Archive for the shopping Category

Eventful night in downtown Seattle

Posted in clothes, Movies, shopping on January 9, 2010 by poojaland

An evening earlier this week, I went straight from work to downtown Seattle to attend one of those free movie screenings, this one for the movie “Leap Year” (yes, I’m a sucker for rom-coms, and on top of that, I love Matthew Goode). Once I got downtown, I had just over an hour to kill, so I walked to Pacific Place, a huge mall/restaurant/movie theater complex across the street from the theater the movie would play in. I went inside the mall, and then as I headed toward an escalator, I walked by this questionable-looking guy (read: a bit unkempt, shifty). Right as I walked by he said “Follow me out, OK? Let’s go.” I pretended I hadn’t heard anything — at this point, I thought he was maybe talking toward someone already on the escalator — so I kept walking. I got on the escalator, and as I was going down, he said “They’re watching you.” I stealthily looked around, and didn’t see anyone he could’ve been talking to. So.. he was either just talking to no one, or just to me. Um, yikes! He got onto the escalator a few stairs behind me. As soon as I got off, I booked it to the other side of the mall. Thankfully, I didn’t spy him again.

I wandered into some random stores with “Sale” signs out front, making sure to quickly walk past Victoria’s Secret (where the big Semi-Annual Sale was going on) and Express (where the famous Box Sale was going on), two places where I have little will power. Swung through J. Crew, and then went next door to BCBG Max Azria (which, as I side note, I used to think was Max “Azaria,” as I confused it with the actor Hank Azaria), a place I normally would never go into, but this time I was lured in by the “Extra %30 off clearance items” sign. Most of their clothing, even marked 50% off, and then an additional 30% off, was still waaay too expensive for me, but I found a casual jacket and a couple skirts to try on. A saleslady led me over to the dressing rooms and then opened up one for me. I walked in, closed the door behind me, and then turned around and around in confusion: There was no f’ing mirror in the room!! I then remembered that as I’d waited to be let into the dressing room, I’d seen a man and two kids sitting on this large sofa thing, and the mom of the family had come out to show them the dress she was trying on. There were mirrors on the outside of each dressing-room door, so she was obviously showing them the dress while also getting a first look herself. BCBG is such a high-end store — and yet they only have mirrors OUTSIDE their dressing rooms?! Luckily, I at least didn’t have all stubbly legs, as I’d had swimming the night before, but there was still no way I was going to step outside to show off every bulge and dip. The jacket I’d took in to try on was much to short — I didn’t need a mirror to figure that out — so that immediately went back on the hanger. Next, I tried on the two skirts. Herein was where I ran into a bit of a problem.. I tried to take some self-photos on my iPhone, but as all other iPhone owners know, this is a pretty impossible task. At right, you can see the results of those attempts. The skirt was actually quite cute, but being that it was all black, the details don’t show on a low-resolution/badly lit iPhone-camera picture. The lack of being able to truly see how the skirts fit, combined with the still steep price of them, led me to easily decide to not buy either of them (though I could’ve of course bought them, tried them on at home at my leisure, and then returned them). One of my friends suggested that the no-mirrors-in-dressing-rooms thing is so that when you step outside to look at yourself, the salespeople can come over and start lauding you with compliments, so you get all excited to buy everything you try on. I definitely don’t mind stepping out for some compliments/affirmation on something that looks good on me, but only after I’ve looked at myself for 10 minutes and from every angle in front of the mirror inside my dressing room. So…yeah. Now we all know!

