May 2017 | Le Hoarder
Le Hoarder

A NYC -ish* Style and Shopping Blog

Thursday, May 25, 2017

LeHoarder's Top 10 Daily Necessities

This post is sponsored by L'Occitane En Provence.

As a busy mom & blogger on the go, I'm often asked for a peek inside my bag. Now my that my kids are bigger, I've downsized from my large diaper bags to smaller cross-body bags - and I try to pack as light and efficiently as possible. I like to pride myself as the queen of packing, and I often pack and repack my purse daily. The contents vary depending on my daily activities. For example, when in mommy-mode, I'll often have a couple snacks or extra hair accessories for my girls. But there are a few go-tos, like L'Occitane hand cream and lipstick, that I just can't leave the house without.

I'm going to take you through NYC gal-on-the-run mode. When I'm on my feet all day running around to sample sales and blogger events this is what you'll always find in my bag:

1. Hand cream. I have insanely dry hands. Hand cream is a must-have essential for me. I always keep a tube of hand cream in my purse, on my nightstand, in every bathroom in my house, at my front get the idea. I have to say L'Occitane En Provence Shea Butter Hand cream is like magic. It keeps my hands smooth and moisturized. It's enriched with 20% organic Shea Butter, honey, almond extracts and coconut oil - and smells sooo good. I love that it comes in two sizes - just $12 for the smaller 1oz size and $28 for 5.2oz. I always pop the smaller one in my bag. Be sure to head to Sephora to grab one (or two!) for yourself. Honestly I'm obsessed with all their hand creams. Right now I'm alternating between the Shea Butter, Cherry Blossom, Amande and Lavender. Try one for yourself and you can thank me later.

2. Lipstick. I like to let my face breathe on days I don't have events - not that I wear a lot of makeup when I do. But you'll never find me without a bright lippie in my bag. I can be bare faced but if I swipe on some lipstick, I'm camera ready in a flash. Plus with a Sephora everywhere in the City, I can just pop in and touch up as needed.

3. Sunglasses. My eyes are super sensitive so I avoid eye makeup. My hack is to put on lipstick and sunglasses when I'm shooting and it saves me time and irritation.

4. Flip-Flops. I blew out my knees in my 20s. I'm blessed with good skin genetically but my knees...not so much. I can't run around the City in 6-inch heels like I did in my youth.

5. Tote bag. I always have a tote to carry home sample sale scores, or to shlep around all the stuff that doesn't fit in my purse that day. It's also helpful to take home whatever swag I'm gifted at events. If it's a rainy day I also bring a plastic garbage bag to wrap my goodies so I don't have to go home clutching wet paper bags that fell apart. I just bag everything in plastic and toss it in my favorite giant blue tote.

6. Phone. Seems obvious but I've left the house without it a couple times. Once I was on the bus into the City when I realized I left it at home so I borrowed a stranger's phone and called my husband to meet me at a bus stop - I jumped off and waited for him to bring it to me. It's not just for calling, but I need access to my calendar, social media, and camera. Though if I'm shooting a look I grab my DSLR as well. A phone charger is helpful but not always necessary because some coffeehouses have some to borrow for free.

7. Tissues. I always take a few because I have allergies - and sometimes you get stuck in a toilet stall without paper. A girl has gotta be prepared!

8. Water. I love those tiny kid-sized bottles. I'll even refill it at a water fountain so I won't have to pay crazy NYC prices for a drink.

9. Wallet. I always have some cash, a credit card or two, ID and a Metrocard on me. The cash is very important because there are some places that you can't charge. And if you want to buy a snack like fruit from a street-cart, you need a few dollars at all times.

10. Reading Glasses. This one is a new one for me. When I hit 40 my eyesight started to get a little wonky. I can still see distance perfectly but I misread a price tag one too many times and now I always have a pair on me.

So that's a peek inside my purse! What are your daily bag essentials?

Thank you to Sephora & L'Occitane En Provence for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own. 

Michelle, Momma on the Go

Monday, May 15, 2017

Adventures in Sample Sale Land.

So most of you know how dedicated I am when it comes to sample sale shopping. It's been a while since I've done a how-to tutorial for sample sales (read my last one here) so I thought I'd revisit it after finally editing these pictures from the recent NYC snowstorm. That was the day that I hitchhiked into Manhattan from NJ because public transportation in Jersey was down. I had to do it because I had seen a friend's Insta-stories boasting of $50 designer shoes (Rochas, Proenza, Marc Jacobs...) at the Jil Sander sample sale preview.

