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Designer Resale Sample Sale

14 May

Courtesy: EmphaticNYC

I’ve written twice about EmphaticNYC.com. I just think the prices are so right and the merchandise is high-quality. And for a second time, the online retailer is opening the doors to its showroom for a spring sample sale. So for those of us who can’t get into the Christian Louboutin sample sale, you can find some solace in the inventory at EmphaticNYC (like Azzedine Alaïa shoes for $239 in excellent condition). And you can get an additional 15% off items ordered online during the sale. Plus, there are some great finds under $50. EmphaticNYC, 262 West 38th Street, Suite 201, Manhattan, (212) 239-6762; through May 21, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


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All That Gas

19 Apr

I hope no one had to pay the tax man. But if you didn’t or are lucky enough to get a refund, it’s a good idea to squirrel away the money you saved or received, especially if you plan on traveling this summer. Filling up even one tank of gas is expected to make quite a dent in your wallet. While a couple of weeks ago, the Lundberg Survey, a market research firm that specializes in fuel prices, reported gas prices may have reached a peak; except for minor dips, they’ve gone up since this article in Bloomberg Business Week.

But there are several ways to help save money when it comes to gas. I sometimes drive hundreds of miles a week, luckily most of that is in New Jersey where gas prices are lower than in most places. But I am always looking for savings, from old-school ways such as properly maintaining your car and modifying (or at least trying to modify) driving habits to newer methods like incentive programs and smartphone apps.

“Every driver is impacted by the increased cost of fuel” says Cathleen Lewis, director of Public Affairs for AAA New Jersey Automobile Club. “There are several easy things drivers can do to stretch each tank of gas and find the lowest fuel prices when it is time to fill up.”

The Old School

Lewis says 17 percent of all cars have all four tires properly inflated, and a survey found only 85 percent of Americans do not properly check their tire pressure. She says, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, properly inflated tires can improve fuel economy by up to three percent. So how do you make sure your tires are properly inflated? Some gas stations have built-in gauges in their air pumps; if they don’t, you can buy one in any auto parts store for a few dollars—I even saw one in a QuickCheck. Check the tires when they’re cold, not after they’ve been driven several miles. You can usually find what the proper pressure should be on the driver’s side door jamb or in the owner’s manual.

And tires aren’t the only part of the car that may save you fuel. Proper maintenance of the whole vehicle can help. Lewis says warning lights can signal problems that can decrease a car’s fuel efficiency.

How you drive can also effect how much fuel you use. Driving the speed limit and going lightly on the pedals can help save.

“If there is a red light ahead, ease off the gas and coast up to it rather than waiting until the last second to brake,” Lewis says. “Once the light turns green, gently accelerate rather than making a quick start.”

The U.S. Department of Energy reports aggressive driving can lower a car’s fuel economy by up to 33 percent.

Another way to save is planning your errands ahead of time. If you know you have to go to the dentist, the supermarket, the gym, figure out the most efficient way of driving to them and schedule your day so you can do it all in one trip. According to AAA, several short trips starting with a cold engine each time can use twice as much gas as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.

If you happen to pick up groceries or heavy loads on those trips, it may also be best to make that the last thing you do. The lighter your load, the less effort your car needs to move and thus the less gas will be used. So if you are driving around with a set of golf clubs, it may be best to leave them at home.

The Apps

I’ve been using GasBuddy, which tells you prices near your location—and it is free. You can choose to sort them by price or distance or see them on a map. It’s not always accurate: I saw a gas station where the price was 10-cents lower than all the others; it turned out to be closed. However, you can earn points toward free gas by updating prices at stations you do come across.

AAA has its own free app (you don’t need to be an AAA member, although I recommend it—I’ve locked myself out of my car a few times).  AAA’s TripTik has a more high-tech way of determining stations with the best prices based on credit card transactions at more than 100,000 stations nationwide. It also has the same GPS capability as GasBuddy.

Incentives

Stop & Shop, a large chain in the Northeast, allows you to earn 10-cents per gallon off your gas for every $100 you spend on certain items listed in their circular each week. You swipe your Stop & Shop rewards card before you pump and it instantly lowers the price. However, not all locations or gas stations participate, so visit Stop & Shop’s Web site for more information.

And many credit cards have programs that earn you points, even double points on gas purchases. If you redeem those points for cash, you can get some of that money back. Be careful of ones with high interest rates and annual fees. One site that can help you compare is creditcards.com. However, cash seems to be king these days—stations are charging more to pay with a credit card and sometimes the difference is so substantial, it’s best to keep some green on hand
when driving.

