Monday, December 08, 2008

Geeking Out

This past weekend I had the special pleasure of attending an "unconference." The idea is simple - breakdown the laws of traditional conferences for the purpose of having real conversations that are decided upon by the attendees. At least, I assume this is the general gist of the unconference that I attended this past weekend put together by She's Geeky. It was invigorating and inspiring, so I encourage all my West coast sisters to attend!

When I wasn't geeking out at the conference, I covered some old ground in the East Village (and by ground I mean I ate my way through the weekend; when I wasn't eating I took the following shots).

Here's FO selling craque on the side of the street. Ha! It's a small holiday market off Freeman's Alley. I'll keep you posted if she sets up anywhere else in the future (and yes, it was that cold - a little FYI for all my SC friends complaining about the "cold").

Finally I was back home and welcomed by this face.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Best Online Shopping Solution: Shop It To Me

At the risk of never getting my $10.00 off by directly recruiting people through the interface, I feel I simply must tell you about the hands-down best online sale shopping app out there. It's called Shop It To Me and in my experience, it's the easiest way to view all your favorite brands, on sale, online.

I promise you I do not know the owners nor do I have a friend who works there, I am just this much of an evangelist!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Arturo Chiang Shoes

Can someone give me some more information on Arturo Chiang shoes? They are cool, comfortable, what's the catch? I've done some simple searches and haven't come up with anything about this brand.

A few weeks ago, while shopping in Charleston with BR, I got these sassy little numbers.

Of course last week I saw them in NYC on sale for 1/2 the price I paid in Chucktown, but such is life! Instead of getting all bummed about it, I found these perfect little black pumps at Anbar Shoes for a mere $41.00. What? Yes, that's right. How many times do I have to tell you to go there and get your shoes on?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Newsflash - This Just in from NYC

I'm back in SC from a wonderful time back home and have the following to report re: what's hot right now in the city.

- Grey nail polish (a grey matte color, not silverized)

- Flowers in the hair (kind of like Kenley on Project Runway but without the 40s steez that comes along with her look)

- Billowy, light-weight cashmere scarves

- Wide cat's eye sunnies, ala the Tom Ford Anouk versions below

Photo from

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What's Hot in Columbia: French

As I head out to soak up all that is NYC for the next few days (thank you, Travelocity), I leave you with a quick observation: The French language is growing increasingly hot in the Colatown. Not only is the local Advertising Club using French in its promos for the upcoming awards celebration, but now STIR magazine is also on the bandwagon with L'Absinthe Fete.

Who will be next? Je ne sais pas, tu ne sais pas, on ne sait pas, mais tout est bien qui fini bien.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lines to Vote on Election Day 2008 in Columbia, SC

Here are some shots of all my fellow candidate "shoppers" on line this morning to vote in Columbia, SC. I was there at 6:30 am and was out of there by 8:30. The photos were taken just before 7:00 am.

In front of me:

And behind me...can you tell how long that line is? Peeps are rockin' the vote!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Shopping for a Candidate, Part II


I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the upcoming election. A while ago I blogged about shopping for a candidate. Well by now you've probably shared about 20.5 YouTube videos (at least!) with friends and colleagues, re-watched the debate highlights online and received the myriad email forwards from supporters of both parties.

Many of you know the line of work I am in, so I leave you with this one tidbit you may not have had time to look at. The following are the number of results on for searches with the listed keywords as of today, 10/30/08 at around 3:00 pm.

"Obama" - 600,000
"McCain" - 323,000
"Palin" - 144,000

I HOPE this means something.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Giraffe Print Handbags Are Horrible

Lovely ladies of Colatown,

Stop your obsession with the giraffe print handbag! It's a knock-off of a past-season Dooney & Burke model. It's old-lady-esque. Most of the time, the version you're carrying isn't even leather (and I don't think you're a vegan).

It's an old style from a former season. Right now in our town, there are a lot of exciting developments in the art, food and culture world. Further, non-profits are working towards making our fair city a better place to attract and retain talent. How are we ever going to get there, really, if we're all carrying kooky bags?

Really? Really.


Your friend, Caroline

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

TG-170 Sale

Oh sniff sniff that I can't be in NYC right now for a TG-170 sale. That does not, however, mean that my *loyal* readers up North shouldn't benefit from my recently-acquired knowledge. The following is a cut-and-paste job from the NYMagazine's "Best Bets" email from today. Enjoy and think of me if you buy anything!