After wasting some more time at other stores in the mall — and not spending any money: snap! — I headed back out to walk over to the movie screening. About 20 minutes into the movie, the screen suddenly went white, and we saw the film literally melt right there. It looked like someone stretched some thin caramel across the screen, and then it just tore apart and disappeared. The theater was at full capacity, and we all laughed nervously and were like, “What the–?” About 10 minutes later, we were back in action, though the film obviously started again at least a minute or two from where we’d last seen it. Twenty minutes later…another film meltdown! This time, it only took them about 5 minutes to fix things (after each meltdown, the rep from the film studio told us “Sorry about that! They say they’ll have it fixed within a few minutes!”). Once again, the film started up. And then 20 minutes after that…a THIRD meltdown! Jeezus! I heard later that a couple people walked out during one of the meltdowns, but in general, everyone took it with good humor. Certainly, no one was yelling or complaining loudly or anything. And after the third fix up, though the screen definitely had a blurry section right in the middle, it was smooth sailing through the end of the movie. As for the movie itself, well, it was up and down. The best part, for me, anyway, was Matthew Goode. Oh, and as a bonus — on our way out, we each got a free ticket for an upcoming movie as the theater’s way to apologize for the technical problems. My boss was like “You attended a free movie, and got a ticket to see another free movie?” Um, yes. And why not?

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They had me at red

Posted in sales, shopping on July 23, 2009 by poojaland

Come early July, I open my mailbox every day with bated breath, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalog. Usually I do a couple-hundred-dollars worth of damage at the sale every year, and most of the time, I choose what I want to buy via the catalog — before I even step into the physical store. This year, the catalog touted its “affordable” items, but though I appreciate it when, say, a jacket is $150 off the original price, I don’t exactly consider it affordable if it’s still like $200!! Yeesh. Anyway, after going through the catalog, I was only intrigued by a few pairs of shoes and a pair of sunglasses. I finally made it into the store Tuesday night, a bit exhausted after a haircut that ended up taking nearly two hours due to some miscommunication between me and the stylist (in all honesty, she didn’t listen to my instructions, so her supervisor had to finish the cut up and ended up comping my cut after all the hassle). There was a bit of a wait to get help in the shoe section, but after 30 minutes I finally tried on a pair of tall black boots. They were the pull-on kind, but not elasticized. I’ve definitely built up my calf muscles a bit due to the increased amount of walking I’ve been doing the past year or so, but I’m obviously still a bit wimpy from the knees down — after putting on the boot, I could stick my arm down the back of the boot all the way to my heel!! Even the sales lady was a bit wowed. So…those were a no.

While I’d been waiting, I’d seen another salesperson put away these really cute, shiny dark-red wedges. I’d seen the brand, but hadn’t been able to find the shoes anywhere on the display things, so I described them to my saleslady, and she was able to find them in the back. They were even cuter up close, and bonus: they were on sale! They either weren’t in the catalog, or perhaps I just missed them (the shoes’ red color is one of my faves, so they could’ve been in the catalog but in a different color, in which case they wouldn’t have caught my eye easily). As a rule, I’m not a fan of wedge heels, but I have a couple pairs of jeans that require only about two-inch heels, so wedges look great with those (plus you can’t see the wedge unless I’m sitting down). I still need to go back to Nordy’s to look at the sunglasses, but I’m very happy with the shoes for now:

I’d also been eyeing some Ugg boots (no, not the outdated traditional Uggs that most people seem to have), but they’re suede, which I doubt would fare well in rainy Seattle. I’ll have to quiz a salesperson about those to find out for sure, but I’m a bit hesitant to jump on the Ugg wagon, so we’ll see.

Thanksgiving!

Posted in Food, shopping on December 3, 2008 by poojaland

Every year when daylight savings time ends, I can’t help getting a little excited, as it means Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. My family has a long-standing (18-year??) tradition of heading to a family friend’s for dinner every year. The family friends are another family with daughters close in age to me and my sister (we know them because the dad of that family used to work with the dad of my family). The guest list has quite expanded since we first started going, as their older daughter is now married with two young boys.

Anyway, the night was really great, as usual. My favorite memory was when the mother, Marilee, my sister and I were peeling potatoes. Scotty (Marilee’s older grandson; I think he’s five?) said to his mom: “Grandma’s playing with her girlfriends.” Love it!