And with the money you may be able to save, hopefully you can enjoy better or even more vacations this summer. Happy travels!

 

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Lots of Jason Wu in Harlem & Warehouse Sale Extended

27 Feb

On the heels of the Marni for H&M collection (Racked.com posted the whole lookbook with prices, so I’m not bothering), Jason Wu for Target is still on the racks. I usually only hit Target in New Jersey, but I happened to check out the East River Plaza location and, to my surprise, there was a lot of Jason Wu left, mind you most were size 10 or larger or size 2. I bought the shirt that I pictured in an earlier post.

But if the clothes don’t fit, bags will: There were tons of small print canvas ones for $29.99 (left) and a large white canvas  for $49.99 (below). I was quite tempted by it, but white will turn to black too easily; not worth it.

Meanwhile, I also checked out the Barneys Warehouse Sale (finally), and at the perfect time to go: first thing on a weekday morning. The one word I’d use to describe it: pathetic! I usually focus on shoes. Well, I pictured one of a very small assortment of favorites and they were only 25% off something like $229. I went Friday not knowing the sale had been extended, because the markdowns on the last weekend could be up to 75% off the lowest price.

The imperfections on the damaged rack were, at least I think, not repairable. However, that rack had the best deals. There was much more CO-OP merchandise than designer. A plus: home items such as Philippe Starck Lucite Kartell stools (about $245 each) and chairs, some accent tables and, if you have nuptials to attend soon, some good wedding gifts.

The two gems I found were hardly a bargain: A Fendi cross-body satchel for $2,075 and a Marni bag for about $775 (you can tell how thrilled I was because I didn’t bother to get the exact prices on items or take photos). There’s word stock from the Los Angeles sale is coming to New York, so maybe another trip before March 4 (when it ends in New York) may be worth it.

I didn’t bother going to the sale in the summer, so I don’t know if they already had what I found to be the most pleasant surprise: a women’s fitting room. Mind you it’s open so you can’t be self-conscious. But it’s better than trying on in the isles, which always made for more congestion.

Meanwhile, I think you can find better designer deals at TJ Maxx, which I will detail in my next post, so stay tuned!

 

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Inside EmphaticNYC

27 Jan

This has been a long time in the making. EmphaticNYC.com is a wonderful designer resale site I’ve mentioned before because they had a great sample sale. I had the chance to go inside the office and see the fabulous selection you can
buy with the click of a mouse. And the best thing is: There’s something for
every budget.

 

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Ok, I’ll Jump on the Jason Wu Bandwagon

11 Jan

I reported and was excited to hear that Jason Wu would be the next designer collab with Target. And because I was busy with my day job Tuesday, I defer to the lookbook on one of my favorite sites, as always, Racked. The clothes and bags look great and I love that everything is under $60 (one of my favorite and affordable outfits I’ve pictured here). But thanks to Pulsed, I have something you can use now. I’m not usually a coupon person, but what the heck. Jamba Juice is offering select 12 oz. and 16 oz. smoothies for $1 and $2 (plus tax) through January 19.

Meanwhile, Target currently has the Bullseye Bodega (if a real bodega had what Target has stocked, it would be a Costco). It’s not the same as the pop-ups that the retailer set up throughout New York City some time back. What it is: multipacks of everything, supersized shampoos, etc…. You get the idea. So if you don’t belong to a warehouse club, hit Target now. I even saw some infant items and kitchenware as well.

 

 

 

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Eat Away!

5 Jan

One of my favorite New York events is approaching. You may now make reservations for NYC Restaurant Week Winter 2012. This is the 20th anniversary of the event, which runs from January 16 through February 10 Monday through Friday. Three-course prix fixe dinners are still $35 and lunches are $24.07 per person (which doesn’t include drink, tax and tip). There are 300 restaurants to choose from.

NYC Restaurant Week started in 1992, just in time for the Democratic National Convention and is extremely popular (it’s often extended). According to OpenTable through NYC Restaurant Week online reservations, more than 200,000 diners were seated during the 2011 summer promotion. August and the post-holiday season are typically slow times for the restaurant industry in the city; residents usually vacation during August and many are maxed out financially from the holidays in January (hopefully you aren’t and can simply enjoy the savings).

There are new restaurants this season, including Asellina, Bann, Boulud Sud, Fish Tag, HanGawi, Kibo, La Promenade de Anglais, Marble Lane and Restaurant Nippon. And among the standbys returning are Barbetta, Brasserie, Carnegie Deli, Dawat, Delmonico’s, Gotham Bar and Grill, Le Cirque, Le Perigord, Mesa Grill, The Palm Restaurant, Remi, The Russian Tea Room, Shun Lee Palace, Steak Frites, Tribeca Grill, The Water Club and Water’s Edge.

