January 2016 | Le Hoarder
Le Hoarder

A NYC -ish* Style and Shopping Blog

Saturday, January 30, 2016

90% off Valentines Day Cuteness and Why I Almost Didn't Share This Look.

As a nice Jewish girl I don't really celebrate Valentines day but with everyone else starting to share their looks I found these pics and thought, how perfect? Plus I just spotted this dress on Eileen Davidson's niece/assistant on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

I love the bold pop of color on my lips and bag against the black and white houndstooth. And who needs an excuse to wear a killer pair of Sophia Websters? So obsessed. These photos were taken by my talented niece, Meira.

My bargainista look from head to toe:
  • Dress: Saks off 5th Black Label, pink dot sale, $14.99 (approx. retail $158)
  • Bag: Charlotte Olympia Taboo, sample sale, $115 (retail $545)
  • Bracelet: Dannijo Valentina, sample sale, $50 (retail $595)
  • Heels: Sophia Webster Keira Doiley sandals, sample sale, $95 (retail $750)

Grand total $249.99 - not bad for a $2,048 look. OK so it's almost 90% off.

Unfortunately, most of these pieces are no longer available so I'm linking a few similar Valentines Day inspired pieces for you to shop - or just get some style inspo :)

When I was looking through my photos to see what I would be including in my next blog sale, I came across these photos that I shot a couple months ago. I have to confess that I wasn't going to share these photos because of my vanity. 

My one regret of my youth is being chicken so in my 40s I've decided I have to push myself. To put myself out there, flaws and all. My arms and thighs are a little jiggly and I have a small belly. I still bite my nails which does not help my veiny old lady hands. And let's not even start with my scarred knees and stretch marks...but for now this is who I am. I'm guessing I'm not as small as I'd like because I skip a workout or two here or there and my eating is a little out of control. I've seen so many mommies transform their bodies that I know I can do it too. I'm already halfway there. I'll finish when I'm ready. 

Like a lot of women, I have body and food issues. Even when I was a size 2 I remember being critical of my figure. As a child I was a stick figure and everyone tried to feed me. I was bribed to eat (usually with clothing or sweets) and ultimately developed terrible eating habits. Now as a mother I never force my kids to finish their plates because I find that most children have the ability to self regulate and will eat when they are hungry. I was lucky. I had an amazing metabolism and could pack away a ton of food and not gain any weight. I'd always been a bit of a tomboy and pretty active. Plus I was naturally fidgety and to this day I'd rather stand than sit. I went to an all girls private school and I think there were only 58 girls in my graduating class. Without the pressure of boys we wore shapeless clothing (it was the style in the 90s), no makeup, and baked Duncan Hines cakes for each others birthdays - and demolished them using just our fingers as utensils.

As the oldest girl in a family with seven kids I craved my independence. Every summer I headed upstate with some friends to work as a camp counselor at bungalow colonies (think dirty dancing but with Hasidim) and that was really my first exposure to boys. Finally I landed a gig at a more modern place and my naive skirt-wearing friends and I met this new breed of girl who primped, wore pants and actually talked to boys. Suddenly the pressure to be thin and pretty was on. We were fish out of water. We hid in out rooms too afraid to speak to boys, and when the boys came out with their ratings I somehow landed at the bottom. I'm thinking my shyness and lack of boobs did me in. Luckily I had just enough self esteem to realize how stupid those boys were. However, that summer I developed a terrible daily diet of a single bagel (back when carbs weren't a dirty word) and several Diet Cokes. I also air popped popcorn for a snack on occasion. That was the first time in my life that I danced in front of the mirror and loved how thin I looked. Everything fit - and that was a great feeling. My best friend started getting on my case (partially for hoarding all the soda) and eventually my love of food returned and things went back to normal.

After high school I went abroad to an all girls seminary for the year. All my closest friends stayed behind and it was the first time in my life I was really on my own. I had a few acquaintances and I made some friends but I guess I was pretty lonely. Back then there were no cell phones or internet so I waited by the payphone every Sunday for a phone call from my parents and hand wrote long letters to friends and family back home. Sometimes I paid the school office to fax my letters back home.

