Thursday, March 31, 2011

Makeup Madness on No More Rack

Happy Thursday, Shopaholics! I'm still suffering from a sinus infection and am not very happy about it, I've not been out of the bed much the past three days. No fun!

Today I wanted to tell you about the Makeup Madness going on at No More Rack. Not sure if you are familiar with No More Rack, but they're a fairly new shopping site (think Rue La La or Gilt Groupe). However, No More Rack is very different. They only offer eight deals a day, and the deals are only good for 24 hours. As a result, they are usually very good ones and sell out quickly!

In the past month, I've scored several fabulous deals on cosmetics from No More Rack. These are some of the same brands and products that I would normally purchase at Sephora. Think Lash Fusion, Stila, YSL, and more!

If you're not a member, you are missing out! Sales start at 11:00AM CT every day. Membership is FREE and your invitation to join is HERE. Right now they are offering FREE makeup (The Makeup Madness promotion) just for referring your friends! Once you join, be sure to share your invitation link with your friends, family, blog followers, etc. The freebies include items from Stila, YSL, Lancome, MAC and others! See the website for full details - then get busy referring your friends! Because after all - we can all use free product! I know I can - and I'm going to need plenty after being sick!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Island Adventures - How A Shopaholic Survives With No Internet

Happy Wednesday, Shopaholics! Please forgive me for the lack of posts here. As you know, I blogged about going to Dauphin Island over the weekend. Little did I know, the internet was out, and the backup internet was out! I was stuck for three days with no internet. No emails. No blogging. No online shopping.

We returned home late Monday, and lucky me! Now I'm sick with a raging sinus infection. Today I got a 10 day round of antibiotics. I'm hoping they work quickly, because I'm a pretty miserable pup!

While we were on the island, the boys spent a lot of time fishing off the pier. The DH, BIL and my two nephews all had a great time!  The nephews are 6 and 3.5 years old, and they are so much fun! I wanted to share some of the photos, hoping they would bring a smile to your face today!

This heron wanted to get into the ice chest - which was where the boys were storing all their fish. Every time he got close to my beach bag, I would get a little concerned as I didn't want the bird to eat suntan lotion. Or my cell phone, which was my only means of communicating with anyone in the outside world. That pesky "no internet" business again...But anyway, isn't the heron beautiful? He hangs around my parent's island home all the time. Our oldest nephew named him "Harry" several years ago, and the name stuck. Meet "Harry".

Here is what "Harry" was after in the ice chest...

Our boys, showing off one of the fish. DH is in the red hat, BIL is the other adult. The youngest nephew (W) didn't have much to do with those fish, but the oldest (J) was totally "into" fishing. However, he didn't much want to hold or touch them to have a photo made...

We finally told him, if you catch the fish, you have to touch it to get your picture made! Couldn't believe I managed to capture this face...

After a while, J warmed up to it and decided being a fisherman wasn't so bad after all!

In case you are wondering, the fish are speckled trout. They were part of my Father's three hour "grill marathon" Sunday afternoon! :-)

What are some of your favorite spring and summer activities? How would you manage with no internet? Perish the thought!

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Weekend Whereabouts...

Happy Saturday, Shopaholics!

Today we're off to the Gumbo Cookoff on beautiful Dauphin Island...

The Food Network's very own Alton Brown is making a special appearance, and will be handing out the ribbons.

Hopefully your weather is beautiful (our forecast is 81 degrees) and you have a Super Saturday planned! Days like today are why I'm thankful to live on the Gulf Coast!  :-)

Have a great day!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lilly Pulitzer Store Review

TGIF, Shopaholics! Any big plans for the weekend? It feels wonderful to say, we are planning quality beach time and that is it! :-) 

As my frequent readers and friends already know, I have been doing quite a bit of shopping lately for my favorite brand, Lilly Pulitzer. Beginning around March 10, the market was flooded with a lot of opportunities to get my "fix".  (both online and in-store). Throw in the "Lunch At Lilly" promotion, then the Via shoppes online sales and you have one very spent out Shopaholic.

Now I don't know about you, but once I make a purchase (at any retailer, Ebay, even Shopaholic's Preppy Closet) and the seller has my $$$ or card number, I want the merchandise to arrive quickly. And honestly, if it doesn't arrive within 7-10 days after purchase, I start to get a little squirrely. Now if the seller/store has a legitimate issue and notifies me of said issue, I do have patience and can deal with the problem without getting nervous.

