Tory Burch and Kendra Scott on the Cheap. No… Really.

Tory Burch and Kendra Scott on the Cheap. No… Really.

Ugh!  Poshmark.  Staaaaaaaahhhhhhhp.  Look what you’ve done to me!  I promised myself I wouldn’t purchase anything, but my word.  I’ve never seen so many pretty things at such prices in my life.  It’s a struggle, guys.

I have wanted a pair of Tory Burch flats for… forever.  I’m a ballet flat kind of girl.  They’re my go-to nearly every day.  Now, I have to preface this post with the fact that I never spend more than $20 (and that’s steep for me…) on a pair of flats.  Ever.  EVER.  No, seriously, I won’t do it.  Why?  Prepare to be grossed out-I was blessed with hyperhydrosis (fancy name for your feet sweat like you regularly walk on coals… not flattering… thanks a lot, dad!).  So, guess what happens to all of my adorable little ballet flats?  They become filled with puddles.  Yep-disgusting.  After a season of flats I throw those babies out and feel no shame.

I somehow became rather addicted to my cognac colored pair.  They go with black, white, navy, you name it… can’t go wrong!  They dress up, they dress down, they always look classy with whatever they are paired with.  Thanks, Target… you rock for carrying them for years!  And yes… I do now have them in nearly every color they manufacture…

Alright… now that you have the weird background of my ballet flat obsession, here’s where a used shoe Purchase comes in.  When I began my Poshmark closet, I made a pact with myself.  I said, “Self, I will NOT purchase any used clothing.  If I find a GREAT (and I mean this has to be the deal of the century) deal on an item that is new with tags, I will THINK about making a purchase”.

Now, I have had my eye on Tory Burch flats for years, but would never dare pay $250 for  a pair.  Are you kidding?  They would be filled with a puddle in 30 seconds and I would cry because I practically gave my first born to pay for those shoes.  No, sir.  I eyed several pairs of NWT (new with tags) pairs of Tory Burch flats on Poshmark and even countered an offer, but no dice.  I stopped checking out the listings for a few days and out of the blue the former Roomie shoots me a text: “What do you think about these shoes on Poshmark?”.  Well, they’re used.  That was my thought.  Used shoes?  Then I took a look at them.  Sam Edelmans.  They looked BRAND NEW.  For $38.  Hmmm… you know, not everyone creates puddles while standing.  There just may be something to this.  I shot her a text back and said I don’t do used shoes, but they’re in amazing shape and you’ve wanted those shoes for a long time… buy the shoes.

Reluctantly, I opened my Poshmark app to take a look at new Tory Burch shoe listings.  There. They. Were.  “Used” Tory Burch flats in my beloved cognac color.  $100.  I thought “uh huh… bet those things look like they’ve been through WWIII”.  I took a look through the photos.  These things looked brand spanking new.  Ughhhh… ok.  I “liked” them.  A few hours after liking that pair I received an offer:  $75 with free shipping.  After selling a few pairs of jeans I’ll never fit in again, I have around $15 credit on Poshmark that I was considering just withdrawing for cash, but if I were to apply it to this purchase, these shoes would be about $60 even.  Not. Bad.  Alright, I don’t even know if these things will fit!  I decided to look at some reviews.  Most people complained that they’re snug and said to size up AT LEAST half a size.  I asked the seller what her opinion was.  She suggested looking at other reviews, but from her experience they fit very true to size.  Dang.  I give in.  Shoes ordered.  Anddddddd I wait.

The shoes shipped very quickly, were packaged with such care, and were absolutely perfect.  These shoes looked like they had been worn no more than once.  Indoors.  Such minimal wear on the sole, no scratches or visible wear on the leather, and so adorable.  Now, to see if they fit.  The moment of truth, y’all.  I put some no-show socks on so I don’t ruin the poor things within 5 seconds of trying them on with my puddle producing feet.

img_3783

Well, I do believe the reviews were correct.  They are snug.  After having babies my feet grew and never quite returned to their size 8 status.  They’re now more like an 8 1/2 almost 9 most days, so overall these aren’t too far off from true to size.  However, since they haven’t been broken in I’ll have to say, they just may be the most uncomfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. They darn near bruised my poor feet the first day I wore them. They are so stiff from not being broken in I think me and the Torys will need to spend some quality time while I’m home and wear them with some very thick socks to do some leather stretching. BUT… would it even matter if they were so small I couldn’t walk?  Nope.  They’re too darn cute!