Lower East Side boutique TG-170 is making way for new fall stock with discounts of up to 20 percent on dresses from Sari, Pepper and Pistol, and more, as well as accessories by Bing Bang and Greta Cavazzoni.
When: Daily (12–8).
Where: 170 Ludlow St., nr. Houston St. (212-995-8660).
- Source: New York Magazine's Best Bets email, Tuesday, October 1, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Shopping in Asheville, NC

Two weekends ago, EJ and I wisked ourselves away from the hustle and bustle of Colatown and spent the weekend in the mountain oasis that is Asheville, North Carolina. This Burlington/Boulder-eque town is THE mountain retreat of the area.

There's no need for me to give you in-depth descriptions about the sights and eats that can be experienced, because the NYTimes does such a great job with its Travel section feature, 36 Hours in Asheville (yes, we ate at Table and it was awesome. So is Tupelo Honey and Salsas). But I would like to - surprise! - highlight the shopping to be done there.

If you have serious cash to burn there are a number of galleries where original, local art can be purchased. My favorite exhibits were at Blue Spiral 1 which is right across the street from Mast General Store (a store which gets a lot of press, but is rather touristy IMHO). There are also a lot of jewelry shops with a style of jewelry that I only know how to describe as mountainy. It's not hippie, because it's not cheap, but it's very arty.

The clothing shops, in general, are indeed hippie. Chunky sweaters, lots of embroidery, and funky cloth handbags. But when you're in the mountains, people, you embrace your inner hippie. Paul Taylor makes custom sandals and belts. Here's a shot of its window display - and yes, EJ was contemplating a belt.

On the outside, Tops for Shoes looks like a place your parents would shop for shoes (even the website looks like something your parents designed - dang, am I beating up on your parents or what?). But a gander on the inside reveals brands like Marc by Marc Jacobs and Pink Studio. In fact, the Tops Outlet section is the business! There are a couple pairs I spied that I am kicking myself for not purchasing, but that's what the next trip is for. Anyway, I was saving my duckets for a store that we finally found on Sunday - Moda.

Moda is located in Gerber Village, a 15-minute drive away from downtown Asheville. If you're driving away from the downtown area on Biltmore Avenue, it's a shopping center that's just off Hendersonville Road after the turn-off to Biltmore Estate (Biltmore Avenue basically becomes Hendersonville Road).

Moda is owned by a mother and daughter so the photos near the register are of fashionable family members. Lauren is the daughter whom we met when we went in. They carry fabulous, different looks that satisfy both people in their 20s/30s and those in their 40s/50s. It was nice to see that diversity - from all the stores in Asheville, really. Coming from a college town, the general theme of the stores here is decidedly 20s. The reason I was so hell-bent on getting to this store was because it was listed on the jeweler Emily Amey's website as a retailer of the line. Jewelry is one of those things that is tricky to buy online. Indeed Moda had a whole bunch of Emily Amey jewelry; I got the ring in the photo below, but there were actually a lot of cool pieces by a bunch of other designers to choose from as well. Other brands carried included Coclico shoes and Lilla P tops. Lauren's mother worked in retail for a number of years and you can tell with the pieces they sell. The moral of this story? Fashion can be found in Asheville, you just need to investigate slightly off of the beaten path.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Franchise Vintage

Wow, I'm not sure how I feel about this concept: a franchise of vintage clothing stores! Over Labor Day weekend, KH and I went to Greenville for the day because I had heard some good things. While it's no Charleston, it does have a Whole Foods...and a Clothing Wearhouse. Interestingly, this store is actually a franchise of vintage clothing stores. You can learn all about it on the website. What's more, you can buy vintage clothing from the business wholesale. It's genius, really, but leaves me wondering where all this vintage clothing is coming from?

As I'm sure you can guess, I bought two dresses at The Clothing Wearhouse in Greenville. I mentioned how thrilled I was about this store in my previous post. Now that I know it's a franchise, I guess it makes sense. Every dress in the store was on a hanger with a see-through plastic garment cover over the dress. There was a display inside that featured male and female mannequins all dude-ed up with styles labeled "50s," "60s," "70s" - you get the picture. It was all just pure genius! Hm, I suppose I just answered my question of how I feel about this concept. Hey, if I'm willing to shop at BR, JCrew, H&M, Zara (the list goes on), then why not this place?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back in the Summer of '08

In the immortal words of Gracie Peanut, "Lordy, lordy, lordy, lordy!" August was a long old month indeed. I drove up and back to upstate New York, then two days later I flew out to Northern CA to hang with the O'Malleys and work a trade show, then it was back to Colatown for the first Slow Food Columbia event, then KH came to visit for Labor Day weekend and then I started a full-time job last week.