Our world is automated - cards are authorized immediately, packages are shipped via online software through UPS, Fedex, USPS, etc.  Frankly, a business who doesn't communicate - doesn't ship - then leaves me sitting around to "wonder" what happens - I have to wonder if they care about my business. Do they really want it? Hey, it's a bad economy last I heard - right?!?!? Shouldn't businesses be taking care of their customers and trying to retain them, rather than ignoring them and screwing up in every possible way? This scenario leaves me extremely confused. Thankfully, there are lots of stores who just get it right. Every time. They never disappoint. I don't have to beg them to ship, and they take me seriously. They know I'm going to buy, and treat me as a valued customer whether I call, email, or post on their Facebook wall.

Now seems like an appropriate time to tell you that in my previous life (read: work life) I was a business manager. My location had annual revenue in the neighborhood of $50 million dollars and I directly managed 12-15 employees. I know how long it takes to process an invoice. I know how long it takes to process a package for shipment. I also know how long it takes to earn the trust of a customer, and that it takes 4-5 new customers to make up for one lost customer.

Recently, I've had experiences with nine Lilly Pulitzer (corporately owned, Via and online) stores. I am going to tell you about each one below. Please note: these are MY experiences. Not my sister's, not my BFF's, not my Facebook friends. MY experiences only. Some of these stores I've had previous experiences with, and they were different than my recent ones. This review focuses only on experiences I've personally had within the past two weeks.

C. Orrico - Palm Beach, FL - Online Purchase during the recent "March Madness" Lilly sale. I placed an order for 2 items. Within the first twelve hours of the sale, I was notified that neither of the items were in stock. So I didn't receive any items from C. Orrico. However, I would definitely order again, the next time I am looking for something.

Village Palm - Grosse Pointe, MI. Two Online/Telephone Purchases, one during "Lunch At Lilly" and one during "March Madness" sale. Only one item was out of stock, and I was notified of this fact the next morning (after placing an order at 1AM). I was absolutely thrilled with my "Lunch At Lilly" goodie, and plan to order from this store again very soon. My order was shipped promptly and arrived from MI to coastal Alabama within three days. Sarah and her staff ROCK!  Buy with confidence from Village Palm!

Lilly Pulitzer Corporate Store - Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Ordered via telephone as part of the "Lunch At Lilly" promotion. My coveted Ricci Shift Dress in the "Calendar Girl" print arrived within three days and I was charged properly. Stellar buying experience, another winner in my book!

Purseladytoo - Online Store (link HERE). One of the easiest and most hassle-free shopping experiences in recent memory. Placed an order online (just one item) and immediately received order confirmation via email. The very next morning, I received another email that the item had been shipped - along with tracking information. My order arrived within two days of purchase and there was even a little gift inside. Superb and efficient service. Yet another place where you can buy with confidence!

The Colorful Gator - Gainesville, FL. Placed an order and paid via Paypal on March 10 for three Lilly dresses. As of today's date, the dresses have yet to arrive here in coastal Alabama. I have been in touch with the store via email and telephone several times and am still waiting on their arrival. Now I have a tracking number and am hoping they arrive by Monday. I was quite disappointed as one of the dresses was a gift for my BFF's birthday. We celebrated said birthday on Wednesday, so I guess you'd say my BFF's gift was "one dress short".  To say I'm not happy would be a huge understatement.

Lilly Pulitzer Corporate Store - Southlake, TX. My long-time readers already know, this is one of my favorite stores. I placed a telephone order with Amy and the ladies at Southlake during the "Lunch At Lilly" promotion. As usual, my order was perfect. It arrived within three days, I was thrilled with my Lunch At Lilly goodies. Another winner; the Southlake store never lets me down. I will continue buying from this Texas gem!

The Pink Palm - Richmond, VA. Placed an online order last Monday as part of the "March Madness" Lilly sale. The order was for 4 items, 2 of which were very high on my wish list. I didn't hear from The Pink Palm until the following Tuesday (yep, 8 days later). When I did, I was told that only 1 of the items I ordered was available. Shipping was $12.50, and even a shopaholic won't pay $12.50 to ship a yoga top that is on sale for $24. I respectfully declined the offer of the one top, and therefore didn't receive any items from The Pink Palm. They were kind on the telephone and very apologetic about the speed of service, but 8 days isn't acceptable in my book. Sorry. However, because they were kind, and because I spoke to a "real person", I would consider ordering from them again. It might not be anytime soon though.

