Wednesday, March 30, 2011

H&M Spring Sale

Just got this in my email.

H&M was my favouritest store when I lived in Shanghai. Their flagship store ran 5 storeys high. The basement was for menswear, ground floor for the younger crowd of boys and girls, 2nd and 3rd floor for the working ladies + more formal wear and the top floor for kids. Because of my petite frame, I fit into both womenswear as well as clothes for the kids. So in fact, 4 out of 5 floors of clothing and accessories were readily available to me!! Plus, I was earning a bigger paycheck, and the prices were always so affordable, H&M was pure heaven.


The most super comfy pair of $30 H&M boots that i ever owned and wear everywhere. Very scuffed, but well worn! I was almost tempted to buy another pair in brown 3 months after I had worn the black. They were on sale, and to this day I still kick myself for not buying them when I had the chance to.

There are a lot of petitions for H&M to open up in Charlotte, NC, but to no avail. The closest outlet is in Raleigh. A friend had told me it was nothing like the one in Shanghai, and was afraid I would be sorely disappointed if I went there. Nevertheless, going to Raleigh sounds like a promise of adventure, even if it was just to visit museums, galleries and get lost wandering around. I must plan a trip one weekend.

Check out Gisele Bundchen in the newest H&M Spring/summer 2011 collection - Bohemian Deluxe, with their Seventies-inspired assortment of maxi dresses and jumpsuits. I love all the soft pastel colours!!!

H&M Shanghai Flagship Store
Jialidu Building, 645-659 Huaihai Middle Road,
near Sinan Road
Phone: +86-021-5383-8866

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring is here!


The pretty dogwoods in our backyard are blooming!

Wish I could go to the Atlanta Dogwood Festival.

Did you know that the dogwood is the state flower of Virginia?

By the way, all the birds in our backyard are appearing in pairs now. The cardinals, the finches, the red-bellied woodpeckers. Nesting season!!! Mama and Papa Bluebird hover busily around the birdbox all the time now. And the latest bird species that I spotted are the Northern Mockingbird and the Red-tailed Hawk!

I just want to burst out in song and dance every morning!


Thrifting: Blue Bird Circle Resale Shop

A trip to Houston yielded fantastic finds!

ralph lauren2

Ralph Lauren Polkadot Knitwear @ $12.00

Agreed. It is a little overpriced as far as thrifting goes. That said, the quality was top notch. It was 'gently used' and to my standards, hardly used. And I had a budget, along with the other items I bought, I remained within budget. All in all, a very good buy. Considering I could match it with this.

nautical skirt

Which was my 2nd pick from the store for $8.40. It was an interesting piece with prints of blue ribbons and chain links.

Another pick of the day:

Liz Clairborne Navy-white Striped shirt

A Liz Claiborne Striped top that was brand new with the tag still on it!
A great steal for only $8.oo

Flats again! My absolute favourite type of shoes.

Amanda Smith Flats

For an awesome discounted price of $5.60

Another piece I picked out was a Lucky Brand long sleeved brown top. I fell in love with its softness and flared sleeves. It is definitely a top I can lounge around in, pairing it off with a camisole because of its wide drooping neckline.

lucky brand slouchy top

It had cost me only $11.00 given the almost new condition it was in. I love wearing it!

Now, the best part about this whole shopping experience was that when I tried on all the pieces in the dressing room, I realised I could mix and match all the pieces! I hadn't realised, but they all had shades of blue or brown or white. As a result, not only had I picked out 5 separate pieces, but i also gained about 3 different sets of outfits!

Definitely a MegaSCORE!

You'll have to check out this one if you are ever in Houston.

Blue Bird Circle
615 W. Alabama
Houston, TX
Phone: 713-528-0470

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thrifting: Half-Price Books

I recently went on a trip to Houston to visit my friends, Rose and Jo. Jo has been living there for a year now, so she knows the place pretty well. She promised I would like this area called Rice Village, which has an eclectic mix of boutiques, restaurants and stores.

Books will always appeal to me. I am a shameless hoarder. I will never walk past a bookstore without going inside. And I have a soft spot for classics. And I judge books by their covers, the quainter the better. So here are the spoils.

halfprice books

Books at $1.00 apiece.

Half Price Books
2537 University Blvd.
Houston, TX 77005

And again, they have many many locations. So check out their online website. Link above.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Thrifting: Book Buyers


Bought the books for 2USD a piece.

So glad I found this gem in the heart of Charlotte, NC. I have always been a terrible book hoarder, buying from Borders, warehouse sales and wherever I chance upon them. Now that I have to watch my spending more closely, buying books is a luxury that I should be doing without. I have been very good, making frequent visits to the library ever since. However, when I found this place, I was ecstatic! This spacious store is well stocked with shelves and shelves of secondhand books, all in very good condition. It is possibly one of the largest used books store I've ever come across.

