Thursday, December 9, 2010

Uniqlo and Muji

In many Asian cities like Singapore, Hong Kong, and of course, Tokyo, the mega-stores Uniqlo and Muji are old news. In the United States, however, Uniqlo is relatively new in the land of cheap retailers such as H&M, Forever 21, Walmart, etc. Uniqlo and Muji are located in SoHo, New York City. Muji can also be found in Chelsea, Times Square and the JFK Airport. You can also purchase items online (See the links above). Uniqlo and Muji are part of the same company, one that values good service and reasonably priced but good quality products.

At Uniqlo, you can find puffy winter jackets for $50, a handsome wool coat with faux fur trim on the hood for less than $100, corduroy pants for $30, darling hoodies that have faux fur lining the hoods, inexpensive men and women's cashmere sweaters for $30.

Muji is the ultimate simplistic and modern home store. They cary many things such as organizing compartments, snacks, robes, and just about anything you would want for your home. My absolute favorite things from Muji, however, are their pens and other stationary. I adore their black erasers, refillable pens, and multi-colored (and we are talking a rainbow of colors) pens. Muji is a tad more expensive in the US, but I think most of their things are worth it. The word on the street is that their snacks are delicious!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lobster on a Budget (for 汉娜)

For the average college student, we can only dream of sipping champagne, tasting caviar, and
eating lobster...until now.

After a productive night at the Met, my good friend Henry and his boyfriend Adam, took me to a place called Luke's Lobster. Luke's Lobster is located on 81st and 2nd avenue and they have another location on 7th street and 1st avenue. The ambience is a cross between a casual New England sandwich shop and a take-out place. You feel like you are by the water somewhere in Maine when you walk in.

I ordered the Lobster Roll ($14), with an organic, fair trade root-beer and chips (came out to around $16). Henry and Adam ordered the Lobster Bisque and a taster platter that included a sample lobster roll, shrimp roll and crab roll with crab appetizers.

The bread is toasted in a special machine that makes it perfectly crisp, the lobster tastes like
it was caught in Maine that day, and the seasoning is quite tasty. The polite staff also enhances the experience.

I would definitely make a trip back for the lobster.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hong Kong Stores

If you visit Hong Kong check out the massive H&M on Queens Road East, the Cotton On in Lan Kwai Fong, Zara in any of the malls. Rumor has it that a 7 floor Forever 21 is going to be built in Causeway Bay.

An awesome home-grown store is G.O.D. ( goods of desire), everything is Hong Kong themed, and the designers like to add some tongue-in-cheek to their items. For example, the Delay No More line is a joke amongst locals because the name sounds like a vulgar curse word in Cantonese.

For stationary and home-ware lovers, go to MUJI and UNIQLO in Causeway Bay or Kowloon. The Japanese brand is well known for practical, well-made and inexpensive things. They also have some nice snacks!

For serious Hong Kong style shopping, go to Island Beverly in Causeway Bay. (Causeway Plaza is worth a visit as well) The mall is full of tiny, tiny stores with funky clothing, jewelry and knick-knacks. Warning: claustrophobic people should especially avoid this area.

Lastly, for some touristy souvenirs go to Jade Market in Kowloon for Chinese jewelry, just make sure to bargain. For fake bags and other goods, go to the Ladies Market in Mongkok.
For some nice views of the South China Sea and some bargaining among the throngs of tourists in Stanley Market.

Long Overdue...

Hello, so I feel like I'm posting for no reason, since no one reads this anyway... BUT I feel like I should share some new discoveries.


Free People is typically quite expensive, but their clothes are pretty and well-made. However, they have some excellent deals on their SALE section on www.freepeople.com.

Also, NastyGal is a new website with some very edgy, trendy clothes. Their prices are steep, but some things in the sale section are worth checking out. Like a tight, leopard dress in gray. Check it out at http://www.nastygal.com

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Surprise... PacSun has cute things!