Under The Palm Tree - Overland Park, KS. As part of the "March Madness" Lilly sale and a St. Patrick's Day promotion, I've placed two orders recently with UTPT. Only 1 item (out of 8) was not available, and I was notified within four hours of placing my online order. Another Shopaholic favorite store that never disappoints - shipping was fast, service was friendly and efficient. Hadley, Mimi and Sara have always treated me as a valued customer - whether I order one sale item, a full priced item, or a box full! UTPT has earned - and will continue to receive - a large share of the Lilly buying that happens around here! 

In The Pink - Boston, MA and various other locations. Placed an online order during the "March Madness" Lilly sale event. The whole experience didn't start out very well, as ITP's website had all kinds of problems. It was timing out, and sometimes completely unresponsive. I suppose it was silly of me to be surprised when I went days without hearing of my order's status. I only ordered 4 items, and two of them were high on my "wish I'd have bought this earlier" list. Four days after placing my order, I was notified that only 2 of the items were available and the order had already been shipped. Note: the only reason I heard from ITP within 4 days was I posted on their Facebook page. Further, imagine my *surprise* to see that I was charged $10 for shipping, when ITP had plainly stated on their FB page that shipping was FREE for all orders placed on Monday. This was their "gift" to customers for all the problems that were experienced during the order process. Since last Friday, I have been trying to get in touch with ITP to have my $10 shipping charge credited back to my account. Now before you think "that's silly, it's only $10"; you are correct - it is only $10. It's not about the $10, it's the principle of the entire situation. If a company makes a promise on their website or FB page, they should honor that promise with their customers. Period. At this point, I seriously doubt ITP even cares about my business. That's ok though, it will be a long time - if ever - before I'm brave enough to order again.

And there you have it! An honest summary of my experience. My "tried and true" stores always perform and never disappoint. They know me - I know them. For me, it makes sense to continue spending my $$$ where I know it is appreciated and I have confidence in their ability to take care of me. That's really all I ask - I buy, they ship what I order, I'm happy, they're happy. It should always be that easy, right?!?

Hopefully you were able to score some great deals during the recent sales and promotions! Any winners or losers in your book?

Have a Fantastic Friday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Laura Mercier on Gilt Groupe

Happy Thursday!

Yesterday I was so tempted by the Laura Mercier sale on Gilt Groupe. I absolutely love every.single.product Laura Mercier puts on the market, and own more than I care to admit.

Who wouldn't appreciate the following quote?
"Appreciating your own beauty does not come solely from therapy, makeup application, or plastic surgery... It comes from a little door that opens in our minds and helps us celebrate our differences and find pride in our uniqueness." - Laura Mercier

Some of the products featured in the sale include:

Mini Lip Glace, Set of 4, $25. This Shopaholic is a real sucker for lip gloss, and I have enough here to stock a small Sephora. Literally, I had to walk away from the laptop when I saw four glosses for $25.

BODY & BATH QUAD, Crème DE PISTACHE, $45. This is one scent I haven't tried yet, but I do love all the others and am sure I would love this one. Again, I managed to abstain...

Face Palette Collection, $75. Probably the most tempting of all items in the sale, the face palettes are wonderful for travel. The colors are so neutral and you can really do a lot with them. Maybe I can abstain for another day, I'm going to sleep on it and see if I still "need" this in 12 hours. 

Are you a fan of Laura Mercier? Did you manage to resist temptation, or did you crumble? If you're not already a member of Gilt Groupe, you can join with my invite HERE. Just hold on to your wallet, as their sales are always fantastic.

Have a great day and don't forget - Lilly store review coming tomorrow!  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wish List Wednesday

Happy Hump Day, Shopaholics!

Today I thought it would be fun to bring back Wish List Wednesday. I haven't featured a wish list - at least on Wednesday - in a very long time!  So without further ado, a few things that are on this shopaholic's radar.

Tory Burch, Dean Metallic Hobo, $395. This would be a great piece for me, as I generally prefer to carry a neutral, solid color leather handbag. I've been carrying my gold Lilly Pulitzer Mar-A-Lago tote for several months and it might need to be retired soon...the Dean appears to be a suitable replacement.

Calypso St. Barth for Target, Shireen dress, Alexa tunic and Smock Neck dress, various prices up to $79.99.  Yes, you're reading this right. Calypso St. Barth will be available at Target on May 1, 2011. For those of us who live in a vacation state of mind, this collection is perfect. I predict a quick sellout on all the pieces and will certainly "need", at a minimum, the Shireen and Alexa. I cannot wait to see these in person!

