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Marcie and Me

11 Oct

I sat on this for a while but have a secret to spill. I, buyer of expensive bags, rented a handbag. That’s right, rented. In February, Bag Borrow or Steal (BBOS) reworked their Website. Beyond a cleaner layout, free standard shipping, free insurance and free membership, we all benefited that much more with 50% off rentals.

That combo was just the nudge I needed, after several years of being a non-renting member (and hating the name change from BBOS to Avelle, then mercifully back to BBOS), to try it myself. It was SO easy.

Well, it was easy beyond trying to decide which bag to rent. I nearly went with a cheap bag for a quick thrill, but then realized if they were doing 50% off, I should do it right. That’s when I found her, among the other Chloe handbags.

Her name was Marcie, and she was mine for a month. Yes, this $2,000 handbag was mine for what I normally spend on coffee in a month. Marcie happens to be a gorgeous bag without being an ostentatious bag. You really have to know your stuff to grasp the full wow factor. And sometimes, when I was walking around with her, I got this feeling like I was in on a tremendous secret. I pictured myself as one of the models in those the cosmetic commercials pulling a “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” Not an impostor,  more a savvy little so-and-so. Like Reese Witherspoon who also knows what’s what on the Marcie front.

It has taken me many years and thousands of dollars to realize that each bag has that swoony honeymoon period of awesomeness, followed by my roving eye looking for what’s new and next. That is an expensive proposition in the handbag department. My friend, Haley, and I were discussing this and how rentals really could be the way forward to meet the shiny new need and the paying your bills need simultaneously.

In fact, after I rented Marcie, I spent a month with Marcie Tresse.

If you’re going to try it, help a sister out, and join using this link. Or here if you like to see where you’re headed:

Then Like Bag Borrow or Steal on Facebook to get your own heads up on discounted rental specials. Every now
and then you will see 20%-40% off on rentals or their Private Sale site.

Full disclosure: My good friend happens to be the Marketing Director for BBOS. Or maybe she’s not that good a friend since beyond telling me about the 50% off coming, she didn’t just give me carte blanche to choose whatever I wanted free. I kid, HB, I kid!


Tabletop Shop [On The Town]

17 Sep

It’s sometimes hard having a love affair with tableware. (Oooohhh, a rhyme!) You often can’t even convince your friends to attend free events like the DIFFA Tabletalk Design Seminar at Masin’s Furniture in Bellevue. I tried to no avail, so flew solo and had an interesting afternoon the other weekend.

 [Happy Tobi – not for long!]

It started off a little awkwardly with me coming in a couple minutes late, being greeted by a perfectly nice seeming woman in a conservative black suit who said simply, “Hi.” I replied, “Hi, I’m here to check in for the tabletop event.” Conservatively-suited woman responded, “I’m Tobi Fairley.” Oopsie. I’d just tried to check in with the guest of honor. Search “McKayla Maroney is not impressed” to see Tobi’s accompanying facial reaction.

I tried to hang back after that, you know, become invisible. Tobi spoke more about her redesign of the Masin’s front entry than her tabletop for the previous night’s event, so it seems fitting that I include a shot of the bookshelf she styled.

Mindy Lockard, an etiquette expert and writer of The Gracious Girl blog spoke about table etiquette, etc. She was approachable, interesting and provided a good recap of those etiquette dinners from college. All that while wearing an awesome dress with killer heels. Definitely check out her blog.

The seminar wrapped up with Kathy Greeley- designer, hostess, author and southern lady. Oh, and what I want I now want to be when I grow up. She was promoting her new book, The Collected Tabletop. It sounded a bit like she got shortchanged in the supplies stakes when it came to producing her table, but she made it work. As she explained how she borrowed pieces, she introduced me to an antique shop I didn’t know in Bellevue, Haystacks Antiques.

Immediately after leaving the event I headed to the Haystacks Pop-Up Shop and then to the original location. At the Pop-Up shop I found these awesome vintage glasses. They have a gilt, sorta Eastern motif that’s a little difficult to photograph, obviously. At the original location I found a set of 10 pressed glass dessert plates that will coordinate nicely with a lot of other pieces in my collection. Sold! Sold! Sold!


Whaddya think? Did I choose wisely? Who am I kidding…I don’t care if you think I did or not because I’m in love, but what is your weakness when you hit the antiques shops?

