Tag Archive for 'Target'

Stylish Work Spaces

What does your work space say about your personal stye?  Whether you work from home, in a cubicle, at a desk or in your own office – does your work space speak to who you are?  Are you motivated to work efficiently and effectively in your workspace?

If my desk is a mess I cant think straight.  I subscribe to the theory that a messy desk means a mind filled with chaos.  During my law firm days, unless I was totally swamped and working around the clock, I cleaned off my desk every night before heading home.  To get a jump start on the next day’s challenges, I also created a “to do” list.  Old habits die hard; although I work from home, I still try to clean my desk off regularly and make my nightly “to do” list.  Fresh flowers, photos of family and friends, interesting paperweights and a place for everything also helps to make an office your own private oasis.

Yes, that’s me sitting at my desk in my home office where I pen most of my posts. I LOVE my new office thanks to the generosity of my husband and the interior design genius of Ghislaine Vinas.  Believe it or not, I used to sit facing a brick wall at a rickety West Elm desk that had seen one too many moves.  However, it took home and office organizing expert, Lynda Foxman, to help us find a space in our home that would be an ideal work space for me but not interfere with the general flow of the apartment.

I’m a fan of the desk accessories and paper goods at Muji, The Container Store, Jonathan Adler and Unica Home.  OneKingsLane, the Gilt Groupe of home goods, also has great finds on a regular basis.  Lynda Foxman convinced me to buy file folders, paperclips and pens that fit my personality (they’re all purple of course!).  At first it seemed like a waste of money since I already had just plain old manila folders, but I found some purple folders on sale at Target and have been converted ever since.  It is nice to have folders I like to stack my papers and bills in.  There was a partner at my old law firm who only used pink legal pads, I thought she was being a bit eccentric, but maybe  her pink legal pads bring a little smile to her face while she’s burning the midnight oil.

Artwork can make a big difference too.  I know most people hang their diplomas and whatnot, but really is that what you want to look at everyday?  You know where you went to school and when you graduated; if someone else really wants to know what your alma mater is, they’ll either ask you or Google you.  Find some art that inspires you, makes you smile or makes your office inviting for both you and any visitors you may have.

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your office, check out Cococozy.  A great interior design blog and website focused on stylish ideas for home and office.

What have you done to make your work space reflect your personal style?

[Photo by Mel Barlow]

The Virtues of Stylish Workout Gear

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If working out on a regular basis is one of your New Year’s resolutions, you’re not alone.  Every January, gym memberships peek as people come off of their holiday highs hoping to drop a few lbs before swimsuit season hits again.  Making the resolution is easy, following through on it is the challenge.

Crazy as this may sound, I always feel better about dragging myself out of bed to walk to the gym on dark cold mornings if I know that, while I may be a tad bit out of shape, my workout clothes are slammin’!  (For the record, James, my instructor at Physique 57, said I was his best-dressed student, what he was too nice to say is that I’m probably the least coordinated!  But I digress).  Working out in old t-shirts and ratty sweats doesn’t do it for me.  Some might argue that it doesn’t matter what you workout in just as long as you workout.  Agreed.  All I’m saying is that it’s much easier to get myself to the gym if I’m in workout gear that makes me feel good.

Workout clothes don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg – although I have seen some pretty FAB gear that I’ve just had to walk away from before I convinced myself that I would be able to run longer and faster on the treadmill if I wore it.  Now, I can be a little cheap when it comes to work out clothes; this is an area where I’m definitely looking for a bargain.  Truth be told, I’ve purchased my fair share of workout clothes from Equinox because in my haste to get there, I left a vital piece at home (um, shorts for example).  So, to balance those pricey purchases, I shop for workout gear at my favorite discount stores - Marshall’sTJ Maxx and Target. Black is slimming, or so they say, so much of my workout wardrobe consists of black items with pops of color here and there. This also makes it very easy to get dressed while I’m half asleep because just about everything goes together so I don’t have to put thought into looking good, I just have to get to the gym.  And if I fall off the wagon, I don’t feel badly about having wasted money on expensive workout clothes . . .

Now, if none of this is your cup of tea, our friends on the other side of the pond conducted a study found shopping to be healthy exercise – we burn 5 calories for every minute of shopping (who knew?!?!).  So, rather than go to the gym, grab your purse and your best shopping bud and head to the nearest mall to burn off those extra lbs!

[image from WellSphere]

Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Take Your Pick

What is it about Thanksgiving that puts Americans in the mood for shopping? Shopping the day after Thanksgiving on Black Friday is as ingrained in us as the watching the Superbowl on the  1st Sunday in February.  And this year is no exception.  Black Friday falls on November 27th this year and it is the official kick-off of the holiday shopping season!

The term Black Friday was coined in Philadelphia by the Philadelphia Police Department in reference to the massive traffic jams and overcrowded sidewalks on the day after Thanksgiving. While often touted as the busiest shopping day of the year, retailers’ profits don’t always match the long lines snaked around their stores and parking lots.

This year, however, some of the big box stores have already begun to offer their Black Friday deals in anticipation of trumping one another.  Sears began it’s Black Friday sales in October – go figure.  It’s not clear if this pre-emptive move got folks in the store spending money or not, it’s too soon to tell.  Target has been advertising that it’s Black Friday deals will be lower than ever and allows shoppers to sign up on line for shopping reminders.