After wearing them more they’ve stretched a significant amount.  I also don’t wear no-show socks with them any longer because I believe that may have been exacerbating the problem.  Exacerbating?  Did I just use that word?  I need a nap, guys…  I did, however, invest in a pair of Gekks.

What are Gekks you ask?  The most amazing no show socks EVER.  They are seriously life changing for flats, heels, and loafers.  I found them from a Facebook ad (don’t judge… I know you’re judging) and they were a little pricey, but with my sweaty feet problem I’m always willing to give options a try.  I have to say, they live up to the hype.  They have made my shoes so much more comfortable and I don’t feel like I’m completely ruining every pair of shoes I own.

gekks

After being so used to my cheap Target flats I have to say these flats are VERY well made.  The leather is beautiful, the Tory Burch medallions add such a great touch of style without standing out too much, and they’ll go with literally anything. These were a great purchase at an even greater price.

So, of course after I found these I HAD to keep looking at Tory Burch shoes.  Well, I also found an adorable pair of Tory Burch wedges I had to have.  I got them for $40 and I know these have never been worn.  The soles are pristine and the canvas isn’t stretched or discolored in the slightest.

img_3951

You know, if you have great shoes, you then need other awesome accessories.  It’s kind of like “If you give a mouse a cookie” or “If you give a moose a muffin”.  Don’t pretend you don’t know those books… by the way, Amazon Prime Video has an “If you give a mouse a cookie” series, guys and it’s adorable.  Play it for your kids!  Ok… I digress.

Tory Burch earrings and a Kendra Scott necklace completed my collection nicely.  I have wanted a Kendra Scott necklace for a long time, but never really wanted to pay the (according to me) high price for something so simple.  They never go on sale, so I figured I was out of luck.  Until Poshmark!  I scored an Elisa necklace for $30.

When I started Poshmark I promised myself I wouldn’t purchase anything, let alone used shoes.  Well, I broke my promise.  Poshmark, you’ve made me a believer!

Llamas are the New Unicorns, Cacti are the New Floral

Llamas are the New Unicorns, Cacti are the New Floral

Man… times have changed.  I remember when unicorns were the “it” animal… or mythical creature… or whatever unicorns are.  They’re so fluffy I could DIE!  Anyway, it seems there is a new “it” animal to love: llamas.  I’m really not mad about it. In fact, the kid in me wants this backpack.   Like, really, really wants this backpack.  Who wouldn’t?  Those little llamas are just too cute.

llama backpack

And cacti?  When did this become a thing?  I mean, I know it’s been a thing for a while now, but when did we make the transition from floral and flower everything to cacti?  I have to say I definitely don’t hate it, though.  I remember online shopping for our oldest at Old Navy (because who has time to actually walk into the store???) last year in search of some cute shirts for church and coming across a coral button-up shirt with tiny little cacti and a denim skinny tie.

img_3698.jpg

Um, add to cart, please!  I thought it was SO different and unique.  Until I saw cacti EVERYTHING nearly a week later.  Oh well… at least I know I’m somewhere in the range of cool.  Maybe.  I also had to have this Kate Spade cactus necklace, because… cactus and Kate Spade, people (yes… Poshmark for $25… SCORE!).

cactus necklace

Uh, totes adorbs.  I know that’s no longer a thing, but I’m using it anyway…

Facebook Ads Are Officially Killing My Bank Account

Facebook Ads Are Officially Killing My Bank Account

I hate to admit it, but Facebook ads seriously suck me in.  Props to you, marketing geniuses.  I have fallen hook, line, and sinker for so many of your ads.  I’ll have to say I haven’t been duped… yet.  I’m sure my time is coming, but for now I’ve been very happy with purchases I’ve made after seeing a Facebook ad… for the most part.  I’ll dish on what products I’ve purchased (some for “free”… you guys, nothing is free… don’t fall for it… just know you’re paying SOMETHING, even if it’s disguised as “shipping”), if they were worth it, and if I’d consider them a worthwhile investment.