These new girls that I met were a lot more sophisticated - they had designer wardrobes, boyfriends, got manicures, went to the gym and seemed to exist on a steady diet of fro-yo. Again, this is back when candy and Twizzlers were still considered diet food. In an effort to fit in I joined a gym for the first time in my life. I figured as long as it was paid for I was gonna make the most of it. I hit the gym for 2-3 hours a day, 6 days a week. I took one or two toning or aerobic classes and followed with some weights, the bike and antiquated step machines. I don't think the elliptical was even invented yet. I remember one of those rail thin girls looking over my shoulder at the scale shocked that I weighed 121 lbs. All these girls seemed to weigh less than 100 and at that point other than my shapely behind, I was just as thin as they were.

I should mention that the school fed us three meals a day plus snack time. For a while they pulled snack because some girls were complaining they were gaining too much weight. Lets just say there was rioting and snack was returned to us. I started noticing the skinny girls snacking on celery sticks and carrots so I started waking up early to beat out the anorexics who would swipe all the veggies from the breakfast platters. I came down at 6 am with my Tupperware and filled it up with carrots and cucumber sticks for the day. I have to say I loved the control. I loved the self discipline of working out and measuring what I ate. I even made one of my new friends my food police - she would question me when I took a second portion. It was actually helpful to have someone to be accountable to.

When I came home my friends looked at me in horror. I had zero fat on my body. I really didn't know what the fuss was about because I still had my butt and my thighs touched at the top. It was the pre J-Lo and Kardashian era so I had a hard time finding clothing to fit over my derriere. Kate Moss was the model of the moment and nobody had curves unless they were plus-size. Back in high school our baggy clothing covered everything up. It was in my twenties that I finally learned how to dress for my shape. I had finally started developing my own sense of style. And it's when I really learned how to shop. As a Jersey girl I first discovered European designers at the now defunct Daffy Dan's (later shortened to Daffy's). When I studied at FIT I popped in to Loehmann's (also closed) just down the block or I'd subway down to Century 21 between classes. Then I discovered sample sales. My addiction to food slowly turned to my addiction to clothing. When I got my first job I suddenly had tons of money to feed my new addiction. I could walk into Barneys and buy anything I wanted. Truthfully I only did that once because the next year when I spotted one of my full priced suits at Daffy's, I swore to never pay retail again.

When I hit 25 I first noticed my metabolism started to slow down. I used to be able to drop 10 lbs in a week if I needed. All of a sudden I said "huh?" My weight would fluctuate between 125-130 for most of my twenties. When I got married at 28 I was 123 lbs. and my dress hung on me because I dropped some weight due to pre-wedding stress. My husband was able to span my waist with his hands because I was so tiny. He does have big hands though.

For all my insecurities, there were always things that I liked about my body. My long skinny legs, my blonde hair, my tiny waist...and by 30 I learned to live with my big butt so that no longer was a challenge. Then after I had my kids my body changed. My first pregnancy was great - I only gained 21 lbs and looked super cute. My B- cup became D+, I had a glow, and I had a killer maternity wardrobe. I was 31 and my body bounced right back. It was with each subsequent pregnancy that bad things started happening. My feet got bigger and none of my shoes fit. Fat started sticking to my body in places it never had before. My hair started falling out. My tiny waist was nowhere to be found. I finally topped out at almost 200 lbs. After number three, I had to learn how to hide the 50 extra pounds I was carrying. People asked when was the baby due for years after my youngest was born. It did get me bathroom privileges and many a subway seat but I wanted my body back. I was miserable.

I took back my life when I walked into Target and purchased a new Blu-ray/DVD player and a copy of Jillian Michael's 90 Day Body Revolution. I forced myself to do the workout every day. Let's just say, if I ever have to hear her call me "sweetie" one more time I'm gonna punch her in the face. I moved on to Shaun T with Hip Hop Abs and he made me laugh so much I started T25. I kept at it and eventually I was able to fit sample sizes again. Three years later I'm still doing it - but now I just do the Gamma cycle because Alpha and Beta are too easy. I'm waiting for my brother to give me Cize already so I can do something new.

I know that everyone talks about self acceptance and every body is beautiful, but every day is a struggle for me. I wish I was smaller. I worry about eating too much. I worry about eating too little. I still have to force myself to workout most days. Sometimes I go shopping just to keep me from overeating. Luckily penny hunting and window shopping keeps me from going broke. Personal shopping has also been a great outlet because I get to do something I'm really good at - for other people, with other people's money :)

So that's me in a nutshell. Probably more than you expected from this post LOL. I guess I want my message to be that behind every picture there's a real story and possibly a real struggle. I didn't want to share this look because I hate the way I look in this dress. I know I'm not fat but I don't feel that skinny anymore - and for years skinny was my identity. I also suspect that I'm 5 lbs heavier than these pics right now, but this is me taking my first step forward after taking a few back. I will be brave. I will be strong. I don't have to be the skinniest, or prettiest, I just have to be me. I spent my 30s in hiding and I don't want to hide anymore. So in full disclosure I'm gonna share that I currently weigh 159 lbs and wear a size 6. Sometimes a 4, sometimes an 8. Like I said, I've always weighed 20 lbs. heavier than I look.