Here's a little known secret: the predominately skate-wear store PacSun has some very cute things. I was looking on their website and they have some nice faux-leather bags from $20-$50, some darling little rompers for $12 and up, and some cute printed dresses!

http://shop.pacsun.com/Girls/index.cat


And check out their sale section as well: http://shop.pacsun.com/content.jsp?pageName=sale

Saturday, September 11, 2010

American Apparel

So there are some cute things on sale on American Apparel's website.
I'm debating whether I should get this polo dress in red:

http://store.americanapparel.net/2359.html?cid=29

It's only 17 dollars, 50% off the original price...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Beauty Tips

Need to look great on a budget? There are a couple things I do to look good, but keeping it cheap at the same time:

1) If you have a horrible zit, put a tiny dot of white toothpaste on it overnight. It will diminish in size the next morning.

2) Want an inexpensive make-up remover that doesn't sting? Ponds cold cream is wonderful for getting all your eye make up off while keeping your wallet full.

3) A facial cleanser I absolutely swear by is Cetaphil and can be bought at almost any drug store.

4) A good organic deodorant that won't burn a hole in your pocket? Tom's of Maine.

5) To remove excess oil from your roots, put a little bit of baby powder at your hairline.

6) For moisturizer I use either Johnson & Johnson's Purpose moisturizer or Neutrogena's oil free kind.

7) Lastly, for a healthier tinted moisturizer, blush and spot concealer, I only use Physician's Formula because I have sensitive skin. The brand is not too cheap, but you can still get it at a drugstore. I think it's worth it.

Century 21

If you are a shopaholic who happens to be in New York, your stay in NYC is not complete until you visit the mega-bargain store Century 21.

I bought:
a pair of rainboots worth $70 for $35,
Cole Haan flats for $70 that were $130,
another pair of decorated rainboots for $20,
Cole Haan leggings for $10.

I saw a pair of Marc Jacobs rainbooties very marked down,
and a smart pair of Ralph Lauren boots worth $1000 that was
selling for $200.

Their linens and bedding are also good quality for really cheap.

You HAVE to get there early before 11 AM, before the huge
crowd comes in. Otherwise, it is utter madness in the store.

I was fairly impressed with the merchandise except for the bag selection.
They could have had hipper, trendier things instead of the typical American
brands like Michael Kors and Calvin Klein.

SALES

Right now is the BEST time to pick up sandals and shorts on sale before the whole fall collection gets placed in the stores.

Shorts at Hollister and Abercrombie will be as low as $15 this season.

this pair is Dolce Vita from Nordstroms and is on sale for $30 from the original price of $50. And these gorgeous gold sandals, also from Dolce Vita, went from $60 to $40 pair.

These babies from BC Footwear are down to $31.90 from $48.95.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Forever 21 Sale


Cute sponge skirt from Forever 21 now $13.99 from $27.80:

You can find this and more here to see forever 21 sale items.

Swirl By Daily Candy

The online website for daily deals, Daily Candy, has a sister site for fashion, Swirl is having a sale on American Apparel items today. Dresses and skirts worth $36- $42 are going for $15- $20, hoodies are going for $19 and sweat pants for $16.

Check it out at www.swirl.com

Monday, August 16, 2010

TALL WEDGES

I bought some marvelously high wedges from a
Chinese store called Hotwind, www.hotwind.net,
for 169 kuai on sale, so about $24 US for some nice leather
shoes!

I am in love and hope to post up pictures of my shoes soon!

Bubble Tea in Shanghai :)

I love bubble-tea like anyone who grew up in Asia should.
Of course the best, cheapest bubble tea is in Taiwan, where they
have a boba store on nearly every street. But you can get naicha
in most other countries in the Far East.

In China, Happy Lemon or 快乐柠檬 and CoCo Bubble Tea
are popular. And who can complain? For 5-7 kuai for a cup,
the price and taste are sure to cause a couple of unwanted pounds.

After some confusing incidents, I have finally learned that milk-tea with pearls is zhen zhu nai cha 珍珠奶茶。

SHANGHAI

I have been in Shanghai the last two weeks and simply loving it.
Shopping and eating, lets go:

For shopping, I seriously suggest going to some markets.
Unfortunately I only made it to two markets in Hongqiao district,
and I've heard the ones on Nanjing lu are really crowded and crazy.