When I say hitchhiked, I mean it. I literally stood by the side of the highway and waited for a bus for almost an hour. I finally put up my thumb and waited for someone to pick me up. Is it safe? Maybe...maybe not, but I should mention it wasn't my first time LOL. Luckily a couple heading into work picked me up and drove me over the bridge. Even on a nice day there are often people who want to pay the carpool rate to cross the George Washington Bridge so they pick up a commuter or two so they can use the carpool lane and pay a few dollars less. I've been around the block a few times so I obviously use my judgement when getting in a car. This couple was friendly and I spotted the empty carseat in the back and figured they'd be a safe bet.

The great thing about NYC is that it pretty much is always up and running. I've lived there thru a couple serious blackouts and 9-11, when the City was pretty much shut down. Otherwise for the most part, public transportation of one kind or another is always running in Manhattan. Those aforementioned days were the only times I ever had to walk 70+ blocks back to my apartment. I actually used to walk 50-100 blocks a day when I lived there just because I loved wandering the City. There's a reason I packed on the pounds in suburbia.

Any smart City girl knows it's all about layering. Winters are bitter cold so you pile it on if you plan on being outdoors for more than 5 minutes. And on shopping days I never wear stupid shoes. Never. I knew I needed a serious boot so I pulled out my thrifted Pajar boots that are waterproof and super warm. For me it was about function, not fashion - though I threw on my cute $3.99 Zara sale scarf that I had just scored.

Thou it's not fashion,  I figured I'd break it down for those of you who appreciate how I little I spend. From head to toe:
  • Hat: H&M, $1
  • Sunglasses: Moschino, Century 21, free with rewards
  • Scarf: Zara, $3.99
  • Gloves: Carolina Amato, sample sale, $10
  • Bag: Balenciaga, Nordstrom Rack, 75% off
  • Coat: One of my husband's really warm coats - gift from my brother.
  • Leggings: Comm-ci, gifted (RV $69)
  • Boots: Pajar, thrifted, $20 (RV $200)

So I digress, I got into the City, jumped on a subway and headed down. I was lucky because above ground subways were closed, but the A train is below ground in upper Manhattan. I got there just after opening and my friend Belle (who took all my pics that day) was already there. She scored a pair of the Proenza silver booties I wanted but of course they didn't have my size. They actually didn't have ANYTHING in my size. So after all that....

I did make plans with an-Insta friend, Diana who was visiting the City so I told her to meet me at the sale. She scored some cute shoes and dresses so it seems I was the only unlucky one. Win some, you lose some. We headed out to byChloe which was miraculously open! For the first half hour or so we had the entire restaurant to ourselves. Then little by little people trickled in as the City began to awake from it's snow induced slumber. We took the train down to Century 21 to find it closed so we just grabbed some tea and hung out until we decided we all had enough.

Message to any other bloggers visiting NYC - feel free to reach out if you want to hang out or shop, and I love to take pics. I wouldn't call myself a photographer but I have a pretty good eye and some basic editing skills. If you want to see NYC on the cheap, I'm your girl!

In NYC plan to walk on a bad day. Subway service is spotty sometimes and it's almost impossible to call a car in bad weather. Poor Diana learned that the hard way. When she was with me I dragged her around on foot and via subway - which she quickly learned is the only tried and true way to navigate the City. She probably froze that day but I probably should have warned her to bundle up.  She did look super cute though :)


Belle thought she looked like a little boy that day but I thought she looked adorable. Plus the pops of pink were just enough to scream girl LOL.


Unfortunately the buses still weren't running over the bridge so I had to hitchhike back as well. I stood there for about 20 minutes helping people flag down pedestrian cars when a woman finally gave up and called a car service - and she was going to my town. My share was almost triple of what a bus would have cost but I figured it was worth the convenience, instead of hitching over the bridge and waiting for my husband to dig out the car and pick me up. Normally you can walk over the bridge to but the walkway was closed so I really had no choice.

So in the end, one could argue that FOMO got the best of me and I really didn't need to go after all. Then again, I have quite the story to show for it.


I don't always get around to posting my hauls so I decided to start sharing some of my best finds on a weekly basis. Last week I hit the Rebecca Minkoff NYC sample sale - I came for the preview and hung around waiting for a friend who came in with the public. I didn't go crazy because I plan on heading back for markdowns. I scored this Julian backpack for $75 that I probably didn't need but I really like the iridescent hardware. I also scored a few of these tassel belt bags for just $15 each! I grabbed a bag strap for me and a shorter version for Ella also for $15 each in the sample bin. I shared a peek of my strap on Insta here.

On my Insta stories I shared that H&M was having another mega sale so I popped into a couple locations. I found this coat for $7 from $99 and it rang up half price for $3.50!!!! Score!