That night, my sis stayed at my house and we were up at 5 a.m. to head to Target and hit up their Black Friday sale. We went mainly so I could get Guitar Hero World Tour Complete Guitar Edition for my Wii; it was $40 off. Having done our BF outings up in Lynnwood the previous years, we expected the Northgate area by my house to be completely clogged, so we decided to walk over instead. Of course, just our luck, there was plenty of parking available. Once we got in, I headed straight for the video-games area, while my sis went to pick up some $5 DVDs. The Guitar Hero games were almost flying off the shelves, but I was able to snag one. After we paid for everything, I decided to head downstairs into Best Buy to see if they had Rock Band on sale (as I bought GH, I started thinking that it’d be more cost-effective to get RB, which comes with all instruments, rather than keeping the GH I had bought, which only had a guitar). I talked to a Best Buy dude, and he said without hesitation, “Buy Rock Band.” “RB 2” is out, but not yet for the Wii. And apparently the only difference between 1 and 2 is the music (no upgrades to the instruments), so I only need to buy the disc once 2 for the Wii is released. So…we trekked back up to Target so I could return the GH I’d bought maybe 30 minutes prior (likely Target’s fastest return ever!), and buy the on-sale RB instead.

Finally, my sis and I headed to the mall. We stopped in JC Penney to pick up this food-warmer thing for my mom. Then, at about 6:45 a.m., we started the walk back to my place. It was a bit of an ordeal, as we had to lug both the Rock Band box and the food-warmer thing. Now we know to bring a car next time! Oh, and of course, we found out a couple days later that my mom didn’t want the warmer thing after all; she went to look at it at Penney’s later in the day on Friday, and decided the burner spots were too small.

After getting home around 7 a.m., we both went back to sleep until about 10 a.m. My sis headed out a few hours later, and then I hooked up Rock Band and ended up playing it for like three hours. So much fun!! But then I had to put it down so I could head out for some grocery shopping, as I was hosting my family and some family friends for dinner Saturday night.

Anyway…that’s the gist of my long weekend. Saturday night’s dinner gathering was a success — all the food turned out great — and my sister and I got quite a kick out of watching the older adults try various games (including, yes, Rock Band) on the Wii. Sunday was a recovery day, doing dishes and watching a lot of football.

And now it’s suddenly December, which is crazy. The weather here is gray and wet, but definitely milder than I’d expect for this time of year. Though, I guess we’ve been getting more extreme weather in January the past few years.

Hope everyone had a great holiday!

REI-sale find: My new favorite pants

Posted in shopping on November 22, 2008 by poojaland

I got a flier in the mail earlier this week announcing an upcoming REI sale. Being that I have a chunk of vacation I need to use by Dec. 31 or it’ll expire (this is on top of the three weeks I can carry into ’09), I decided to take a day off Friday and use part of the day to hit up the sale. I mainly had my eye on a North Face thin fleece jacket I thought looked perfect for cooler-weather hiking (plus, as most of my friends know, I’m a sucker when it comes to all things North Face). I ended up getting one in an awesome plum color; it’s really soft and comfy.

I hadn’t been looking for pants, but I happened by a rack of REI-brand fleece pants that were on sale as well. And, bonus of bonuses, they were available in petite, regular and long sizes (being that I’m 5’4″, it’s incredibly hard to find pants of any kind that I don’t need to wear heels with). To my further surprise, a pair in the regular length actually was the perfect fit for me. So I ended up getting those in black. I wore them to parents’ last night, and I love them even more. They’re a thin microfleece, and actually look somewhat flattering, which is hard to do with fleece.

Anyway, the sale is going through Dec. 1. More details here. Head on over there and get stocked up for winter!

What every Seattleite needs

Posted in shopping, Weather on August 27, 2008 by poojaland

How cool is this umbrella?? It’s pricey ($48 for this one, $35 for a folding one), but I’m sure it’d be quite the pick-me-up on a gray, soggy day.

