Friday, August 31, 2012

Bye-bye, Raspberry Babies!

Hi, dear readers. For those of you in the United States, I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. I'm staying home, but for those of you going wonderful places, take me with you in spirit. May we return home safely and well-relaxed. I think the farthest I'll physically venture this weekend is Beverly Hills lol
Anyway, the closet cleanout continues. I said good-bye to the beautiful pair pictured on this entry, my framboise suede Christian Louboutin Madame Butterfly booties. To work toward my goal, I have to "Sophie's choice" my shoe collection. So I ended up literally listing all my CL shoes on paper and found that I had 24 pairs left in my collection. Initially, I decided that 20 was the maximum number to have, but I decided to change it to lucky number 21. I highlighted all the ones I HAD to keep and made sure to leave out 3. One of them was the framboise MBBs. I was so excited to get them last year, but in 14 months, I never found the opportunity to wear them outside my house. I thought of getting rid of them sooner, but whenever I took them out of the box, I'd change my mind. No looking back, just rip the band-aid off, DQ, and let them go. The universe must've heard me cuz I got a reasonable offer for them immediately, from a grateful woman in New Jersey. She'd been looking for this pair for a while, and now she's getting them brand-new and below retail. I hope she gets her Cinderella moment in them. They're on their way to her as I type. Sniff-sniff
Oh, well, I still have my bad-a$z black leather MBBs. The great thing about the cleaning of the closet is that whatever is left gets appreciated more. I will NOT fall into old habits and look to add to the collection to replace what I let go, at least not right now. I will NOT fall into old habits...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lessons Learned in Luxury Purchasing/Sales

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about selling off my rouge garrance Birkin. I'm still on the closet purge, so I had to say good-bye to another beloved item: my aqua Christian Louboutin Poseidons. It was a hard decision to make, but as I got a decent offer for them, I decided to let the aqua ones go. I bought the aqua ones from the West Hollywood boutique, which carried it in that color, gold, and silver. I didn't even know the lavender ones existed until they were posted on tpf, but it was sold at other boutiques, and I couldn't afford to get 2 pairs at the time. Fast-forward a few months, when a dear friend and CL angel told me he found the lavender ones ON SALE! He fronted the money for me and even brought them to me, then they were mine! I hate to admit that I haven't even worn them yet :( .... but I promise to soon! The aqua babies went to a very grateful buyer in New York who swooned over them 2 years ago in the boutiques, but couldn't shell out the retail price for them. She was very grateful to find them again. I hope they find their way to her and she can have her Cinderella moment in them. Here's the one picture I took of me wearing them, on a Mexican cruise captain's dinner in 2010 (Wow! What a difference 2 1/2 years can make--that dress was a size 10--I now wear a size 2).
Anyway, in this closet purge, I learned a few lessons, which I will now share with you. These were some very expensive lessons, and by reading them, maybe I can save someone else from making the same mistakes. However, don't take my words as gospel. Do what's right for you and you alone. Also understand that your experience may be different from mine.
1) I'm not Victoria Beckham/Paris Hilton/Kim Kardashian/etc. I'm a single working girl with a limited wardrobe budget. Every lesson following this one is based on this premise.
2) No one needs designer bags or shoes. You buy them because you want them. You can carry your essentials in a no-name bag from Walmart or wear shoes from American Eagle and still look great.
3) If I buy a bag, I buy it for life. Today, I threw out an old Mossimo T-shirt I bought from Target years ago cuz I found a huge rip in the fabric. Designer handbags are different. It takes an AWFUL lot of wear and tear before throwing out should even be considered. Even if it becomes trashed, do you literally throw out the bag? Probably not. The next step would be to take it to Eddie's (see previous posts on my wonderful experiences with this man!).
3) Considering designer handbags last a lifetime, how many can you actually use in your life? The more you have, the more options you have for different outfits/occasions, but the more you have, the less each one gets used.
4) Brand names count for a lot. Rachel Zoe said that your bags should earn you money. I mostly agree with this statement. If you have extra money and find a bag that you want and know you'll love for a long time, then buy it. I will likely not be able to make money off my next birthday present, but goshdarnit, I will love and use it anyway, so it's worth it to me. However, if you're ever in a predicament like I'm in, you'll realize that certain brands carry more worth than others. I sold my Hermes Birkin bag for 96% of the price I paid for it, despite being used and with a few imperfections. The best offer I got for my Chloe Paddington bag was for 23% of the price I paid.
5) Classic bag brands above all else, classic styles above all else. Even though I sold my Birkin for 96% of the original price, I can't even sell my Hermes Paris-Bombay for 50% of the price I paid. Besides the money factor, classic brands/styles can be worn/used at age 18 or 98 or any age in between.
6) Shoes will not make you money, particularly if they're worn. Christian Louboutins are a very desirable brand, and of all designer shoe brands, they're likely to fetch you the highest price, but it's rare that you'll get the amount you paid back. If they're used, you'll be lucky to get 40% of what you paid. So buy the shoe only if you love it. Sell it if you have to, but be prepared to take a hit.
Bottom line: No more "it" bags, and I think I'm done with new purchases, save for the yearly birthday treat ;)
When all's sold and done, I will proudly post pics of my pared-down collection.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gifts: Obligation or Thoughtful Gesture?