And finally, these super cute Mimilore tassel earrings were in a swag bag from a blogger breakfast where I ran into Kyrzayda, a blogger I met when I was first getting started. I shared our meet-cute story here on Insta but I just have to say I can't believe I'm getting invited to the same events. For me that's a big win. In blogging you have good days and bad and it's easy to get discouraged. I was recently invited to an influencer event and the hosts pretty much ignored everyone - and fawned all over a couple bigger bloggers. The lesson is to be nice to everyone. As I grow I make friends big and small I try to show kindness to other bloggers just getting started because it wasn't always shown to me. So I try to treat others the way I wanted to be treated when I felt invisible. So for all those people who break you down - hang in there because there are some good ones who will lift you up and give you a hand when you least expect it.

So let's get down to the nitty-gritty. Sample sale season is in the house!

I'm gonna start with one of my favorite sale - Jimmy Choo. You can take a peek inside a previous sale report here. As far as strategy goes, get there early on day one for small leather goods and the best selection. But if you're thrifty like me and you already own everything, just go on the last day for markdowns. Last year I walked out with $50 shoes for my husband, the bag I dyed (see tutorial here) for $50, and a couple pairs of shoes for $100 that each retailed for over $2,000. This sale is epic. You can see other past hauls here and here. You can register for it here and use the password lance. You're gonna need your IKEA tote to haul everything home from this sale!

Jimmy Choo
May 16-18
Tues 11-7, Wed 8-7, Thurs 8-6
The Metropolitan Pavillion, 123 West 18th St.

My other weekly picks include the Modo eyewear sale for $20 designer glasses and sunglasses, The Best Kids Sample Sale for designer kids stuff (I usually get cheap hair accessories and odds and ends), 90% off retail at Alex & Trixie sounds worth a peek, and if I'm remembering correctly, The News has cheap jeans and such. Kendall & Kylie is new to the scene but it's a Clothingline sale so it may not be super cheap. But you never know.

The Best Kids Sample Sale
May 15-19, 10-5
34 West 33rd Street
This is a multi-showroom sale. Get a directory from security before you get in the elevator. Cash only.

Modo Eyewear
May 16-18, 11-7
594 Broadway, Suite 801

Alice & Trixie
May 17-19, 11-7
265 West 37th Street, 11th Fl

Kendall & Kylie
May 17-21
W-F 11-8, Sat 11-6, Sun 11-5
121 Prince Street

The News
May 18-20, 10-6
495 Broadway, 5th Fl

For the brides out there (I'm talking to you Belle!) check out Jenny Packham for Bridal, lingerie & accessories, Janis Savitt for some bling, and Eberjey and the Riviere Agency sales for your honeymoon.

Janis Savitt
May 17-19, 11-4
200 West 58th Street, Suite 12-B

Jenny Packham
May 18, 8-6
71 Gansevoort Street, Suite 2B

May 18-19
The Metropolitan Pavillion, 123 West 18th St., 8th Fl
RSVP required:
*it's in the same location as Choo so you might as well...

The Riviere Agency
May 19, 11-5:30
139 Fulton Street, Suite 413

And for all sales ALWAYS BE FIRST IN LINE. It's the only way to get the goods.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mommas out there! I gave up expecting gifts other than small handmade trinkets from my kids - which is pretty much all I got. I told my husband after the Zadig & Voltaire sample sale last week that he got me a pair of boots (Teased on Insta here and here), a cluch and a belt - and I saved him a ton because it's all current season stuff still selling for full price. I'm a good wife after all :)

I spent my Mother's Day at the Rebecca Minkoff sale LOL. What better way to celebrate? Prices didn't go stupid cheap for bags so I grabbed a few for gifts, shoes which came out to $84 for 3 pairs (I split with Belle) and clothing went to $20 so Belle and I each grabbed a leather skirt. I found her the cutest sweaters and someone literally stole one out of her bag. Welcome to NY where sample sale shopping is a serious sport!

As always be sure you're following my Insta-stories for a peek inside the sales! Happy shopping :)

Michelle the Fashion Mom


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Spring Refresh with eos

Happy May everyone! Spring has sprung, and April showers brought us lots of May flowers! I'm excited to share that I've partnered up with eos to share a little #sisterstyle with my girls, Ella & Ava. I'm a long time fan of eos, evolution of smooth, for their colorful lip balms and lotions - as are my girls who often swipe them from my bag. Frankly, I can't blame them because who doesn't want to be just like their momma? Plus, eos is chock full of good stuff. As a mom I'm happy to have natural products that I can share with them.

I typically refresh my cosmetic bag every Passover and this year I didn't want to leave the girls out. For spring 2017, eos has released a special edition lip balm 2 pack and a hand lotion 3 pack in the prettiest pastel shades and coordinating gift boxes. I shared the gift sets eos sent me with the girls, and they each quickly snapped up a matching pair of lip balm and lotion. They were kind enough to leave me with the Delicate Petals lotion because it didn't have a matching lip balm. In their fashion they like to coordinate, not match, to express their individuality. But they evidently don't feel that way about their beauty products LOL.

