Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Neiman Marcus Last Call Sale Today and Tomorrow!

Ladies and Gents,

Neiman Marcus Last Call is offering 40% off your entire purchase today and tomorrow both online and in the store. Check it out at http://www.lastcall.com. Enjoy!

XOXO- Ms. Diva
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

From Black Friday and Midnight Madness to Cyber Monday Deals!


It's that time of the year!  Most stores are rallying for the big Thanksgiving weekend sales, better known as Black Friday, Midnight Madness and Cyber Monday.  My friends often laugh at the many strategies I employ during the holiday weekend to make sure that all of my holiday shopping is completed by 7am on the day after Thanksgiving.  This year will be no different.  I have gotten some awesome deals and I want to share some of my strategies with you so that you too can be the fabulous gift giver that you ought to be. 
  1. Midnight Madness Sales- Many stores open at midnight on the day after Thanksgiving for special sales.  If you are interested in burning off those Thanksgiving calories by milling around the aisles in the outlet malls, check out this link to see where the local Midnight Madness sales are near you http://couponing.about.com/od/blackfridayshopping/a/blackfridayhrs.htm.
  2. Black Friday- The trick to emerging a winner at Black Friday sales is to have a plan.  First, check out the Black Friday ads for deals that appeal to you.  I tend to visit http://www.blackfriday.info/ because it permits me to log in (create an account first, of course) and create a shopping list. based on the sale ads.  You can also check http://www.blackfriday2010.com/ for ads.  These sites will show you the Black Friday sale ads for many stores.  Browse them and identify those items that you want to purchase.  The next step is to research the products online. Check reviews to see if it is worth dragging yourself out of bed to stand in the long lines for the deal.  Then compare prices for the items that you want to purchase.  You can check sites like http://www.pricegrabber.com/ and http://www.buy.com/ to see how much other merchants are charging for the merchandise you are looking to buy,  After you decide on what you want to buy and where you want to buy it, plan your shopping strategy.  I suggest you go to these sales early.  If the store opens at 5am, get there at 3:30am.  You'd be surprised how many people will already be there.  Do not go to ANY store with an ambitious agenda.  Go in and get one or two items and get out!  Visit the stores a few days before and get a lay of the land.  You will want to have a mental map of the store (Walmart passes out a map to shoppers while they wait in line; Target often passes out reusuable shopping bags with goodies in them) and figure out the fastest way to get to the department where you can find your merchandise.  For example, if I am buying something in Walmart's electronics department, I have a tendency to walk through the clothing section (nobody is going to be over there) and then make a hard left towards electronics, passing the shoe section on the way.  I usually go with more than one person so that we can split up and grab the merchandise.  The first one who gets to a check out line will text us to tell us where they are.  We meet them in line and they take all of the merchandise so we can check out together.  We are usually done in 20-30 minutes.  Totally worth the hassle.  You want to apply that strategy at every store you visit.  By employing this strategy, I am usually done with my shopping by 7am on the day after Thanksgiving.  Remember, the early bird catches the worm.  Most stores have early bird specials and limited quantities, so get there early and only go for those things that you really, really want.  Keep in mind the stores' opening hours when you plan your strategy.  I usually go to Walmart (5am), then Target (in line by 5:30am, opens at 6am), then Old Navy (in line by 6:30am, opens at 7am) and then to A.C. Moore (walk in at 8am after my stop at Starbucks for coffee).  When all is said and done, I'm back home and in bed by 9am while the rest of the world is searching through the scraps.
  3. Cyber Monday - If you hate lines and don't get up early, check out the various online sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving, also known as Cyber Monday.  To check out the sales going on at different stores, visit http://www.cybermondaycentral.com/ and http://www.cybermonday.net/ for the sales at your favorite stores. 
  4. Last Word on Holiday Shopping- Sales can be tempting and overwhelming.  If you want to continue to be a Discount Diva and avoid buyer's remorse (post-holiday credit card bill blues), write a list and a shopping budget and stick to it.
I hope these tips help you as much as they help me.  Now get shopping and don't forget to get me a gift too!

XOXO- Ms. Diva

Macy's 25% Pre-Sale Discount at the One Day Sale!