A shopping/things I acquired this Summer redux:

I grabbed a bunch of furniture in NY. This china cabinet was something I believe my parents bought. Not an heirloom, but cool nonetheless.

In Northern California, I spent the entire time in awe of everything in the region - food, culture, lifestyle, etc. Here are my fave people in the BAY Area:

And here is one of my fave purchases from Los Altos. Yes, these are jelly-esque...I prefer to call them the anti-croc (or should I say, anti-croque?). These are from 151 Boutique.

Oh sweet Melissa - "plastic dreams" just sounds so magical.

By the way, my apologies for these fuzzy photos, but that's my PDA for you. Ok so onto my shopping extravaganza with KH. We rocked it out with day trips to Gaffney (outlets), G'ville (GREAT vintage clothing shop there - more on that TK) and Chucktown. Of course we hit the King Street strip in Charleston, and K had an exceptionally successful trip in Hampden Clothing, per use. My piece de resistance was this killah rubber necklace from my favorite, B'Zar.

And now it's back to the ol' 9-to-5. Feels great to be able to talk with people throughout the day!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hos before Bros

First there was the "wife-beater" shirt, which is a term that I loathe. I love me the tank top, but I really despise that name.

Then last night I saw an ad in latest hard copy issue of Blue Ridge Mountains Outdoors promoting some sort of Subaru called the bromobile or something like that. I will report more correctly on that later, but the use of the term "bro" seems to be seeping into everything these days.

And now finally, the piece de resistance -- the "Cougarette" skirt from Diane von Furstenberg. Argh! Here's the photo of it. Cute, I guess. And I suppose it is some sort of take-back of the phrase, but come on.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Victoria Keen sample sale

Hey all my NYC ladies! Apparently Victoria Keen had a sample sale and I just got an email that she's extending it due to the recent Labor Day weekend. Get over there and buy some groovy yoga pants. Do it now! And be really Zen about it!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Crocs Outrage

This article about making Crocs stop on is one of the funnier ones I've read recently. Still, has anyone addressed the need to recycle these things on a corporate level? I can't seem to find a like-minded comment out there.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Suggestion for Target

Thanks to a conversation I had with SB last night about the quality of Target clothing, I remembered the other suggestion I was thinking of recently, this time for Target.

I think it's great that Target gets guest designers for apparel, shoes and handbags, but when it comes to handbags, they are always plastic. And I'm not talking the nice vegan plastic, usually it's the obvi-not-leather plastic. A while ago they featured Rafe for Target. Hello, I love Rafe as most of you know. But plastic? That's a not so much. Right now it's Botkier for Target. Although they have one metallic bag that isn't obviously pleather (see image below), most of them are a disappointment.

Which brings me to my latest idea: why not have at least one bag in the collection that is leather? I would pay, and I'm sure others would pay, $100 to $150 for a [INSERT GOOD BRAND HERE] for Target leather bag. I might even pay more if they marketed it right, and if there's one thing I don't doubt, it's that Target knows how to get me - and a whole heck of a lot of other people - to buy.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hollywould Go Lightly (And Did)

What a pleasant surprise to stumble upon the great sales happening on Just check out these cutie flats (they're only $100!). There's a lot on super-sale - aka: Final Sale - and a handful of metallic espadrilles and other super hotties that are on basic sale.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Something Old, Something New?

So I'm feeling a little melancholy about Girlshop being officially gone. It was either the last time I was in NY (March 2008) or right before I moved (May 2007) that I went out to the retail store in the Meatpacking District because it was having a going-out-of-business sale. I didn't understand at that point that actually the retail store, presumably a last-ditch attempt for the online retailer, was the first stop to end-of-businessdom. And I feel blue about it because I bought plenty of items at Girlshop (sample sales only, mind you, which is probably a main reason why they're now gone) that I don't own today due to wearing through, wearing out or getting bigger. It's like a time period in my life came and went and I have nothing to show for it.