Note that Ava isn't the happiest because Ella swiped the green set. Green is Ava's favorite color - but cucumber melon is Ella's favorite scent. Typically I let the little one have her way but sometimes you gotta give the middle child what they want too. Don't worry, she got over it quickly once she tried her coconut milk lip balm.

What's your favorite eos flavor/scent?

Be sure to follow my little monsters on Instagram. Ella is @missellasophie and I just started an account for Ava, @itsawesomeava. Yes, she came up with her handle all by herself :)

Thank you to eos for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

Michelle the Momma Bear


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Secrets of a Personal Shopper

This post is sponsored by Kohl's. I received the included shapewear as compensation.

Is shapewear right for you? In a word, yes. No matter your shape or size, we all could use a little help. Personally, comfort is my number one concern when wearing control garments. I need it to stay in place and smooth everything. If I can't breathe it's just not for me. Lucky for you I spent over two hours at Kohl's trying on some amazing shapewear from ASSETS Red Hot Label by SPANX, Bali, and Maidenform - so now you won't have to :)

As a personal shopper my first stop is always the lingerie department. The foundation for any good look is what you're wearing underneath.  Confidence can go a long way but so can the right undergarments.  Most of my underwear is flesh toned so I decided to go a little sexier with black for all my new purchases.

To start, ask yourself - are you wearing the right size bra? There are multiple studies that indicate that most women don't. Just look around and you'll see women spilling out of their bras - and just as bad, women with their breasts unsupported and hanging low. Being in my forties and having had three kids, 'the girls' are just not what (or where) they used to be. Whereas I used to wear colorful padded, push-up bras for my B- breasts of my youth, I now look for wide straps, molded cups, and even minimizers for my now D+ size.

 I have to confess I've been wearing my favorite stretched out 32D for a little longer than I should have. Having put on a few pounds it was time for an upgrade. This was the first time I tried on Bali bras and I was VERY Impressed. I tried on dozens of styles by multiple brands but Bali offered the support and comfort I need these days.  I sized up to a 34D and the fit is perfection. The One Smooth U Ultra Light Illusion Convertible Full-Coverage Bra is pretty and did everything I could ask for out of my ideal bra.  Plus the convertable aspect is a bonus - straps sticking out where they don't belong is a huge pet peeve for me.

My sister in law wears biker shorts under everything. She even got me hooked on stealing my husband's boxer briefs to sleep in. My thighs have always met (Even when I was size tiny, I've never been blessed with that mythical thigh gap) and 'chub rub' has been a long time companion.  This might be a little TMI but I find that coating my thighs with stick deodorant makes the warmer weather so much more pleasant. For those of you like myself battling chub rub or trying to hold in your post baby belly - the right slimmer is just what you need.

The perfect shaper shorts are really hard to find. So many roll, cut in, don't breathe, or are too short in the leg. I think I tried every one in the store. No joke. For me comfort is my number one priority - and I'd rather be able to breathe than take me down several sizes. It's all about smoothing out the lumps and and clean lines. I knew I found the one when I tried on the Maidenform Shapewear SmoothTec Thigh Slimmer in size medium. I pulled it out to wear under my new floral dress on Passover. And a quick tip - yes, you can wear black undergarments under lighted toned garments as long as they aren't see-through.

For those of you who want your shapewear out, I've found the perfect solution. I'm a whole lot obsessed with my ASSETS Red Hot Label by Spanx Shaping Capri leggings. These are high waisted and don't roll down. Personally I think a capri will elongate your leg more so than a standard legging - plus it felt a little more spring-like. These suck you in all the right places and aren't too sheer (a must in a good legging)! Somehow I've always worn a medium in Spanx (even when I was lighter) and these super stretchy leggings are a perfect fit.

I wore these all day in the City last week and I'm wondering why this is my first pair of Spanx leggings. I've worn their tights for years and these are every bit as amazing.

Be sure to check out all of Kohl's amazing shapewear here and the Kohl's Shapewear Guide here.

If you wear shapewear, what do you look for in your perfect undergarment?  I've really been a fan for years. I recently dug out an old shaper slip from 20 years ago and it's so small it looks like it would fit my 10 year old daughter LOL.

My blog may contain links to other websites. I am not responsible for the privacy policies of those other websites. When you click on a link your information may be collected by those websites so I encourage you to read their privacy policies.

Affiliate links are not associated with Kohl's.

Thank you to Kohl's for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own. 

Michelle in Control

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