I found myself at the Macy's One Day Sale today (don't ask me what time I was there) and I thoroughly enjoyed my finds, which I will share with you at another time.  What I will share now is that when I went to use my coupons to get a further discount on my purchases, I was offered a 25% pre-sale discount.  "What is that?",you might ask.  Well, Macy's is offering a 25% family and friends discount on all merchandise in the entire store (no restrictions like the pesky coupons they send home) starting on December 1st.  So, if you purchase an item today, but don't need it right away, you can pay for it today with the pre-sale 25% discount and pick it up on December 1st.  The up side to this is that you get a deeper discount on today's sale merchandise.  The down side is that you can't take your merchandise home with you today.  I chose to go with the 25% discount because I don't need my dresses until the holiday time.  So, if that makes sense to you, go to Macy's and make some purchases and pick them up later.  Just think, you can buy the higher end merchandise on discount (these items are usually excluded from sales and coupons).  Otherwise, remember to use your coupons, but read the fine print on the back for the exclusions.  Anyway, there were a ton of other deals at the sale, so go check it out.  It's so worth it!

XOXO- Ms. Diva

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ms. Diva's Look Book November 2010


Per your requests, I have uploaded my look book which I created using combinations from the wardrobe worksheet I shared with you last month.  I note that my daily wardrobe is not limited to these combinations, but this at least helps me get dressed when I don't feel like thinking about what to wear.  Nevertheles, this has been a worthwhile exercise, as I have discovered that my color pallete is pretty monotone. The only color in my fall/winter wardrobe (on this worksheet) is from an occasional bright colored sweater or an accessory.  So, I guess I'll be shopping for some color this season. Enjoy!


XOXO- Ms. Diva

Lanvin for H&M Launches on Nov. 23rd!

It's time to get excited! Lanvin is the next high end designer launching a line at H&M. For those of you who are not too high-falutent for pedestrian lines, this is one heck of an opportunity to score a gorgeous dress or two. The price points are a bit pricey, but with Lanvin dresses typically running 2k-4k, this is a unique opportunity. I can't speak to the quality of the materials, but it's worth a look see. The dresses are absolutely gorgeous. With items from $9.99 to $249, these affordable holiday gems will put a little spice in your wardrobe. But beware- you better style these items your way or you may have a twin. Check out the look book from the Lanvin collection.
XOXO- Ms. Diva

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Free Shipping at Walmart.com Starts Today!

Folks, Walmart has turned up the heat on its competitors by offering free shipping on almost 60,000 items on its website. These items run the gamut on price points so check it out!


XOXO- Ms. Diva

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nicole Miller with Stuart Weitzman for under $150

So ladies, a few weeks back, I visited my alma mater in Maryland and I made a pit stop to the Nordstrom Rack store in Towson Town Center Mall. While there, I purchased, among other things, two fabulous pieces that I recently wore to a work function. The first item was a Nicole Miller ponte ruched sheath dress in navy blue. The best thing about the dress is that it is form fitting and the ruching is forgiving to my imperfections. Ruching is the best camouflage! I also purchased a pair of Stuart Weitzman daisy pumps in navy blue patent leather to wear with the dress.

Here's the kicker-- the dress was originally $295 and is still being sold in the regular Nordstrom store. Apparently someone purchased the dress and did some alterations to it and then returned it. Well, it fits me like a glove and it cost me a mere $69.99. So thanks to Nordstrom's liberal return policy, I saved $225 on the dress. You can't beat that! I also got a great deal on the shoes, which were originally $265. I only paid $77 for them! I saved $178 on them! So I had a complete look for under $150 and my entire outfit was a designer master piece. Let's say that I am still on cloud nine. Check out the dress and shoes (shown in other colors) below.

XOXO- Ms. Diva

How to Save $500 by Christmas

I thought I'd share this article from CNN.com on how to find $500 for Christmas shopping. Check out the link below to go directly to the article:


(CNN) -- You've only got about five paychecks left until Christmas. That means if you expect presents under the tree and not a debt hangover in January, you need to find the money starting now.

Can you save $500 by Christmas? You can try and here's how.
1. Stop paying for things you don't use. If you have not set foot in the gym since your New Year's resolution, ditch it. Cancel the subscriptions for magazines and papers you don't read. You can also raise your deductibles for home and auto insurance. Conservatively, that's $50 a month.

2. Check your cellular plan. Many people are surprised that they don't use as much on the data plan as they are paying for. AT&T estimates that 98 percent of customers use less than 2 gigs of data. And ditch the landline if you can. You might be paying for too much technology.