A couple of weeks ago, I got an invitation in the mail to a wedding. The bride was a good friend of mine back in college (many years ago now), but we gradually lost touch over the years. Our contact has whittled down to a yearly Christmas card. As I'm not on Facebook, there are probably a lot of people I could be in touch with. But the way I look at it, even without FB, I manage to keep in touch with the people I want to stay in touch with. This couple chose to put their info on a website, so I logged onto it. I decided to click on the "gifts" tab and immediately saw the phrase "monetary gifts preferred". OK, I get it. This couple is in their 30s and each person owned a home prior to the engagement. They have a lot of stuff and don't need more, so money is more practical, so that they can use it toward paying for the honeymoon or other expenses. I've seen this phrase on almost every wedding invitation I've received, but I still shudder at reading it. I've never had a wedding, but I imagine that if I ever do, I wouldn't expect any gifts. If I invite someone, it'll be because I want him/her there. I wouldn't care if a gift was given by the someone, but I'd be grateful if he/she did give one, no matter what it was. Gifts should be freely given, I believe, so there should be no condition placed upon the giving of it.

I'm currently debating attending or not. I would have to drive 2 hours alone to a venue in which I'd have to sit with people I probably don't know. That would be after I shell out at least a hundred dollars on a gift. Is it worth it? I logged onto tpf to read up on the discussion regarding this issue, and I couldn't believe the number of people who posted that AT LEAST $100/guest should be given to the bride/groom, even if they are just casual acquaintances. The idea is for each guest to cover the cost of his/her meal, so the guest would essentially be reimbursing the bride/groom for his/her share. I get the idea. Weddings are expensive, and in this day and age, many people getting married don't need stuff but need money. Money's more practical, so why not just save the hassle of buying an item when you can fork over the cash? If that's what someone chooses to give, fine, but why ask for it? Even in cultures where it's tradition to give money as a wedding gift, I don't think a request for it is written on the invitation. The guests should be close enough to the couple to know that's what they need that the written requests aren't necessary, I think.

Then I got an invitation to a friend's daughter's birthday celebration. This isn't such a bad situation. This friend actually reached out to me over the years, and I've known her as long as I'v known the friend getting married. This friend actually knows my current situation and offered to serve as a personal reference for job searches. I walked through Beverly Hills today, debating whether or not to get the little girl a "real" gift or to just pick up a gift card or write a check. What if the little girl has clothes and toys, so would money be the best thing? Then I decided to pop into Baby Gap, where I found a cute little dress, and I knew it was the right gift for the darling girl. I pictured her in it, and the style was just so like her mom's. Then I had a thought: gifts aren't an obligation. Gifts are things you freely give, so put a little thought into it, and you'll have your answer. Of course, I got a gift receipt, in case the dress doesn't fit
I was exhausted thinking of all this, so I walked down the street and straight into Sprinkles Cupcakes. And for the first time ever--I didn't see a line outside! thrill during my shopping ban (the only exception being my birthday present!). I meant to take a pic of all 4 cupcakes, but forgot about it until after I ate the raspberry one (oops!), so that's why there are only 3 in the pic lol

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Saying Goodbye to a Member of the (Handbag) Family

Nothing lasts forever, and things are just things. When it comes down to it, you can't hold onto things if they're getting in the way (and we'll all end up leaving the material world without being able to take those things with us, anyway). I have a major goal in mind, and I'm getting closer to achieving it. In order to do that, well...I need more money. When this great offer came, I had to take it, no hesitation allowed. What did I end up saying goodbye to?
The rouge garrance Birkin bag I've had for the last 4 1/2 years. Here is the last photo I took of her. I still remember the day I bought her. I was in Hermes with my friend M., who actually was there to help me purchase it. It was crazy how it happened, but it did, thanks to M. I did carry my red baby a number of times, and she's joined me in various delicious lunches and has overhead some pretty juicy conversations. But it was time to let her go to a new family. It was hard to let her go. Rouge garrance is the perfect shade of lipstick red, and it's no longer being made by Hermes (not in bag form, anyway). Also considering the price of a 35 cm Birkin has gone up considerably since 2008, it was even harder to let her go...but I did. She ended up going to a lucky mother, courtesy of her very grateful daughter. I wish them the best.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Congrats, Allyson Felix!

Today, I drove by Heritage Christian School in North Hills, CA, alma mater of Allyson Felix, winner of 3 track-and-field gold medals at the 2012 Olympics. At the time Allyson was a student, the school was called Los Angeles Baptist.

They should be proud of her. If she wasn't already a star, she is one now. And not only is she talented and beautiful, she is one of the few who actually looks really good running really fast lol. I hope to see her in Rio in 2016!

Image of Allyson is from

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Congrats, Kerri Walsh Jennings & Misty May-Treanor!

Maybe it's cuz I'm a California girl, but beach volleyball was the sport I was most excited to see during the Olympics. KWJ and MMT got their 3rd gold medal in their 3rd straight Olympics games together. I'm so proud of them. It's Misty's final Olympics game, and she went out with a bang.
California girls rule (cue Katy Perry lol)!
(image is from USA Today sports)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Happy 28th Birthday, Ryan!

How hot is Ryan Lochte?! Those eyes! Those arms! Those abs! Those pecs! I don't care that he hasn't won as many medals as Michael Phelps (although congrats to him). He's just hot hot hot! I look forward to seeing more of him during the Olympics. How proud I am to be an American lol...Ah, a perfect use of my 100th blog post...sigh...

ETA: I just watched the local news here, and the local NBC reporter presented his interview with Ryan, who revealed that he'll be moving to LA after the Olympics (Valley Girl scream)!

Image is from