2009 Black Friday Special Deals

This year look for travel deals, particularly in the form of vacation packages from various airlines and hotel chains.  The doorbusters are the same as usual – 52″ TVs and laptops at major savings from stores like BestBuy, WalMart, KMart, you know the usual suspects.  If you’re looking for deals on higher end brand items, check to see if the Simon Outlet Mall closest to you opens at midnight on Thanksgiving.  If so, take a nap after dinner and plan to get there by 11pm at the latest to find a parking space and queue up for some of the best deals you’re going to find during the holiday season.

Cyber Monday

However, if the crowds and all the drama are too much for you, not to worry, Cyber Monday was created just for you!  You can bypass the Black Friday sales entirely and wait until you’re back in your office on Monday to kick-off your holiday shopping spree from your computer with no lines, hassle, or stress. Cyber Monday is to Black Friday what yin is to yang. So, if the stress of Thanksgiving dinner is all you can handle this weekend, no worries. There will be deals galore on Cyber Monday.  Check out sites like CouponCabin and RetailMeNot to find out about even more special offers and bargains before you let your fingers do the typing.

 

 

 

Holiday Shopping Tips:

  • Know your budget;
  • Create a list of who you’re buying gifts for, how much you plan to spend on each recipient, and what you’d like to get for each one;
  • Come up with a shopping strategy so that you maximize your time at the mall or online;
  • Keep your list with you while shopping so that you can check off your purchases as you go; and
  • Keep all of your holiday receipts in the same envelope.  And, remember to ask for gift receipts.

Happy Shopping!

What’s In a Name?

High end designers are designing for the masses.  Thought you’d never be able to afford a pair of Jimmy Choos?  Guess again.  Do you love Anna Sui but not her prices? What about Temperley of London? Alexander McQueen? Jill Sander? Kate Moss? …  It’s a bandwagon just about anyone who’s anyone in the design world is jumping on.  Target and H&M are at the forefront of this movement, but it’s a party many are likely to attend.  And why not?  Consumer dollars are more precious than ever, why should a designer restrict him or herself to only a fraction of that money when offering clothes at a variety of price levels insures money in the bank and not just a layout in Harpers Bazaar? Cha-ching!!!!

Target was definitely the leader of this trend – Do you remember Swell by Cynthia Rowley and Ilene Rosenberg?  Great comforter and sheet sets for your dorm room or the stylish teen?  CR now has a line of home goods at Target called Whim.  Liz Lange’s maternity duds available at prices that you don’t have to be an UES (Upper East Side) mom to  afford?  Or Michael Graves’ beautiful kitchen appliances and do-dads that even made the folks at Alessi salivate?  Then Target threw the gauntlet down when it hit us with its Go International line featuring emerging designers. Target has had partnerships with everyone from Luella Bartley to Thakoon.  Not to mention Target’s accessories collaborations with designers like Devi Kroell and Erickson-Beamon.  And now, their Designer Collaborations available for a limited time and featuring established designers who draw inspiration from a muse or creative elements – think Anna Sui and Gossip Girl.

And then there’s H&M (f.k.a. Hennes & Mauritz), the Swedish conglomerate focused on fashion domination with 1,800 stores in 34 countries who’s goal is to bring its customers fashion and quality at the best price.  Their designer collaborations began 5 years ago with the father of haute couture, Karl Lagerfeld and as recently as a few weeks ago Jimmy Choo’s line for H&M was revealed.

Everyone’s in the game – Christian Siriano the winner of Project Runway 4 is designing for Payless and even Earnest Sewn, the Manhattan denim company, is collaborating with designers like Van Cleef & Arpels, Repetto, Trovata and knitwear designer Victor Glemaud.

Other stores have bought into the concept too, look for designer collaborations at Uniqlo (Jill Sander), TopShop (Christoper Kane) , Walmart (Miley Cyrus & Max Azria)

With all of these designer duds available at a fraction of the cost, you too can be stylishly FABulous at a fraction of the price!

You’d Better Shop Around …

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Frugal is as frugal does.

Are you getting ready to pull the trigger on that dress you’ve been eyeing on Bluefly? Planning to order photos on Snapfish?  Need to buy necessities at drugstore.com?  Before you click “purchase”, make sure your items are saved in your shopping cart and look around online for discount coupons.  These coupons knock off anywhere from a little bit to a lot from your purchase prices with deals that include free shipping, 10% off, $5 off and the like.  Never buy anything online without looking for a coupon first.  Simply google “[item] coupon” and websites like CouponCabin.com, Retailmenot.com, momsview.com, couponmountain.com, dealtaker.com, and gogoshopper.com will pop up – some of these sites feature over more than 1,000 online retailers.  The savings are definitely worth the extra 5 or 10 minutes that it takes to locate the coupon.  While not all of the coupons you’ll find are valid, if you persevere and are shopping at a name brand retailer – Bloomingdales, Target, Walmart, Neiman Marcus, JCrew, Saks, Victoria’s Secret,etc – you will find a coupon!   Take a moment to shop around and guarantee yourself some savings.

And you thought clipping coupons was something your Grandmother did – get with the times!