So for touristy things and touristy prices go to Hongqiao Pearl Market.
I was able to find vendors who haggled with me for a while until I got some cheap prices. This place has souvenirs, fake bags and shades, overpriced headbands ($25 yuan?!) and a large shoe selection on the 3rd floor.

*While shopping in markets in Shanghai, make sure you start buying on the top floor, because that is where business is slower, so they prices will be better when you bargain with them.

The second market which I prefer is HongQiao Da Tong Yang Market 大通阳商厦 on JinHui 金汇 lu, it is also called KoreaTown because there are some stores with Korean things. This market may be where the older things from the Pearl Market come, so it is cheaper. Da Yong Yang has silk robes, pajamas, shoes, fakes, accessories, a tea store, electronic accessories, and stationary. I could spend a whole day here!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

www.amiclubwear.com

Go to www.amiclubwear.com for $10 sandals, $20 heels, and as my friends would say, "slutwear". Lots of it. But if you neglect that, or maybe not, they have some really cute shoes at fantastic prices.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Haute Look

If you subscribe to this online sample sale, you could get some American Apparel items for 50% off or more. Additionally, they carry other brands like Habitual, Lucca Couture and a Kova & T sale is coming up soon!

Not exactly thrifty...

but Cafe Habana in SoHo has some pretty delicious food.
The corn appetizer was awesome because it was dipped in butter, then parmesan cheese. I would suggest getting it without pepper for those, like myself, who can't handle spice. My steak salad was really yummy with great dressing, vegetables, and crunchy bits. My pal Henry had something wrapped in a tortilla that had goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes with beans and rice. I don't know what the name of it was, but it should be called YUM!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

F21 Romper


This romper is about $23 dollars from F21. It has a plaid design and
the colors remind me of the Philippines. It is pretty unique looking, and it has cool brown buttons. I like it because it looks different from most of the rompers out this summer.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sales and Fashion Blog

Go, go, go
--> www.thebudgetfashionista.com

Bianca

Last night I went with my Grandparents to an Italian Place between Elizabeth Street and Bowery on Bleeker and it was fantastic! The pasta with meat sauce was divine, as was the apple tart we shared. The spinach salad with apples was nice and different from a regular salad. The salmon was also cooked well and fresh.

Most of their dishes cost a mere $10 even for dinner, but the food is good quality. The only catch is you have to get to the place before 7 pm because the place was already crowded by 6:30 at night. The ambiance is charming and the wait staff is polite and patient.

Oxford Heels

Scored some beautiful oxford style shoes with thick heels at Screaming Mimi's on Lafayette street last night. They were $65 bucks, but well worth it. It is worth it to spend more on heels you can actually wear to parties and dance in!

Screaming Mimi's is a funky vintage store with some very nice finds.

My favorite vintage places include the Thrift Store on 3rd and 23rd street.
They have some really amazing deals sometimes.

I haven't been in a while, but Marble Thrift shop on 3rd between
27th and 28th has done me some good. E.g. 10 dollar Hudson jeans.

The City Opera Housing Works thrift stores are not bad either, there is one on the corner of 3rd avenue and 23rd street, and one down between 3rd and 2nd avenue.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Save Money

On books and electronics by going onto www.amazon.com for old or used items. I saved money last semester purchasing used books on Amazon. You can buy a lot of used books in good condition, its just a matter of choosing the item carefully after reading descriptions.

I bought two chargers for a very old i-pod model on Amazon for close to nothing. Both chargers work beautifully, and would have cost a lot more if I bought them in a store. I also bought a charger for my Mac book which works.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Heels

Sexy with a thicker heel and rock-star studs: from $70 down to $40.
They are so FAB!

Sandals

So my American Eagle sandals didn't work out, but it's okay, I guess it's fate!
Check out these bad boys from Victoria Secret for $25 down from $45:










Monday, June 21, 2010

Delias.com

Especially when they have sales. Check out dresses, tops, and skirts.
'nuff said.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tip Of The Day

If you want to buy an item online, and the item isn't being sold rapidly, I would suggest keeping it in your cart for a couple days. Sometimes the company will send you an email reminding you about your item with a DISCOUNT.

Props to American Eagle for giving me an additional 15% off!