In related news, it seems that Nau is now coming back. Those brats! As you may recall, I recently bought a couple of items from Nau. While I am indeed impressed by the comfort of the material of the pieces, I ordered what are my usual sizes and of course, both dress and skirt were too big. There's no returns while this company morphs into something new, so I'll just have to don these items when I'm feeling fat, I guess. But I feel like clothes that are big on me make me feel even bigger, so I'm not quite sure what to do with these duds. Anyway, stay tuned for the Nau developments.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Suggestion for the Makers of Crocs

So Crocs are really popular down here for kids, and kids are really popular down here in general. I was thinking that due to the typical kid-like wear and tear a shoe will receive, and the fact that kids grow out of their shoes faster than you can say "apple juice," there are plenty of Crocs being thrown away.

In light of the green movement going strong across the country, wouldn't it be a great PR move if Crocs had recycling locations at the major retailers selling their sandals? Maybe people who actually recycled their (kids) Crocs could receive a discount on the purchase of their next pair.

If the company has some good PR/search people they will come across this posting and take my advice. Or maybe a plan like this is already in the works/happening? If so, kind reader, do let me - and the other handful of peeps who actually visit this online destination - know.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Best Shopping Resource for Columbia, SC Stores

Dear Caroline,

What's the best way for me to quickly learn about all the good boutiques in Columbia and the special deals, sales and trunk shows they might be having?


Southern Shopper

Dearest Southern,

A new friend of mine, Anne Postic, is fashionably fabulous, a dedicated locavore, an intense Pilates instructor and has two blogtastic websites (to name a few of her many talents and interests). Her newest endeavor will be your main resource for learning about everything happening, shopping-wise, in the Colatown. It's called The Shop Tart and if you're wondering if I'm jealous that she came up with this great idea the answer is "yes!"

So here's the drill - yesterday, once I peeled myself off the couch after watching a Project Runway marathon (the season that Chloe won. Yes, I thought she had the chops and skills, but I liked Santino Rice's final show so much better and didn't care that it wasn't cohesive and I want that pleated dress with the ruffles down the front! More on that to come in another post), I had the urge to shop. Furthermore, I had to go find a birthday gift for CC so I pulled up The Shop Tart website. Lo and behold, there's up-to-the-minute information on the latest sales. I was thrilled to learn that Kicks is one of the stores with items on sale - most everything in the store is 30% off. Sure enough, I managed to find these groovy BCBG silver platform shoes on the super-sale table. They were only $57, people!

Anne also maintains another blog called The Daily Digress. There's no way to give this blog true justice in a simple description. It's genius - just read today's post (July 13, 2008), bookmark it and thank me later.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


...have finally hit Columbia. This just in: it's been 5 years, but they've finally made their way down.

More to come.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Patriotic Poison Ivy

This week, in preparation for the July 4th weekend, I managed to get a serious case of poison ivy in our backyard. As I mentioned earlier, apparently we have it growing all over the place back there. He's a shot of it creeping up our neighbor's fence (this is the side of the fence facing our yard).

Bel Biv Devoe, now I know!

In the meantime, Thacker finished painting the two rooms that were a horrible color. I was therefore able to settle our things into the rooms a little more and now feel comfortable sharing some more shots of the house. Here's the guest room -- ready and waiting for your visit down to the South Cack.

And these are the two living room/den areas on the first floor on either side of the fireplace.

By the way, the guest room is more of a grey, but a pretty blueish grey it seems. I guess our house is evolving to showcase the color blue. Here's our bedroom, which we didn't repaint.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hanging around with Hanging Baskets

After a week in the new place, I realized that the trend in our new hood is to have hanging baskets of plants or flowers or both on the front porch(es). Furthermore, there's porch furniture to consider. Since my mother-in-law is responsible for advice and opinions on the garden/plant-related element of our house, she and I went out to Rebekah's Garden at the Farmer's Market the other week and got these.

The ones in front are sweet potato plants and the ones off to the side are petunias - I think, but all the flowers have fallen off the sides facing the house so you can't really tell there's any difference between the four baskets. Yes my friends, this is what it's come to.

So here's what those baskets look like when facing the house. Green does well with the peach/pink color, wouldn't you say?

Oh by the way, these things need to be watered at least once a day. I've purchased a garden hose with a "wand" to attach to it and traipse outside nearly every evening to water these puppies. I guess I have poison ivy growing near the garden hose because the other day, before book club, I was a rashy mess after watering the baskets. It is truly a different world.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Caroline's Closet Presents, the Closet

ML has been asking me for photos of our new house. The thing is, even as the furniture is placed and the boxes emptied, I don't know that photos are doing the place justice because, frankly, there's a lot that still needs to be done (don't tell my husband) -- dining room table, more than 10 items to hang on the wall, etc.