Thanks for reading. I figure by getting my story out there, other people who are struggling will know that they are not alone. Right now I'm gonna take a deep breath and hit publish.

Now that that's out of the way I'll get back to work on the blog sale :)



Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Mid-Week Roundup! My New IKEA closet, Target, Century & H&M Clearance/Sale Updates!

The Rack has been dead since inventory and the storm. They do have some cute Valentines Day merchandise - love this coffee cup...even though I'm not much of a coffee aficionado.

I also figured I'd share some penny shoes I found for my daughters a couple weeks ago :)

So just one week after I finally caved and purchased my PAX closet I randomly popped back into IKEA and checked out their as-is room and guess what I found? My closet. For $10.

Luckily I had not assembled mine yet (I'll be returning it LOL) so I snapped two units up for 10 bucks a pop. Crazy. The Pax system was on sale so I grabbed a 4 bars and a shelf and my two closets cost less than $80 total. I wanted white but I can totally manage with the light color wood. I'm still not done because these closets only solved my hanging problem. Unfortunately I still have hundreds of shoes and bags scattered around my room. I decided I'll be stalking the as-is room for the next few weeks. I don't know why I thought 15% off would be good enough for me.

I snapped a quick pic so you can get an idea of my progress. I'm still organizing and bringing up clothing from my basement closets. This thing is HUGE - each unit is about 39 inches wide and 93 inches tall (almost hits the ceiling). It actually wasn't that hard to build. You can see that this is only 2/3 of it - you can get an idea of the size by where the door knob falls on the right. I was too lazy to put on a wider lens - sorry.

This time the whole family hit Ikea so the girls hung out in the playroom (Ikea Family members get an extra half hour of playtime!) while my husband and too-tall son explored. This time we found my husband's almost name in a product. His nickname is Bentzy so we had a chuckle when we spotted the Benzy Land cushions. I think it's funnier that they are being discontinued.

I happened to have both cameras on me (my PAS and DSLR) so my 8 & 10 year old's tried snapping my #OOTD. The lighting was terrible and I was blown out on both cameras. Next time I'll have my 6 year old try with my phone too. These were the best of the bunch.

With Fashion Week around the bend I started experimenting with outfits so I took a few of my new H&M sale pieces out for a spin.  I learned the hard way that skinny jeans really have to be skinny. These are way too big so I'm on the hunt for another pair.

From head to toe:
  • Hat: Carolina Amato, sample sale, free with purchase
  • Sunglasses: House of Harlow 1960, Century 21, $15 (75% off sale!)
  • Cape: H&M, $15
  • Dress: H&M, $25
  • Cuffs: AV Max, sample sale. $10 each
  • Gloves: Carolina Amato, sample sale, $9
  • Bag: Balenciaga Velo, Nordstrom Rack
  • Jeans: H&M, $7
  • Socks: JC Penney, free (last year with their $10 coupons)
  • Shoes: Ana et Carol, free (they sent them to me - thanks guys!)

I don't believe in putting away open shoes for the winter so I decided to layer with socks.  I've been on the hunt for the perfect sock and nobody seems to sell cute socks in the middle of winter - just warm boring ones. I thought at least the contrast heels were unexpected :)

My heels are by Ana et Carol - they sell some cute Brazilian shoes. These are the Trevor and they are very comfortable. I took a size 9 and it's a perfect fit. These are on sale right now and if you use code MICHELLE20 you can get an extra 20% off anything on their site!

People keep inquiring about the Century sale but there isn't much to report. The store is now 50-65% off. They have new tags which are a little confusing. Their percentages are off retail, not Century's price.

 I have my eye on this Lanvin jacket so fingers crossed for 90% off!

No further reductions at H&M. I did spot my new hat - I'm guessing it wasn't supposed to be $1 LOL. Lucky me!

Online they have 40% off sale with code 3301 - good thru 1/27 and free shipping on orders over $35 with code 3295. ALSO - a little birdie told me that you can return online orders in-store in Manhattan and it would become a company-wide policy come 2017. I previously did not order online because they did not offer in-store returns. It's a bit of a game changer! 