Shoe shopping by flashlight

Posted in sales, shopping on July 22, 2008 by poojaland

I walked over to Northgate Mall Saturday afternoon with the intention of swinging through Nordstrom to pick up some shoes (part of the Anniversary Sale). Once I got inside the mall, though, I got sidetracked by the “70% OFF SALE!” sign outside Ann Taylor Loft. I ended up picking out a few items to try on. Went into a fitting room, took off my T-shirt, and then whoooosh! The lights went out! Some back-up lights popped on right away, but it was definitely dim. (Nobody screamed, for those who’re wondering. There were just a lot of “Whoa!”s and laughter.) I decided to go ahead and try on a couple of the tanks, and then wandered out. Turned out power had gone out across the whole mall, and stores were asking people to leave and pulling down their security fence things as customers exited.

I was of course bummed that I hadn’t gone directly to Nordstrom (the sale shoes tend to go quickly during the sale, and I have an average shoe size), but I decided to wander on by there just in case they weren’t kicking people out. Well, Nordstrom employees and customers sure are a hardy bunch! The lighting was even worse in the shoe area, but it was business as usual — though everyone was using either flashlights or cell phones for light. The store was unfortunately out of the color of shoe I wanted (burgandy), but had my second choice (black), so I tried those on, using the helpful employee’s flashlight to check myself out in the mirror. I ended up buying that pair; they had to ring me up using an old-school carbon-copy receipt thing. (Of course, I was still obsessing over those red shoes [the color is much better in person], so the next day I called the Alderwood store and had them try to order a pair from another store for me. Fingers crossed! They’re so classic and classy, I know I’ll get my money’s worth.)

As I left the mall around 2:30, I heard that power had also gone out at the Target/Best Buy complex across the street. The traffic light at the busy intersection of 5th and Northgate was also out, leading to lots of honking and bad driving (i.e., three drivers going one behind the other, rather than treating it as a four-way stop as you’re supposed to). I read later that some City Light workers had inadvertently caused the outage; not totally surprising with all the construction going on in the area. Apparently the power finally came back up around 5:30 p.m. By then, I’d long since left the mall and headed to the U District for some medicinal bubble tea ;o)

Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket?

Posted in shopping on May 21, 2008 by poojaland

If there’s one grand rule of a woman’s life, it’s that if you set out to find one specific article of clothing — i.e., a black T-shirt, or some dark jeans or tall boots — you’ll have to go to several different stores on several different days before finally settling on an item by saying, “Wellll, it’s not exactly what I wanted, but it’ll work.” (And of course, you also will find lots of other items you didn’t need but just had to buy.)

Anyhow, I went on a treasure-hunt outing this evening. I have a red-carpet event to go to later this week, and had nothing in my closet that would be right for that sort of occasion. In fact, I only own two dresses — both of which still have the tags on them … I’d decided that my last-resort option would be my simple black dress. It’s not super formal, but would probably do in a pinch. But, I still wanted to see if I could find something more appropriate. So tonight, I started off by going to Ross. I didn’t want to spend more than maybe $70, and I figured Ross would be my best — though most long-shot — chance of finding a cheapish dress. To my surprise, the store actually quite a good selection of summery, somewhat formal dresses. I almost yelled “WHAT!” out loud when I looked at the price tags: each was between $15 and $22!! I ended up trying on six of them. Two of them were keepers, and I found a third on a second go-round of the racks that I ended up buying as well. I don’t know yet whether I’ll keep all three… it’s very tempting, just so I don’t have to do another panicked “What am I gonna wear?” run on a future such occasion.

And the icing on the cake — out of curiousity, I wandered over to the jackets/blazers section to see if they had any cute jackets to wear with a dressy outfit. They only had like five items in my size, but one was just what I had in mind!

A few hours post-shopping, I’m still sort of in shock. You have to understand that I have a rather odd body shape: I’m about 5’4″, which makes me about an inch taller than a true Petite size, but about three inches too short (without heels) for the majority of pants and jeans. I have a small waist, but.. um, “child-bearing” hips. And then I’m pretty small and narrow up top (I often shop in the kids’ section — much cheaper and the fit is surprisingly good). So finding clothes I like and that are flattering is often a huge ordeal for me, especially when it comes to things that need to be somewhat fitted. I could believe I actually was able to do one-stop shopping. It was a banner day!

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