Anyway, the point is I realized that the one room I am ready to show you is my closet. My wonderful master bedroom closet. EJ very selflessly gave me the entire space. It's the first room that has been fully set up.

As you may have noted from the updated profile photo - Caroline finally got her closet.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Je T'Aime, Paris

So it's been pretty hectic what with going to France for a week, moving into our new house, the long weekend. But believe me, I'm not trying to make excuses, just explaining myself a bit. Now on to the good stuff.

France was a wonderful experience. Friends have been asking me and EJ what we liked the best and all I have to say is, "all of it!" I didn't care that the euro was kicking my butt and stopping me from buying $300 Repetto shoes (at the actual Repetto store, no less! Mon dieu, it was beautiful). I didn't care that a bottle of water was $6.00 - I really loved the whole experience. The most exciting part of checking out the way women in Paris were dressed was that they generally looked like peeps in New York. The weather was beautiful - sunny during the day and cool at night with no rain for a week - so women donned RayBan-esque aviator sunglasses, roman-style, strappy flat sandals and casual dresses. There's not really a lot of crispness in the general style of clothing as I see here in Columbia - it's more drapey linen. Surprisingly, I didn't see one scarf. As I said, it was warm weather, but from what I've been reading in Lucky, the Spring/Summer scarf is popular here in the U.S. Maybe it was just too hot.

So that's the news from the fashion capitale du monde. I really needed to get that one out so that we can now move on to my new shopping focus: the house! More on that to come. In the meantime, I leave you with this little shot from the streets of Paris.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Get 50% Off Now at Nau

It looks like after just one year the environmentally-conscious high-end retailer NAU is going out of business. What does that mean for you and me, my dear readers? 50% off, yo! Now you might be able to buy one of those super-cool, streamlined jackets they sell. I stress the word "maybe" because in the case of the price of these jackets, one-half off might not make too much of a difference. I suspect the discount will get deeper as they get closer to having to completely shut down ops.

What does this mean for the bigger picture? Well, I guess the green movement is important to many, but not when it comes to paying $300 for a jacket or $150 for a jean skirt. Or perhaps, since the founders of NAU were apparently Patagucci defectors, Patagonia and North Face do indeed have a stranglehold on the big-ticket jacket market.

I would like to formally credit Smiles with sending me the information about this sale. For those of you who know him, how awesome is it that he's the shopping source?! Smiles would like you to note that if Nau is out of the color of the item you'd like to buy, try another color. Another tip is that it took me about 4 tries before my order was actually processed online. So stick with it little shopper bees!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Buy a House, Go on Vacation in France

What's the most logical thing to do when you've sunk the bulk of your savings account into buying a new house? Why go on vacation to France, of course! Phooey on the weak dollar, I need to eat some cheese.

Ok, so that's not really the thought process my husband and I had when we planned our brief trip to France many months ago. In fact, at that point I'm not sure we fully realized that if we planned to buy the house we were then looking at, we'd have to close about 2 weeks before our big trip. Quelle dommage, as they say.

Anyway, for those of you who haven't seen it about 1 million times, here's a shot of our new house. Picture it w/o the palmetto tree, please (i.e. don't get attached to that thing because it's coming out!).

It's on Park Street in the historic neighborhood, Elmwood Park. I love this house, y'all.

As for our France trip, we fly into and out of Paris and for the weekend, we'll take the train to Besancon, which is in the Franche-Comte region. As in comte cheese. Oui, c'est vrai.

At this point, the primary concern is how to pack. EJ insists we pack light in order to carry on, and thanks to the exchange rate I can't go nutty shopping in Paris, so the question is: just how many scarves do I bring?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Who Needs New York When It's All Happening in Colatown?

That's right, I said it. But with a night like last night, it's totally true. Here's what it encompassed. At 6 pm EJ and I met at the Columbia Museum of Art for the Runaway Runway fashion show. Put together by The Columbia Design League, the show was open to the public to use recycled and repurposed articles to create apparel. They ended up having a ton of people come to see the show - and something like 71 submissions - and it was so great to see such a mob come out for something like that. Unfortunately the show didn't start until a little after 8 pm, at which point EJ and I had to leave to go to a dinner in Elmwood Park, but we were able to catch all of the outfits as they had all of the models walk the runway together in the beginning. There were dresses made of neckties, CDs and cocktail napkins. Furthermore, the models were young, old, big, little, male, female and even some cutie little kids were up there strutting their stuff. EJ and I agreed that we felt proud to be Columbians at that show.