Target has been having some good 70% off clearance. I heard scooters and such were on sale so I headed over and found this one for just $8.98!

The skateboards came up item not found so the cashier matched them to the $8.98 price! Pretty good considering they retailed for around $45 each - making it better than 70% off!

I also found this one unmarked for $17.98 :)

And this luggage set was also 70% off and rang up for $17.98 as well!

My daughter insisted I share this Minion she found for $2.68. Most Targets still have some 70% off toys floating around. This location actually still had an isle-full.

So nothing too exciting but I'd like to think of this as the calm before the storm (technically after but YKWIM). My sale sensor is on alert so I have a feeling big things are just around the bend.

Be sure you're following me on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook for updates as sales happen! I'm also a little surprised that nobody commented on my new logo. Is it that bad?

Linking my look so you can shop - some of these pieces are on sale online too!



Thursday, January 21, 2016

This Week in Shopping...Penny Finds, $1 Kids Clothing & my $1,895 Dress :)

I typically like to take pictures outside - which is why I haven't shared my hauls of late. Mother nature has not been on my side. Other than a quick snap or two here or there I've been hiding indoors. I finally decided to try shooting inside and you can see why natural light is always better.

On the Rack front, they've just finished inventory so now that shipments have resumed I expect we'll be seeing lots of transfers from the main line. My recommendation is to keep your eyes on your local stores for the next few weeks.

I picked up these Converse at the last Clear the Rack and never shared. For $9.99 less 25% I decided to add them to my shoe closet.

These Kate Spade Keds were both a penny. I haven't worn Keds since high school but for a penny...

My most exciting find of late was this Lela Rose Moon Dust Sheath for less than $100. My shopping buddy laughed as I squealed and snatched it up quick. I haven't seen any of her dresses at the Rack for less than $400. The tag says that this one retailed for $1,495 but when I googled it I found it for $1,895. It's currently available to rent on Rent the Runway for $170 - which is more than I paid to own LOL. Score!

I also found this cute Rebecca Minkoff butterfly mini dress for $39.97 (retail $268). It's missing the slip of course so I'm on the hunt for a good slip to wear with all the sheer dresses I've been buying of late.

And now for H&M. I got a tip that prices were gonna be slashed again on Tuesday so I headed in to see what I could find. The extra 30% ended so honestly prices are about the same as they were this past weekend. I always look for the collection pieces - like this fish print maxi dress. It was ticketed $149 but I got it for $15. It's currently still online for $79.99.

I already picked up the shorter version of this Chloe-wannabe dress when the sale first started for $25 but I wanted this one as well. It was also $15. It's missing a tassel and needs a slip but I think I can work with it.

Love this wool cape! I'd been eyeing it for a while so when it dropped to $15...

On the fence with this fringed sweater. I like the idea of it but it doesn't really do anything for me. It was only $7 but I think my biggest problem is that it doesn't look very expensive. We'll see.

These stretch jeans were $7 and a little big but I currently only own one pair of jeans so I wanted another.

This denim jacket came out to only $10 and it's super stretchy. You really can't have enough denim jackets.

I saw this pink scarf from across the room and knew it was meant to be mine. It's HUGE and only $3!

My kids have enough clothing but sometimes it's hard to resist grabbing a few cute cheap pieces for them. These tops were $.50 each. Crazy. Everything else was $1 other than the cap which I splurged on LOL. It was $5 less 30% - so $3.50. I got a pom pom cap for each girl :)

I'm linking up some of these pieces (and a H&M dress I forgot to shoot) for you to shop :)

The winner of the iMac and Kate Spade giveaway has been announced - you can see it in the gleam widget in my post here. Congrats to Saegan A. and Debbie D.! Right now I'm participating in another giveaway on Instagram - you can enter to win everything pictured including a Canon Rebel Kit, Tory Burch bag, an Apple watch and Chloe sunnies. Click here for details!

Fingers crossed for warmer weather next week. I hear we're gonna get hit with snow this weekend and I'm hoping that's not the case. My kids started winter break today so either way I'll be sure to put them to work building my new Ikea closet and taking turns playing photographer :)

Would love to hear what you guys scored this week! 



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Have you Firmoo-d?

Right before I turned 40 I discovered that suddenly I couldn't thread a needle and books started to get a little blurry. Growing up I was always a little jealous of my brothers and sisters who had glasses. Don't get me wrong, I loved my perfect vision but I was envious that there was a fashion accessory out there that I couldn't have. I had scores of sunglasses but it just wasn't the same.