Tory Burch, Japan Relief Tee Shirt, $29, available for preorder on Rue La La. I have to admit, this is already checked off my "wish list" as I ordered it yesterday. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this tee are being donated to the American Red Cross to benefit the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami relief efforts. Shipping is FREE and what a great way to wear your support for our friends across the world. If you need an invite to Rue La La, please use my link (HERE).  

bamboopink by Jude Frances, assorted earrings, available for purchase very soon! I'm especially crazy for the chandeliers and fleur de lis. I tend to wear mostly gold jewelry (mixing a little silver in here and there) and these are perfect!

Remember, you can still sign up for FREE as a consultant with bamboopink. Jewelry can be sold online only - or via traditional methods such as in-home shows, trunk shows, etc. A lifestyle brand - designed by Jude Frances - that is sure to be a huge hit. If you have a blog, any type of online presence, or if you're just considered the "expert" in new designers and trends with your crowd, you are missing an opportunity if you don't sign up. Please use my link, I'd love to have you join Team Shopaholic! (link HERE).

What is on your current wish list? Other than peace, love and harmony...of course!

Have a Wonderful Wednesday, I'm off to celebrate my BFF Priscilla's birthday. Gifts, lunch, dessert and girl time! What could be better?!?!?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Slow Shipping + No Communication = Poor Service

social media Pictures, Images and Photos

Happy Tuesday!

Have you recently experienced slow or just overall poor service from an online retailer or website? While I believe that in general, most stores do a fantastic job of communicating and shipping merchandise promptly - I've had some recent experiences that are causing me to rethink my buying habits.

How about the order that was paid for on 3/10/11 and hasn't arrived yet? Or the one that was placed on 3/14/11 and I have no idea if the merchandise is in stock, or sold out; and whether any of it has been shipped? How about the retailer who promised free shipping because of website problems, but charged shipping fees anyway?

customer service Pictures, Images and Photos

I'm soooooooo frustrated that I can't even express it. While I'm tempted to rant today, instead I will publish a full review of my recent shopping experiences.

Don't forget to tune in this Friday for all the details! Have you had any good - or bad - shopping experiences recently?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Welcome, Spring!

Happy Monday!

The calendar finally made it official - spring has sprung! Here's the weather we will be enjoying on the Alabama gulf coast this week!

Aren't you happy to see spring arrive? How is the weather in your town? Shopaholic confessions: I've been to the beach twice in the past three days. With weather like this, can you blame me?

Have a Marvelous Monday!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, my friends! Although I'm not Irish, I really enjoy celebrating St. Patrick's Day! Today I'd like to share some of my favorite St. Patrick's inspired nostalgia. Obviously they are not all Irish in nature...

Seriously - what is better than a bowl of Lucky Charms? Brings me right back to childhood. The DH would eat a box of Lucky Charms every other week, if I bought them. Just like a child, he eats the marshmallows first! :-)

Lucky charms cereal Pictures, Images and Photos

Pub crawls, green beer. Enough said!

st. patricks day Pictures, Images and Photos

Corned Beef & Cabbage. I cook this every year only on St. Patrick's Day. Leftover corned beef makes yummy, homemade reuben sandwiches! (Yes, I realize that in other areas the dish is made with potatoes and carrots too, but it's what my Mother prepared and I'm obligated to carry on tradition).

corned beef and cabbage Pictures, Images and Photos

Although we don't buy or use it, I am not ashamed to admit that I love the smell of Irish Spring soap. Last year at the St. Patrick's parade in NOLA, we caught several bars and brought it home. An open bar kept the laundry room smelling fresh for a few weeks!

Could it be St. Patrick's Day without a pot of gold? I keep waiting on MY pot of gold to arrive, it would help pay for all my shopping habits! :-)

Have a safe and Happy St. Patrick's Day! How are you celebrating today?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lilly, Your Sales Are Killing Me!

Dear Shopaholic Favorite Lilly Pulitzer Via Shoppes,

Yes - I'm talking about you. Under The Palm Tree, Village Palm, C. Orrico, In The Pink, and The Pink Palm. You all "got me" yesterday. The 3-day sale event that most online stores are offering is obviously a huge success. Several of the stores even had website problems due to the traffic. (Reminded me of the Summer Sale hosted last year).

Below are several of the goodies I ordered. Even though I'm slightly concerned about the accuracy of online inventory in a few places, I have fingers and toes crossed!

Rylan Top, Tickle My Tassle (minus the wrap, of course)

Sadie Dress, Shorely Blue Serenity (this is technically a Fall collection dress, but I can get away with it almost all year here in coastal Alabama)

Lotus Top, Pink (after all, one must be stylish while exercising)
Roslyn Skirt, Skye Blue Exbloomsion
Worth Shift, Floaters

Jett Half Zip, Turquoise (every now and then I buy something for the DH, in case you've been wondering!)