But like I said, we couldn't stay for the entire night since we were off to the next event -- dinner at the G's. Now LG loves herself some fresh fleurs, so we decided to swing by Publix in the Vista to grab some tulips. Guess who's shopping at Publix? Tracy Morgan. And guess who decided to give Tracy a ride back to his hotel? My husband. For some reason, I was mortified and couldn't even look the guy in the eye the whole time which was fine since he was sitting behind me. With him was his lovely fiancee Tanisha, who is described in most of the photos of them that I've seen online as his girlfriend but he introduced her as his fiancee so maybe I'm announcing some scoopage here?

Once we dropped off Tracy Morgan and his fiancee Tanisha and EJ settled down off of his star-struckedness, we came to the G's house where the whole wonderful gang was celebrating the end of their latest shoot. Oh yeah, the G's are two of the four partners that run the ever-so-cool, Mad Monkey, a production company based in our Cola, SC. I get the proud privilege of working with them, so does EJ, but most importantly they are wonderful friends and soon-to-be neighbors in Elmwood Park. Holla!

Not bad for a Thursday night, wouldn't you say?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Reasons to Love Spring in Columbia, South Carolina

1) It starts in March(ish)

2) Sweet tea

3) Chicken salad

4) Skirts

5) Sandals

6) Outdoor seating at the Publick House

7) All the events that are happening in April - oyster roasts, fashion shows and the ballet, OH MY!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Kiehl's Products Like Bars of Gold

Tonight I opened the tube of Kiehl's Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub I bought while in NY two weeks ago for work. Well let me tell you it took me straight back to the stress and ultimate high of purchasing Kiehl's products at the L'Oreal corporate shop a couple of years ago. Let's just say I had a friend who worked there, and let's also just say that she hooked me and others up with the ability to buy Kiehl's products at discounted prices around and after the holidays. I am still scared to fully disclose the nature of my connection.

Why so petrified? One of the women who worked in that store was a complete stickler for the rule that the corporate store was/is for employees only. Walking in there was akin to standing outside Mars with ZA so many moons ago trying desperately to seem like we didn't want to get in when in reality we were standing on newspaper dispensers to get noticed and ultimately chosen to go inside (I'm petrified, but I still really want it to happen! = I want to buy the Kiehl's products with a company discount, but I really don't want to get busted doing it, risking humiliation and - egad - the inability to buy.)

So I got to thinking about a brand and all that it does to build its reputation and get us to be such loyalists that there are now certain Kiehl's products I put on the same pedestal as bars of gold - the PP facial scrub I just mentioned, the musk perfume and the creamy eye treatment with avocado. Is it because I was able to buy it at a discount for a limited time frame that I now covet it so, or is it because that woman was such an impasse I now consider it a point against her to have purchased any of the aforementioned products? Either way, it's genius.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Nana Handbags by Sally Peek

Ok so I've been scooped by the Free Times, nonetheless I felt I had to write about Sally Peek and her incredibly funky line of handbags, Nana. I'm sure you can guess who her line is named after; well as it turns out, each style of bag is specifically named after a woman in her family. How sweet is that?

Today CC and I went over to Sally's to purchase some cutie items from her Spring line. Here's Sally - how can you not want to buy something from her?

And here are some shots of her workshop.

And here is C, doing some damage.

Supporting Sally's business, and therefore my wardrobe, is something that just feels good. She's such a friendly, creative person, there is zero guilt involved in buying a new bag per season.

At a winter sale hosted by her cousin, I bought this little number - a Sally bag - for myself.

Today, I sprung into Spring with this style - a Mombo (which, by the way, is her Mom's nickname). Look inside!

Ahem, subtle hint: Mother's Day is May 11, which is just about a month away.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Men in the Women's Clothing Section

I've been meaning to write about this topic for quite some time. Gentlemen who accompany your ladies on shopping expeditions,: we salute you indeed. Many men, my husband very much included, would never dream of going with their gals into store after store only to be asked, repeatedly, "Do I look fat in this?"

Being a supportive, couple-oriented kind of a guy, however, does not give you free reign to get in my way when I happen to be browsing the racks near your loved one. In fact, please get out of my way. You tend to walk slowly and not pay attention to the fact that you're in other people's way. Why not take a seat on the couches made specifically for your purpose?