When Firmoo offered me a pair of their designer inspired glasses I jumped at the chance. I previously owned only one pair of black cat eye glasses that I've been told makes me look like the crazy lady from The Far Side cartoon. The great thing about Firmoo is that you can buy a complete pair of glasses for $39 or less - lenses included! There are upgrades but I did not add anything on, although I should mention that I have a very light prescription. My pair (NTD59605) in blue is sold out but is available in three colors for just $27 plus shipping. Crazy!

Selecting a pair is easy to do - start with their new arrival page - they have new pairs popping up daily! Each pair includes their measurements so you can compare them to your own glasses. Next to the price you can select "Try on" and get a better idea of what the frames will look like. I always do my due diligence so I read all the reviews and looked over pictures submitted by buyers for every frame I considered. Of course they did not have any photos or reviews for this pair but I decided to just go for it. I always keep a copy of my prescription on hand so I simply input the numbers (always ask your Doctor for your PD so you don't have to measure it for yourself) and voila! I had a pair of glasses on the way. Mine were upgraded to express shipping so they arrived 9 days later.

They came with a cute case and honestly they are made just as well as some of my husband's designer frames. Very comfortable too!

I would totally use Firmoo again. I spotted a couple more frames that I would love to try. They always seem to have specials and deals but you can get a 15% off code here for your first pair!

Here are a few of my picks. K9159 is just $25! So fun!

How Barouque are these? K9004 is just $23.

I'm a sucker for color. Love the purple! K6609 is $27.

If you wear glasses be sure to check out Firmoo. They also have fun (non prescription) sunglasses for their low prices. Would love to hear what you think!


Friday, January 15, 2016

This Week in Shopping...Target Toy Sale & TJ Maxx, H&M, Century 21 and Rack Updates.

After my initial TJ Maxx and Marshalls shopping expedition, I decided to check one more store...and found this super cute Givenchy pouch for $99 and Chloe wallet for $119. The Givenchy retailed for $480 and I LOVE the print - and even though it's not even leather, it's a keeper for sure. As for the wallet, sure how practical a $595 pink wallet is (plus I love my blue Jimmy Choo) so I'm still deciding if I need to add it to the next blog sale.

I know I keep bugging you but the iMac & Kate Spade giveaway is ending on the 18th! Last call to enter :) It's at the bottom of my Favorite Finds of 2015 post, click here to read and enter.

For some reason I had it in my head that the Target toy sale is always the third Thursday in January but somehow it started yesterday which is technically the second. As soon as I saw pics on Instagram I RAN to see what I could find. Twice a year Target marks their toys down to 70% off and that's when I stock up my gift closet!

I did not buy all these toys so please don't ask for DCPIs - but you can try to read them from the scanner in the picture. When I go Target hunting I just look for things by sight, I rarely look up the SKU to see if they have them locally.

$13.48 from $44.99

My girls have been begging for these for a while. I may have to take another trip to see if I can find more because they were fighting over this one.

This was the one toy my husband picked out LOL.

These days I look for smaller toys - my kids do NOT need any more large playsets. The first few years I discovered this sale I went nuts LOL.

The H&M sale is progressing. I caught them doing another round of markdowns yesterday. I saw the salesgirl putting $1 stickers on stuff so I snapped up this hat.  I'm also wearing my new Firmoo glasses but I'll tell you more about them next week :)

As you can see, H&M prices are getting insanely cheap. This beaded fisherman sweater is now 90% off! I plan on checking out a couple more locations today :)

ETA - just got back from the mall and one of the locations just added an extra 30% off all sale items - plus they had lots of things for $1-3! YMMV so check your local stores! #GAMECHANGER

The Century sale seems to be progressing. They now have these stupid new tags that tell you the percentage off retail. 75% off seems to be popping up in several departments. Frankly I wish they'd go back to their normal tags where I don't have to do the math. This Missoni tags reads 91% off but it's actually only 75% off Century pricing. Annoying.

And last but not least, lots of markdowns at the Rack! They were kind enough to leave me these shoes that were actually marked a penny.

And I found this cute Missoni change purse for a penny too. It's a little dirty but you read the penny thing, right?

I also found this Herschel pouch for a penny for my husband. Be sure to check all departments when hunting!

Have a great weekend and happy shopping! There's lots to buy on the cheap right now :)


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