Several things I have bought because they were “free”.  We all know they’re not free, but honestly, paying $7.99 “shipping and handling” for a pair of leather baby moccasins is totally fine with me.  They were adorable, we got a lot of use out of them, and they were only $7.99, so that’s a win in my book.  I have also purchased “free” items such as an adorable bar necklace with a mama bear and two baby bears that says “Mama Bear” and a titanium rose gold ring that I paid $13.99 “shipping and handling” for.  Overall, the products have been cute and cheap, so no issues yet!

Some larger purchases I’ve made now (if you can even really consider them “large” purchases), are Force of Nature Cleaning SystemRitual multivitamins (which I also love), Shapermint shapewear (because… babies ruin your body…), and Gekks No Show socks (sweaty feet make it difficult to walk in heels, guys…).

I already shared my thoughts on Force of Nature and Ritual in previous posts (A Force to be Reckoned With and Maybe not a Ritual, But Definitely a Habit), but I’ll tell you how I feel about Shapermint and Gekks.

I ordered Shapermint shaper shorts and Gekks around the same time and they were both fairly slow to ship.  Well, that’s probably because I’m spoiled with Prime shipping, but hey… they were a little slower to arrive.  Anyways, I received my Shapermint Shaper Shorts first.  I opened them and was pretty excited to try them out, but a little confused by the packaging.  Nowhere on the paperwork did it say “Shapermint”, but it had a rather generic company name and generic packing slip.  Odd to say the least.  Well, they looked exactly like the photos in the listing on their website, so I figured, hey… if they work, whatever the tag says doesn’t matter.  They seemed very soft and that they might not be as prone to roll as other brands that I’ve tried and the short portion seemed to be forgiving enough to not cut into your thighs while wearing them.  I was immediately disappointed when I put them on.  They did nothing.  In fact, they seemed to be the completely wrong size because the “shaper” portion began nearly at my belly button or higher.  So, I figured maybe I could exchange them for the smaller size.  By the way, I did check their sizing chart and for my measurements I ordered the “correct” size.

 

After emailing Shapermint customer service because I couldn’t find any possible way to request a return or exchange, I received an email response in less than 24 hours saying that since mine did not fit they would ship a replacement in a smaller size and to keep the ones I have.  KEEP them?  Really?  Sweeeeeeet.  So, to Poshmark they went.  I was able to sell them in about a week or so for almost what I paid, so I was a happy camper.

Now, about the replacements… not so happy of a camper after receiving them.  Even the smaller size did nothing except make me look worse than before I put them on.  Is it possible for a shaper to make you look LARGER?  Yeah… not cool.  I don’t know that it was necessarily the size, but maybe that they just didn’t have any shaping quality to them whatsoever.  The shorts portion was extremely long and again the shaper portion started at the belly button.  I’m guessing I may just be too darn short for these shapers.  Story of my life… always too short.

Well, I will say that their customer service absolutely rocks.  They didn’t even make me return the pair that didn’t fit and sent a new smaller pair very quickly.  So, two thumbs up for customer service, two thumbs down for their product.

Gekks.  You guys.  These are LIFE CHANGING for someone like me who has puddles in their shoes within five minutes.  I love ballet flats, but I seriously destroy every pair I own because of my sweaty feet.  Well, Gekks have seemingly changed all that.  I haven’t tried them in heels yet, but I bought a pair for flats and heels and I’m sure the pair for heels will work just as well as those designed for flats.

gekks

I am very happy with my Gekks and I say spring for them-they’re totally worth it.  They have sticky heels and bottoms, so they don’t slide and stay in place, but the toe of the “sock” is very stretchy so they fit perfectly.  I don’t even notice they’re in my shoes except that my shoes are instantly more comfortable because of them.  Buy them.  They’re awesome.