I guess it gets me so hot because I am acutely aware of the opposite situation when I'm in the men's section with the hubs. Furthermore, I make sure to get out of a guy's way if I am by myself shopping for my man.

Ok, so do we have a deal?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Sprint's New $99 Per Month Plan

It's happened - Sprint finally did something right! You may have seen the commercial with the CEO introducing the $99 per month for unlimited internet, text and phone calls. Well I'm writing this post today to tell you it's true. About one week before the commercials aired I had to increase my Sprint monthly plan to $200 per month because I was going so far over my minutes due to my current self-employed status. The next thing I know, those commercials are airing and I am furious. After stewing about it for the past two weeks I finally just called Sprint to determine if they were indeed going to screw me, but no - I was able to change my plan to the 100-bucks-a-month option and I couldn't be happier. Thank you very kindly, Sprint.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

From Pirate Boots to Pine Tree Pollen

It was great being back in NYC last week among the truly fashionable and fabulous, but it was incredibly jarring coming back to Colatown after 10 days in the city. Mind you, I am settling in here and am loving the pace of life and the weather. But NY is definitely a helluva town.

The pirate-esque flat boots seem to be holding on over there. Boots over the jeans, but for the most part, they're flat or with a little heel. Fashion-forward indie guys and skaters are still wearing skinny jeans, but I didn't see too many women with the skinny jean and flats that was so popular a little while ago.

Meanwhile here in Columbia we're covered with a layer of yellow-green pine tree pollen. It's everywhere! It's all over our cars - inside and out - and all over our clothing and shoes and interestingly it gets inside too and as a result, my desk is covered. I feel for people with allergies. This past week it was in the 70s so the shorts, golf shirts and running shoes abounded on the guys around town while the girls were wearing shorts shorts and super huge sunglasses. It's tiring, but we are a university town. I didn't go to the Carolina Cup, but I have a feeling there was a lot of strapless and a lot of minis. I'm sure Jolie and/or Skirt! will have some photo coverage soon enough.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Here are some things that fascinate me about Columbia.

Regular-sized trucks, monster wheels
Now this is a regular siting -- I guess it's the everyman's version of a monster truck because it's your basic pick-up with ginormous wheels. Odd.

The "did I go to high school with you?" stare
No, you didn't. I promise...but you may have seen me around town>?

Our local DHL delivery person
He or she can never get it right. All you have to do is leave a sticky note on the door - what's the big deal? And you wonder why I haven't fully embraced online shopping?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Charlotte's Shopping Web

Well I found another shopping oasis this weekend with KH - Charlotte, NC! We were able to spend the night and it was a grand time indeed.

We dined in an establishment proudly boasting that they serve as much local produce as possible called Ratcliffe on the Green. It was quite good, our only complaint was that there were too many richy-rich items on the menu like fish stuffed with foie and wrapped in bacon! I ordered it and it was magical, but all those additions ruin the purpose of ordering fish, wouldn't you say?

The strolling and shopping scene is happening in the neighborhood called Chantilly (...Lace and a Purty Face...yes that song was on a tape loop in my head the entire time there). There are a handful of cute shops and a few restaurants - enough that you can spend a good hour, including eating lunch, toodling around.

Then we were off to Eastland Mall where our good friend Katie Spade was having a shoe sale - there were a number of styles for only $50! Good grief, lady - what are you doing to me?

The next day we drove out to Concord Mills which has an Off 5th (the Saks "outlet") which was running a "buy more than one item, get the second 50% off." Well shoot, more shoes here I come! If it wasn't officially official before that I had enough, it certainly should be at this point.

My current favorites are the KS lemon metallic flats (pictured below) - I mean, how could I resist?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Trendspotting: Spoons

I was thinking today about the concept of saying something new about a piece of work, a movie, a program on TV, a play, a work of art - anything, really - that's already been overly reviewed. My pal EW seems to have hit the nail on the head when it comes to giving a fresh perspective on an aspect of culture that is fairly mainstream.

I don't necessarily have the knack for saying something new about what's out there, but as you know, I'll definitely say something! On that cheery note, I share with you the following.

- Prints of spoons are increasingly popular. When I visited KH in Boston in December, we went to Madewell, the new retail chain started by folks from JCrew. I bought a white Tshirt with a print of blue spoons (wore it today to a brunch with the book club girls). Futhermore, this tote bag is currently for sale at Target.