Josie Tunic, Daiquiri Pink Floaters
Roslyn Skirt Lace, Limeade Floater
Baletta Dress, Skye Blue Exbloomsion

There might be a few other pieces in the orders. However, before you think "she is nuts" - I will be shocked if more than half of what I ordered yesterday is actually in stock and arrives on my doorstep. That's just the way these crazy online sales go. I always order a few extras, it's really the best way to avoid a major disappointment!

This could be a good test - I ordered 15 items from 5 stores total. Anyone want to take a bet on how many are in stock? Comment below with your best guess and next week I'll send a little Lilly "happy gift" to the reader who guesses it correctly (or closest). Only ONE winner, and in the event of a tie, I will draw the name of the winner from all accurate entries! (comment with your guesses before Friday 3/18/11 at midnight, please - I will announce the winner next Friday 3/25/11 - have to give the stores time to ship)

Have a Terrific Tuesday and Happy Online Lilly Shopping - the madness continues for two more days. Not me though, put a fork in me. I'm done! :-)

P.S. Don't forget to sign up for Bamboopink - this is a very exciting company and you don't want to miss what could be the opportunity of a lifetime! Free signup, no obligation and nothing to lose. Anyone with a blog or a great online presence will especially want to take advantage. See my previous post about Bamboopink HERE. Thanks as always for your support!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Lunch At Lilly" Loot

Happy Sunday, Shopaholics! Hope your weekend is wonderful!

Do you celebrate "Lunch At Lilly"? This is an annual event (generally the 2nd Saturday of March) where the corporate Lilly stores, as well as some Via shops, offer a fantastic gift with purchase. The minimum purchase level is usually $500 but the gifts - they are awesome! Most of the GWP's are produced just for the Lunch At Lilly promotion and are not available for general purchase. Even more exciting than the GWP's, by making a purchase you are entered into a contest to win a trip to Lilly's corporate headquarters. Also known as "The Pink Palace" - winners will spend a day at Lilly's headquarters and have the opportunity to design their own print! Wow - wouldn't that be fun?!?! Talk about the experience of a lifetime! :-)

So what if I don't live near a Lilly Pulitzer store? You all know I love to shop online and via the phone, so of course I participated in this year's promotion. My friend Amy (or she is really my enabler, I'm not sure?) at Lilly Pulitzer in Southlake, TX rounded up a few "must haves" that are now headed my way...

Ricci Shift Dress, Scallop Pink Mini Calendar Girl

Roslyn Skirt, Lillys Pink Big Squeeze

Ric Rac Bangle Set, Hotty Pink (along with green and white)

Adaleesa Short Caftan, Land Escape

Also in my bag from Lilly Pulitzer Southlake and Palm Beach Gardens, a few "gift items" that I can't blog about....sshhhh...wouldn't want to spoil any surprises! :-)

Now, that should have been good enough, yes? Well...We all know that even the grand dame Lilly Pulitzer herself says "Too Much Is Never Enough". Of course I interpret that as permission to place a second "Lunch At Lilly" order from one of my most frequented Via shops, Village Palm. If you're not familiar, Village Palm is located in Grosse Pointe, MI and owned by one of my favorite displaced southern girls at heart - Sarah Kreisler.

I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of this beauty from Village Palm, the Twyla Dress in Shorely Blue Optical Confusion

Another advantage to purchasing from Village Palm - they now have a website AND you can use Paypal. I love being able to purchase with Paypal! Sooo easy!

If you are ever looking for any Lilly, I highly encourage you to check with the girls at Southlake and/or Village Palm. They both have active pages on Facebook, and are quick to respond to any questions or requests. I'm going to provide their info below.

Shopaholic tip: Village Palm has a few gift bags left, and will honor the promotion Sunday for all web orders. You know, if you "need" something! :-)

Village Palm
17110 Kercheval Avenue

Grosse Pointe, MI, 48230
Facebook page link HERE

Lilly Pulitzer
405 Grand Ave East
Southlake, TX 76092
Facebook page link HERE

Happy Sunday and Happy Shopping!

p.s. If you're on the fence about Bamboopink by Jude Frances (see my post from Friday HERE), please take a moment to go ahead and sign up! You have absolutely nothing to lose, there is no obligation and no upfront cost - and everything to gain! This will be the most successful women's start up ever, and you have the opportunity to be in from the beginning! You can sell it all ONLINE - no home parties! Bloggers, if you're not taking advantage of this, you are going to regret it! I already wish I'd started earlier! Please use the following link to join my team: Thanks for your support! XOXO

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