Mementos of a Geisha [I Bought This]

10 Sep

I love to plan for any of life’s eventualities with clothes and decor. Lots of clothes and decor. You name it — old stuff, new stuff, cheap stuff, luxury stuff — I’m an equal opportunity acquirer of stuff. One day I might end up on Hoarders, minus the dead cats under my piles of junk.

Estate sales are a favorite (and dangerous) source of stuff most weekends. After a while you easily put aside the creepy realization that you’re rooting through some likely-dead person’s stuff. Though I sometimes wonder what people will think going through my stuff someday.

The other weekend I happened upon an estate sale that topped many in recent memory. Tucked away on a quiet street, not far from my house, was this mega treasure trove of eccentricity. The lady of the house fancied herself a modern day Japanese Empress. As such, she had a house built and decorated to her specifications, replete with all the Japaniana one split level could handle. Here are some photos from the listing, that prove professional real estate photographers can really make kooky look polished.

I was there on day 2 of the sale and missed most of the furniture and art. I did see tons of gorgeous kimonos, Japanese dolls, gewgaws and what had to be the Japanese version of the red room of pain. (No guest room should be blood red and cause such heebie-jeebies.) Forgive me, but I was too busy sprinting for the door to think to snap a shot of it.

Buzzing with the possibilities, I managed to settle on a 78-piece set of gold plated bamboo flatware, negotiated down to $65. That was also a screaming deal considering the only place I can find it is on Replacements, LTD.  from $7.99 per piece. It’s the sort of thing I’ll need when I start letting my eccentricities direct me (even more than they already do).

Daylight Robbery [Shoptastic!]

3 Apr

Update: I took back that shirt dress and discovered that everything was now just a flat $6.99. So I price adjusted myself into one price $6.99 for everything below.

Friend, do yourself a favor and get to the nearest Sears/Lands’ End outpost pronto! They are running an extra 70% off sale items in store. Seriously. It’s not the first time I’ve made out like a bandit at one of these end of season Lands’ End clearances, but it’s one of my very best hauls to date.

I just make sure to style them ridiculously/a la Sarah so I don’t end up looking like my 63-year-old coworker who is also a huge fan of Lands’ End.

Check it:

Lands’ End Canvas – Waxed Cotton Coat – $39 (Orig. $180)

  • The jacket for living out all of my Barbour jacket/Ladies Who Hunt in the English countryside dreams! See you soon, Camilla! I’m addicted to military and olive drab jackets and coats. In this one, I picture myself like the ladies I see in my Beretta catalog (long story), but it’s really somewhere between that and the Canvas styling below. I’m not really a shorts with platform wedges and socks kinda gal.

Lands’ End Canvas – Classic Ballet Flat – Brushed Gold – $15

  • These are sold out online, but check your stores! I’m hoping these will be a worthy replacement for my Banana Republic gold flats that busted after one too many outings in the rain.

Lands’ End 3/4-sleeve Solid Poplin Shirtdress – $15 (Orig. $79.50)

  • It turns out I’m also obsessed with shirtdresses. They are sooo flattering! This one has a little bit of an elasticized waist, but it’s nothing tragic.

Lands’ End Cotton Cashmere Tie V-neck Cardigan – $15 (Orig. $69.50)

  • This is the sweater but not the color. It skates the line between seafoam and turquoise.


 Lands’ End Regular Ponte Twist Waist Dress- $19.50 (Orig. $90)

  • Wrap dresses, like shirtdresses, are just plain flattering. There’s no getting around it. This one is easy and comfy.

A New Light

19 Mar

Cheating on a resolution never felt so good. This Saturday, before I got my green beer on, I stopped at west elm to get out of the snow. Yes, the St. Patrick’s Day snow storm. Bizarre. Good thing we all know west elm is the best refuge from freak weather conditions.

[photo via west elm]

Safe and warm and full of lighting bargains, like my new light, Finn! Ain’t (s)he a beaut? I walked in, spotted it, and its $399 price tag and kept moving-right around to the other side where I saw “SALE – $99.99.” To my mind, the tag might as well have said, “SOLD – Sarah.” Add a “we miss you” bonus 15% off, and we were in business! Get your own while they last for $149.99 on the Website.

Oh, and since this was a purchase for the home rather than a real me purchase, I’m feeling like maybe I didn’t cheat after all.

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