So, hats off to you, Facebook ad planters… you win.  What Facebook products have you been suckered into trying?  Let me know in the comments and make me feel better about my purchases 😉

The Louis Vuitton Pipe Dream: A Posh Authenticate Review

The Louis Vuitton Pipe Dream: A Posh Authenticate Review

You guys.  I have looked at every LV bag that has ever made an appearance on Poshmark. For weeks.  I have wanted a Louis Vuitton bag for as long as I can remember and I was OBSESSED.  So. Many.  Great.  Bags.  As I looked through all of the listings I dreamed of having one and the ones that stood out the most to me were the 90s Alma bags.  This is how I remember Louis Vuitton growing up.  Classic little structured bags with great leather details in a convenient size that can be carried daintily in the crook of your arm.  But we’re talking hundreds of dollars for TWENTY YEAR OLD BAGS.  Come again?

I also love the LV Neverfull.  A classic tote that you can carry… well, anything in.  Downside to the Neverfull?  They go for nearly $800 in a fairly close to destroyed state.  Yeah… not happening.  Practically speaking Neverfulls are usually beat to heck because of their thin leather straps.  I don’t have a great experience with thin leather straps-they are used, abused, and destroyed.

So, back to the Alma.  I watched, waited, watched some more, researched, and oohed and ahed at every new Alma that was listed.  Most of the ones that were in a price range I was willing to pay were nearly destroyed.  Until one came along that was a little out of my price range, but the listing title began with “Last Call”.  Hmmmm… could this one be obtainable?  Surely it has a giant stain, doesn’t come with its lock and key, or isn’t authentic… right?

Wrong.  It was in amazing condition, the LV date code checked out (see my post about LV date codes!), there was no staining, no wear other than slight rubbing on the corners of the bag, the vachetta leather handles were in amazing condition, the canvas looked like new, and the inside was spotless.  It even had its lock and one key.  My wallet had hoped otherwise, but this bag was 21 years old and looked like it was made last year.  Ugggghhhhhh.  I asked the seller a few questions and after answering my (probably insanely annoying) questions, she posted her phone number and said to feel free to text or call her about the bag.

I looked at the phone number and recognized the area code.  This bag was located somewhere in my state.  Holla.  So, I did what any creeper would do and sent her a text with a few questions about the bag and asked if she was located in my state.  It’s a Louis Vuitton, guys… I had to.  It turned out that she was located a few hours north of me and is from my state.  Score!  She gave me her bottom price and details of the bag.

You can’t mess with serendipity.  It’s bad ju-ju, guys, so I had to buy the bag.

img_4296

The bag is absolutely amazing.  It is in what I would consider immaculate condition-age not even being considered.  There are no scratches, no wear other than minor rubbing on some corners, the vachetta is in amazing condition with no watermarks, staining, or scratches, and the brass is even in great condition for the age of the bag.  The handles look like they’ve never even been used other than the natural honey patina with no signs of wear or rubbing.  Sorry you can’t see the handles-I immediately wrapped those suckers as soon as the bag arrived… sweaty hands have no mercy on LV leather.

Alright… enough about my dream bag… on to the real reason for this post: Posh AuthenticatePoshmark offers a service to authenticate luxury items purchased for a certain amount and offers free shipping on these items.  Once an offer is accepted for a luxury item the seller ships the item to Poshmark for authentication by a luxury expert.  The authenticity of your item is guaranteed once authenticated, packaged, and shipped to you free of charge.  It’s a pretty streamlined process that didn’t add a lot of extra shipping time and I was happy to receive a professionally authenticated item.  The bag was packaged with care and a card of authenticity with the expert’s name was included in the box.

If you’re considering buying a luxury item on Poshmark I highly recommend it!  The process was simple (no action on your part!) and the program seems to be streamlined and professional.  You receive an authentic item at no extra cost to you with free shipping.  Cherry on the top 🙂

Louis Vuitton Date Code Authenticity Guide

Louis Vuitton Date Code Authenticity Guide

Louis Vuitton handbags are beautiful (and expensive!) and some of the most replicated bags out there.  So how do you know your bag is authentic?  Well, there are a few things that are a dead giveaway: stitching color/quality, monogram imperfections, bright red embossing on handles or leather edges (this one is fairly common and oh so easy to spot… pay attention, guys!), and the ever famous date code.  I’ll be talking about date codes and how to spot the real deal in this post.  There are many great sites dedicated to authenticating LV bag authenticity using the date code.  All of the info in this post comes straight from CoutureUSA and their detailed info on date codes in their A Quick Guide to Authentic Louis Vuitton Date Codes.