3. Eat in. Southern cuisine queen Paula Deen (no surprise) gave me this one. She says every time you stay home and grill a steak with your family instead of going to a restaurant, you put $35 back into your pocket. Do this once a week, and you've just saved $350 by Christmas.
Read an excerpt from Christine's new book "Smart is the New Rich"

4. Make a list of 10 things you routinely spend money on (clothes, groceries, gifts, etc.) and cut $10 from each. Gail Cunningham from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling also cautions against buying anything for the holidays that you cannot fully pay off in three months.
"Consumers who fight for bargains should realize that the 20 percent savings they were so happy to snag is lost if they have a double-digit interest rate on their card and stretch the payments out over months."
Delete your saved information on online shopping sites so you aren't tempted to nickel and dime yourself to death every time you get an e-mail touting $9.99 T-shirts. If you don't need it, don't buy it; if you can't afford it, put it down. Aim to cut miscellaneous expenses by $100 a month.

5. Along those lines, certified financial planner Doug Flynn recommends paying cash for an entire month. You get a better sense of what's coming out of your pocket, and it inspires some restraint.

6. Banish those fees. Only use in-network ATMs. The average cost for a trip to an ATM for a bank that is not your own is $3.54. Eliminate one trip a week for the next 10 weeks, and you've saved another $35. Find a credit union or community bank that offers free checking. The downside of credit card reform is some banks are looking for new ways to raise revenue and that means adding fees to your checking account. Bottom line: Don't pay someone else for the use of your money.

7. Switch to a programmable thermostat. The government says this saves $180 a year off the typical energy bill. Start now and you are on your way to saving for next Christmas as well.
Pick a few of these that apply to you, and you're there.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nordstrom Rack's Semi-Annual Large Size Shoe Sale Saturday

Ladies who wear size 10.5-13 and men who wear size 14-16, head over to your closest Nordstrom Rack this Saturday for the big shoe sale. Nordstrom Rack has the largest selection of large size, nice shoes than any place I've ever seen and at great prices. I bought a pair of Stuart Weitzman navy, patent leather pumps there 2 weeks ago for $77 (originally $295) so I ought to know. Check it out. Happy shopping.
XOXO- Ms. Diva

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A "Furry Situation" This Fall: Fur Boots For Less

One of this fall’s hottest trends is the emergence of the fur boot. Yes ladies, the mukluk has made a comeback! This trend was seen on the runways of some of the leading designers, including D&G (my fave), Ralph Lauren, and Chanel. (See photos above.) Now, of course, since I’m Ms. Diva, I’ve been wearing fur boots for a couple of years now (particularly since it can get really cold here). That being said, I have only purchased fur lined snow boots. I have not purchased actual fur boots. Instead, I invested in fur boot toppers. Last year I purchased chinchilla boot toppers at Century 21 for $50. The boot toppers extended my boot wardrobe dramatically. This year, I saw Steve Madden boot toppers for $30 at Marshall’s and I had to buy more. So, if you are interested in trying this look out, but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, invest in boot toppers. They can be worn scrunched up on top of your boots as an accent, or pulled all the way over the leg of your tall boots to give the look of an actual fur boot. Check out these sites to purchase your own.
Happy shopping!
XOXO- Ms. Diva

Put a Ring on It!


With the holiday season swiftly approaching, there will be tons of parties and tons of opportunities to be fabulous. What better way to show how fab you are than by wearing some dazzling bling. So, I've done some investigative shopping and consulted my favorite fashion magazines, and I've discovered the following places to shop for on trend, low priced jewelry:

  • http://www.fantasyjewelrybox.com/- Recently featured in People Style Watch, this website offers celeb-and designer-inspired jewelry for less.
  • http://www.imitations.com/- I discovered this site after one of my besties broke my favorite costume tennis necklace. I purchased the necklace at Impostors, a jewelry chain that sold beautiful costume jewelry. Unfortunately, the store went out of business. Nevertheless, in my search to replace the necklace, I found this site and it is quite impressive. Check it out if you are looking for gorgeous formal jewelry (although it has so much more to offer)!
  • http://www.afaze.com/- I recently purchased two two-finger rings from an Afaze store in the mall. One said "Love" and the other was a blinged out gold-tone bar. I wore them both on one hand so it looked like the word "Love" was underscored by diamonds. Suffice it to say, it looked like a modern update of an 80s throwback. I was excited to learn that you can buy their merchandise online. Check them out!
  • http://www.charlotterusse.com/- I've mentioned the store before as a place to get great, basic tees. I also love their cocktail rings (which is my signature jewelry choice) for as low as $4 (and lots of choices at that price point as well).

I hope this helps in your holiday makeover. Enjoy!

XOXO- Ms. Diva