And you can save even more with a special promotion from American Express, the founding and continuing sponsor of Restaurant Week: Cardmembers will receive a $20 statement credit when they register and use any eligible American Express Card to dine out three or more times at participating restaurants during the 20-day period. To register an American Express Card and for terms and conditions, visit nycgo.com/restaurantweek.

Bon appetite!

 

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All Wrapped Up

21 Dec

So you’ve bought your Christmas or Hanukkah gifts and now you have to wrap them–or you’re still waiting to shop last-minute. If the stores where you shopped or plan to shop don’t have free gift-wrapping, don’t buy wrapping paper or bows or even tape at a Hallmark store–even Target or Walmart. This is an area where you can–and should–save money. If you haven’t been to a Dollar Tree, now is the time to go.

If you are inept at wrapping, they have tons of gift bags, packs of tissue
paper or shredded paper filler and even pre-decorated gift boxes. But if you can wrap, there are 10-yard rolls of paper (they aren’t all ugly or tacky), plenty of tape, gift tags, stickers (in packs of no less than 30), cards, tape-on bows and regular spools of ribbon. And not only are they all a dollar, sometimes they’re two or three or even four for a dollar.

What popped into my mind when I went was, if you’re really tight on money, why not give homemade baked goods? And Dollar Tree has tins and decorated cellophane bags that are perfect for that.

And if you haven’t gotten those stockings hung or decorated a tree, they have a variety of sizes in stockings and plenty of ornaments.

The only negative is the service. But you get what you pay for. I think it’s worth trading good customer service for the value. And don’t just consider going around the holidays; they have wrapping paper and cards for all occasions and even party supplies, including balloons. Again, everything is a dollar or less. You can’t beat that!

 

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If the Shoe Fits….

16 Dec

That is actually the title of my first contribution to Loehmanns.com. So I encourage you to check it out. I want to put out a disclaimer: I’m not paid, so this is my own opinion. Also, follow Loehmann’s on Twitter @Loehmanns because that’s how you’ll find special discounts, some good for a short time. Like right now, take 35% off everything on Loehmanns.com now through Saturday at 2 p.m. Following your favorite stores on Twitter is a great way to find special discounts in general. That’s my advice for this week.

A Deal with a Mouse

5 Dec

I’ve been meaning to post about a wonderful deal from a talented guy. Sam Wilson of With a Mouse Design, who I’ve known for years, is offering 20 percent off custom design work. While it may be a little late for holiday cards, it’s never too late to get a head start on next year or still get invites to your New Year’s eve party. And with the new year approaching, if you need anything related to your business, including cards, media kits, logo design, advertisements…. why wait for next year to get those tax deductions!

Sam has done work for companies like Nike, Target, Sony and American Express, so you can be sure you will get the best work possible. See some of what he’s done by visiting WithAMouseDesign.com. Just “Like” With a Mouse Design on Facebook by clicking here and mentioning the promotion. The work must also be completed by December 31, so no procrastination!

 

 

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H&M to Collaborate with Marni for Spring

29 Nov

Courtesy: H&M; Photo: Magnus Magnusson

H&M just announced, on the heels of the Versace launch, its latest collaboration. And once again, the retailer is turning to Italy, with Marni. Expected to be filled with colorful prints and patterns, the press release also seems to imply it may be more affordable than the Versace collection.

The best sneak peek is from the picture to the left. We’ll have to wait for the look book and prices. But Consuelo Castiglioni, Marni’s founder and creative director gives some hints in the press release.

“I wanted to create a true Marni wardrobe by revisiting all our favorite pieces
in signature fabrics and prints,” she says. “As always, I love juxtaposing prints and colours, mixing modern tribal with Bauhaus graphic adding sporty
utilitarian elements.”

That press release continues:

“Marni’s collection for H&M has all the freedom and experimentation for which the label is renowned, with all-over prints in strong colours all intended to be worn together in layers that both match and clash. For women, the colours are vivid and the prints are bold, be they African inspired or simpler colour blocks. The silhouettes are all Marni staples, with full pleated skirts, dresses, cropped trousers and Jacquard knit, and fabrics range from silk to crisp cotton poplin. To finish the complete look the collection also includes jewelry, shoes, bags and scarves.”

Look for the collection to hit stores March 8.

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