Friday, June 18, 2010

BP NORDSTROMS

A great little secret is Nordstrom's juniors section has
some really cute, good quality clothing at excellent prices.

Go on their website and you will find floral skirts for $12-30,
cute dresses for less than $50, and jeans for $20 and up!

Metro North

I am pretty upset at myself because I only found out today that you can purchase 10 metro north rides in/out of NYC so that it comes out to 11 dollars per ride.

Argh money that could have been saved!

Props to Hen for the info.

PINK


I have to give some loving to PINK by Victoria's Secret.
VS is having its semi-annual sale right now, and PINK
is also having sales in their stores.

I purchased a really cute bra for $15 and underwear worth
$10 for $ 4. I'm quite happy about this!



Monday, June 14, 2010

Lucky Brand Jeans

Lucky Brand Jeans is selling skinny jeans and leggings for more than 50% off now at $30 a pop. I went into one store, but they ran out of my size, so I'm going to go down to SoHo to try my luck there.

I highly recommend Lucky Brand Jeans because I've been wearing
them for years and they are great quality. Plus, the cheeky part under the zipper always says something like "lucky you" or "lucky me".

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lulu's


For cute, relatively cheap dresses and tops: www.lulus.com sells Cheap Monday, BB Dakota, Billabong, and other labels. Most of their items are less than US$50.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Yoga Mats

Whole Foods is selling Gaiam yoga mats for around $21 bucks right now.

The mat was pretty good, it smelled a little like plastic, but
it was pretty sticky during class. More importantly, I bought
a cute purple one with a flower design :)

Also, Lululemon is having free classes at their Union Square store,
as well as in Bryant Park and Union Square park this summer.

St. Marks

What wonderful things St. Marks (8th street downtown) has to offer:

Yoga To The People is a yoga place between 2nd and 3rd ave that is a donation-based studio, you can rent
a mat for $2 and you pay as much as you like for the donation.

Pretty much all the Asian spots in the area are very cheap for lunch,
Udon West, Yakitori Taisho, Zen Restaurant all have good menus.
Zen even has a lunch special that allows you to order up to $16 worth of sushi,
but they divide the price in half for lunch!

(Thanks to KChen and Nicole for the aforementioned info)

It's not on St. Marks, but nearby Rai Rai Ken makes a big, yummy bowl
of ramen for less than $10, even for dinner. --> Scratch that, went last night
and the ramen was super salty and peppery. Bleh.

I've heard you can get a tasty falafel for about $3 at Mamoun's Falafel.

My ONE guilty pleasure on this street is the bubble tea at TKettle
for about $3.25 for a small cup. I feel like I'm paying for a gourmet
boba compared to the $2.25 cup I can get at Quickly's in Chinatown or Flushing.
But it is more convenient this way...




Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Charles and Keith Shoes




A fabulous brand of accessories from Singapore called Charles and Keith is expanding and becoming more well-known. They have some very unique shoes and bags. I have one pair of gorgeous heels that has lasted me about three years.

The great part? Their products only cost about $20-$30 US dollars if you buy them in Singapore. But that is if you buy them in Singapore. They become more expensive when they are exported to other countries. They are still quite a deal compared to accessories from the US, considering the design and quality of their items.


American Eagle Sandles

So I went to AE the other day and found these cute gladiator type sandals. The heel part is cushiony, there is a nice adjustable strap at the back and the sandal itself was pretty comfortable.

They were $30 when I went to the store, but the website says they are $20. For twenty bucks, I would say these are a bargain even if they are a bit generic looking.


Monday, June 7, 2010

The Rules I Shop By:

1) Do not buy it unless you need it or absolutely love it.

2) Go to cheaper stores such as Forever 21 or H&M to buy trendy things.

3) Invest in classic necessities including jeans, shoes, coats, jackets, and underwear.

4) Don't spend tons of money on a tee shirt.

5) When it comes to beaded things, you get what you pay for. I would not suggest
buying beaded or sequined articles of clothing from cheap stores.

6) Be very careful when buying jewelry- (I always forget to take things off when I wash my hands).

7) Most of the shoes from places like Target and Urban Outfitters usually don't last long, so examine their shoes very carefully before purchasing a pair.