Need I say more about the spoons? Ok, I'll say just one thing more -- I think the reason the print is so popular right now is that it's becoming indie cool to be a foodie. There are a million books and memoirs about the culture of food in the US, people's travels and food, etc. Furthermore, the organic craze has come and gone and now the local food movement is gaining ground. Food is cool, hence eating utensils en vogue.

- I've been saying this to a lot of people here in Colatown, so I figured it's high time to share it via the blog: I believe that if Columbia, SC put as much effort into business and the economy as it does into politics, it would be thriving. It's very strange to me that Litchfield Beach seems to have better restaurants and shops than Columbia.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shopping for a Candidate

Every so often I feel the need to prove I am not a completely shallow shopper. At times I shop for worthwhile endeavors - no, not "green" items - presidential candidates, people!

I'm hearing from my pals in NYC that their local media is making our beloved state look pretty scary, with peeps speculating on the Obama-Muslim connection and the like, so I think it's time this intrepid reporter send a little progressive news back to the homeland.

According to The State, "thousands" of people gathered for the annual King Day rally at the State House on Monday for MLK Day. The NAACP invited all the presidential candidates to the event, but the democrat candidates were the only ones to accept the invitation. I was one of those thousands there on Monday (in fact, I'm convinced The State captured me in a photo of the crowd, but that's not the point here) and I can tell you first hand that people were engaged with the various NAACP speakers, and thrilled to be there to hear the three candidates speak (each had 10 minutes).

Here's a photo of the crowd from my perspective:

Around me, kids were being hoisted onto shoulders to get a better look at the candidates and campaign volunteers were exchanging cellphone numbers to meet later that week to go door-to-door in Orangeburg.

Ok, wasn't a total utopia. There were some protestors:

That one was for my Yankee pals!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kicks-ing It

Cruising further down Devine Street away from Van Jean and towards Earth Fare you'll come to the shoe store Kicks. Right now it's having a 90% off sale and I was the lucky buyer of a pair of brown sandals for a mere $40 - they were the last pair and originally priced at $172. This place is definitely the best shoe store in town. There's also Sophie's in Five Points, but the shoes at Kicks are a little more stylish. The point is, get your clothing at Van Jean and your kicks at...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Van Jean Wilder

Last night the book club was all abuzz with - among other topics of conversation - the super sale at Van Jean, located at 2734 Devine Street. Now I know I haven't been able to consistently blog about the latest and greatest in shopping because well shoot, I really don't go shopping in Colatown as much as I used to. But don't you worry my friends - I haven't totally abandoned the faith. In fact, I was thinking about doing a little run through of all the worthy shops in the Five Points and Vista area because heck, it's not like Lucky Magazine is coming here anytime soon.

On that note, please get yourselves over to the Van Jean sale. The word on the street is that this store was started by a woman who used to work at the Columbia Museum of Art. Well it's no wonder because her store is truly an apparel museum. Key brands include the wonderfully preppy Milly, the trendy with a vintage flare Mayle, urban cool Vince and 3.1 Phillip Lim (current trunk show).

Now Van Jean isn't the kind of store I can stop in every month and pick something up, but when there is a sale it is more like a saleabration. I spotted a Vince royal blue cashmere sweater that is currently selling online for $235 for $112. Yes people, this is a 50% - 75% off sale.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I'm Once Bitten Twice Shy

Guess who rang in the New Year with some major purchases? Ok, it wasn't really the new year, more like one week into the new year, still it's been a while since I went shopping so this was a big event.

As most of you know, I recently branched out on my own as a consultant/project-based worker. Well my cute little clunker - Dell laptop from 2001 - really wasn't cutting it as the primary means to supporting my small business. So I took the plunge this past weekend and bought a MAC book. I'm finally one of the coolies! Now I can sit in the airport and tippity-type away while proudly displaying the apple all aglow. Ooooh! Does this mean I need to upgrade my iPod that only plays every third song? More on that to come.

I was so thrilled by the fact that just one hour in Best Buy jetted me into the modern day, technology-wise, that I decided to treat myself to a visit to Steve and Barry's (which I like to call Steven Barry's). Can you believe everything in the store was $9.89? Everything. So I finally invested in a few items from SJP's line, Bitten. It's funny because to look at them now on the website, it looks like I paid more for the Tshirt, but less for the two pairs of pants. Here's what I got:

If you can bear going into the miserable mall, go check out the SJP stuff and if you can bear the video "interview" they have running on a loop in the store with Miss Sarah herself, then you deserve to pay less than 10 bucks for any item of clothing.