -- do girls with fake breasts not need bras? But I will say this much, as long as the free pantie coupons keep coming, I will keep getting them.

Next I went to Macys, where I hunted around for my shoe, the Shakeup Pump in Turquoise. I found it in black, and only black. For a shoe that comes in eight different colors, you might think they could stock a bit more variety. But I was out of luck, and since I'd had my heart set on that one, I simply wasn't interested in any of the others.

So, I went to Forever 21, and that store is a disaster. Truly. There is a thrift store in Cambridge, MA called The Garment District. If you've ever been, then you know about the Dollar-a-Pound deal, where piles of clothes cover the floor and shoppers wade through and search for buried treasures. This is what Forever 21 reminds me of. Okay, so maybe the stuff isn't all over the floor, but it is all over the place, tons of clothes crammed together making it difficult to look through the racks. Plus the music is usually obnoxious and the dressing rooms are dark and lack privacy. Which is why I didn't try on the skirt before buying it, and now find myself in the horrible predicament of trying to exchange it. I put on my sincerest look. My most pleading eyes, sweetest smile, expelled gobs of flattery in the sales attendants direction, and was met only with a cold reiteration of the return policy and a trite apology. I eventually accepted my defeat and set off in the direction of the Borders bookstore, where my mother would be.

On the way there is a small stair case of four steps, and a ramp next to it. When given the option, I always take the stairs. I feel the small act of exertion will somehow compensate for my usual lethargy, and that the ramp is for handicap people, or lazy people - which I am not. I quickly start up the stairs, but midway, somehow my foot smashes into back of the stair and as I fall down the first two steps some profanities escape from under my breath. Well, perhaps it was a tiny bit louder than that, enough for some mother to cast me a dirty look, but I don't care, I'm in pain! I look down at my sandled foot and see the top half of my right toe nail hanging precarioulsy off my foot, like a door with a broken hinge. I'm not sure weather I should push it back into place or just pull it off. Slowly blood starts to appear and dome over the area like how a penny looks when you place drops of water on to it. I hop over to a near by bench and pull a tissue out of my purse to quickly wrap around it.

Finally I make it to the Borders where I find my mom sitting in the cafe´ and stare at her, misery painted across my face. She asked what was wrong, and I responded simply by pointing down at the bloody mess of my toe - my perfectly pedicured piggies - ruined! She reached into her purse and pulled out a ghirardelli square to pacify me. My mother is a firm believer that one should always keep chocolate in their purse, because you never know when you might need it. (Laugh if you must, but you should know MacGuyver once stopped a nuclear reactor from melting down with a chocolate bar).

It was a horrible day at the mall which I shall unfortunately be reminded of every time I look down for the next month while I wait for my toe nail to grow back. At least the time for sandals is nearly up and I can safely hide my disfigurement. I really don't think I'll buy into that open-toed boot trend.

Trendy Fall Outfit for Under $100

...and I don't mean each piece individually, I mean all together.

This outfit is somewhat of a conglomeration of many fall trends - perhaps its a bit much for the one outfit, but after flipping through the fashion section of my sisters Cosimo Girl, I feel like my outfit could be on one of those models.

The focal point of the outfit is the vest. Found at TjMaxx for a mere $30, this deep blue corduroy, fur trimmed vest was love at first sight. It's by Atelier and had an original price of $198.

The super thin jersey knit hoodie by BCBGirls (I know, I know, I shouldn't still be shopping in Juniors, but sometimes I can't help it!) was also purchased at TjMaxx for $15.

Dark Wash Skinny Jeans by So from Khols, on clearance for $12.

Gray Slouchy Boots by Candies form Khols, on sale for $40.

From Cosmo Girl's October 2008 Issue

My Very Own Feather Headband

I mentioned, that I would make a feather headband for myself, and here it is!
I'm very pleased with how it came out -- not that it was particularly difficult to make. I might even like to add even more feathers to it, for maximum fluffyness. That may be important when it comes to feathered hair accessories - I'm not sure. My total costs for this accessory:
1 headband - $1
1 feather pad - $3

Perhaps next I'll try something like this:

or perhaps not......

Get This Look for Less. Much Less.

I like I think it's a great site with some fantastic features and a great selection. Ahh, if only I could afford it! But I can try.

I like this look because it has that 'I'm not trying to look fabulous' vibe about it. Sock with sandals, slouchy sweater, large fabric bag. Then again, perhaps it comes off as trying too hard.... none the less, I like it, so I've done a bit of searching and found a few less costly alternatives.

The Slouchy Sweater - This one is from Khols, on sale for $16.80

The Embellished Top - Another from Khols - I'm not in love with this one, ($24.99 from their Elle line) it could work, but I'll continue to look.

The Black Leather Skirt - From Newport News and on sale for $27.99

The Black Sandals - These I chose because I already have them, and I must say Onex makes some very comfortable heels.

The Fabric Bag - There were two bags I liked from Urban Outfitters, one a tapestry tote, the other, a floral with leather straps. $48 and $58.

Boot Update

I found the same exact style over the knee boots as the gray ones in beige for $23.99 at AMI Clubwear.

The also offer the gray, as well as black and chocolate brown for $30.99.

Defiantly take a look through AMI Clubwear's 17 pages of boots, they had more over the knee boots and many other great styles - most of which around a 20 dollar price point.

Also, according to, over the knee boots are a fall must-have.

October Issue of Lucky Arrives

Today I had a chance to look though my new issue of Lucky magazine and fill it up with 'yes' stickers.

While most things I love in Lucky are a bit too pricey, I felt these boots would be a particularly good buy.

The faux sued above the knee boots from alloy for $42.50 look very comfortable, and I love them in the gray.

Another item I really liked was a feathered headband -- but it was $95.00.
A headband, with feathers! This can be done for less, and since I am DIY kinda girl, I will.

I first went to michaels website, then acmoore, then joanns, and none of them seemed to have much the in way of feather pads, so then I tried ebay. Perfect - huge selection, most under $5. When my feathers arrive, I will glue them to my three dollar headband, and then I will have a super cute accessorie.

If, however, you are not interested in doing it yourself, etsy has an expansive selection of feathered headbands, many for under $15.

The Blue Leather Satchel

A few months ago in TJMaxx I happened upon the most bright blue, big leather bag - just the thing that I love. I could tell it was one of the more expensive bags they have there - I always seem to pick up the most pricey bags in the store.

It was by Charm and Luck, with an original price tag of $376 and the TJX price of $80. After carrying it around like I already owned it for the next hour while I shopped I finally convinced myself that I didn't need it. A few days later I was wishing I had it.

A month or so later, in a different TJMaxx location, there it was again, only this time with a clearance sticker. $60. I couldn't resist. I felt it was a great buy- I had spent some time looking for the bag for a lower price elsewhere and couldn't find it, not even on ebay (where they were going for around $100)

Now I've found it on HSN for $56 including shipping, so there you go!

Because Being Cute Shouldn't Cost a Pretty Penny

I am a bargain hunter. Upon entering any store, I head straight to the back, to the clearance rack, towards the sale signs, often with coupons in hand. I rarely spend more than $40 on any one item, and my favorite number is 10. I think ten dollars is the perfect amount to pay for almost any article of clothing.

This philosophy does not, however, mean that I buy only cheap crap from Wal*Mart (or as I prefer, The-Store-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named) Nor do I refrain from the occasional splurge on an item that is worth every cent. I'm just very conscious of what I buy, from where, and when.

Because I love clothes, and I love fashion, and I love shopping - and I don't want to go broke because of that!