Book Buyers
1308-F The Plaza
Charlotte NC 28205
Phone: (704) 344-8611
Operating hours:
M-S 10am-8pm
Sun 12-6pm

Thrifting: Stuff Etc

On a trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I found this huge consignment store with the help of my husband's grandmother.

Leather box tote $6.99
Leather box tote bought at $6.99

A sturdy leather tote that I now use to house my polaroid camera. It's good for taking out on little field expeditions, like when I go mushroom picking, or bird watching. My polaroid and digital camera fit perfectly in it, along with a few cases of polaroid film.

Vintage pink pumps $6.99
Pink Pumps bought at $6.99

I was in the checkout lane, waiting in line to pay for my stuff. As I silently added up how much my purchases would cost me, my eyes continued to roam around the store, hoping to catch a glimpse of something I might have missed. I am a pumps person. Heels, no. Kitten heels, maybe. Pumps, ooh I LOVE! So when my vision zoomed in onto these shoes, I excused myself from my line and made a lunge for them. A quick mental calculation brought a satisfied smile to my face. I was still within budget, which meant that I didn't have to discard anything else in my shopping basket.

Vintage mustard yellow trunk $14.99
Vintage Mustard Yellow Traveling Trunk $14.99

Our most expensive purchase for the day. My husband found this and called first dibs. Now he uses it to travel around, but only when he is traveling light. We are very careful with it because we don't know when the trunk might burst open, spewing its contents on other bewildered travelers. So far, though, the trunk has been sturdy and strong. No such mishaps.

Bears jersey (Boys) $6.99
Chicago Bears' Jersey (Boys) $6.99

I had been looking to buy a Chicago Bears' jersey, but the ones they sell on the NFL website are super expensive. So my heart skipped a beat when i saw this on the racks. It was a perfect fit! Item automatically transferred onto the Must-Buy list.

Set of 2 Owl wall hanging $3.00
Owl Wall Hanging, Set of 2 for $3.00

Stuff Etc (Cedar Rapids East)
252 Blairsferry Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 5240

They have many locations, do check out their link above for phone numbers and operating hours.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thrifting: Bai Sher 摆什

windup clock
1945 Wind-up Clock
Bought for 300RMB

Bought this baby to sit in our cosy one bedroom apartment back in Shanghai. We loved that it was like owning a piece of Chinese history, but when we had to move to the US, we couldn't take it with us because of the costs of shipping. So we gave it away to a dear friend, whom we know would treasure it as much as we did. The only thing about it was that we had to wind it up every day. Once, our part time housekeeper misplaced the key, and so it sat there on the shelf, feeling old and useless for about a month. I missed the chimes and the tick-tick-ticking. But then we found the key and all was good.

Bai Sher 摆什
(Vintage Furniture & Ceramics)
1/F, 886 Yan'an Zhong Lu, 
near Shanxi Bei Lu 
Phone: +86 138 1777 8455

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

City girl cries for her city bicycle

If only i could still ride to work every day, or ride just about anywhere.
I remember riding all around the streets of Shanghai, especially on weekends, to the Bund, to Changfeng (?) Park, to the Old town which was miles and miles away. What adventures!

Suit Over Brooklyn Bike Lane Challenges City Initiative

Even though i must agree, a two-way bike lane sounds a little extravagant, especially if they have to share it with cars. So how about we eradicate traffic lanes altogether and surrender completely to bicycles? i don't see the downside of workout-inducing, non-polluting transportation in a city. Eliminate private cars and install only public transportation 好吗?Ok so then we get exposed to the weather conditions. But then how do the 3/4 of a billion other Chinese do it?

Ride in style! Like this

and embrace the elements of nature. Even the Helsinki men do it!

All images via Riding Pretty

Monday, March 7, 2011

Penny Saver Tip #1: Easy Snips

Made a hair appointment for the boy to go have his hair cut, and was sitting on the fence about getting a cut myself... While the J-man was getting his hair styled, I had half a mind to get our stylist to give me a quick trim. Alas, two ladies showed up just as I was about to open my mouth - they had appointments with our stylist too. So reluctantly i left the salon with J looking like a million dollars, and I, a frump.

I was mostly disgruntled with my fringe which was more than an inch over my eyes. I usually sweep it aside to keep it off my face, showing off the patch of unsightly high forehead above my eyes.

Frustrated, and in a spur of the moment, I grabbed a pair of scissors and snipped off the excess hair covering my eyes.

Minutes later...


Yay! $20 saved! Ka-ching!!!
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