No Date Code?  May Be an Authentic VINTAGE LV Bag!

Louis Vuitton bags did not have date codes prior to 1982.  This makes it very difficult to authenticate older vintage bag.

Three to Four Digit Date Codes

Three to four digit date codes were used between 1982 to the mid 1980s.  The first two digits indicates the year while the last digit(s) indicate the the month the bag was made.

3to4digitdatecodes
Photo Credit: CoutureUSA

This date code represents a bag made in March of 1985.

Three to Four Digits and Two Letters

The mid to late 1980s saw a change in the Louis Vuitton date code to mark the location of factories of manufacturing.  Like the previous date codes, the first two numbers indicate the year and the next one to two numbers indicate the month of manufacturing.  The two letters represent the manufacturing location.

late90scode
Photo Credit: CoutureUSA

This date code marks a bag manufactured in April 1987 in France.

There are several factory codes that could be used on Louis Vuitton items for factories located in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, United States of America, and there is also a code for Re-Line Items (DK).

Louis Vuitton Date Code Factory Abbreviations

FactoryCode
Photo Credit: CoutureUSA

Some bags, like my Alma, have the manufacturing location stamped outside the bag as well.  This is a great way to authenticate your bag if your model uses an outer stamp as well.

In this case, the bag was manufactured in France (VI) and the outer stamp matches the manufacturing location in the date code stamp.

Two Letters Followed by Four Digits

The date code changed the numbering system to two letters representing the factory followed by the date between early 1990 and 2006.  The date portion of the code was also rearranged with the first and third number representing the date and second and fourth numbers representing the year.

The date code in my Alma pictured above displays a factory location of France (VI) and a bag manufactured in May 1997.

Two Letters Followed by Four Digits (Revised)

Although the date codes appear in the same format beginning in 2007, the date portion of the system was revised.  The month the item was manufactured changed to the week an item was manufactured, but still appears in the first and third position of the date portion of the date code.

LV2006datecode
Photo Credit: CoutureUSA

This date code displays a bag made in France the 20th week of 2015.

And there you have it! Happy LV Bag shopping 😉

The Dos and Don’ts of Online Shopping

The Dos and Don’ts of Online Shopping

 I. Love. Shopping.  I don’t like how much time it takes now that I’m a working mom.  I have become a GREAT online shopper.  Great deals and even greater products in a fraction of the time.

The key to a great online experience is to find what works for you.  Once you nail down what you’re really looking for don’t get distracted by a “great deal”.  I’ve been there… so that funky shirt was only $5.  Doesn’t really matter when you don’t wear it!  $5 down the drain.  Here are some tips to help you avoid the pitfalls of online shopping.

Clothes. Clothes.  More Clothes.

Where to Go

What type of clothes are your favorite?  Chances are you have that go-to store that you absolutely love.  You know how all of their clothes fit and can pretty much pull an item off of the rack and know immediately if it will look good on you.  Well, there are online stores that have the same safe and familiar feel.Two of my favorites happen to be Gap and Old Navy.  I know how their clothes fit, what cuts flatter my body type, and I know the price range I have to work with.

Once you have your go-to sites, keep your cart full at all times-you never know when there may be a pop-up sale… you’ll be ready!  The clothes aren’t going anywhere, so it’s time to have a spending strategy…

Price Tag

I usually have an idea of how much I want to pay for certain items in my mind.  I never pay much for clothes because I tend to favor trendy pieces over traditional lately because I can find great deals.  When I start to feel like I’m starting to be not-so-trendy, I ditch them for some new trends at minimal cost.

Always look for promo codes.  Always.  There are usually great promo codes out there and I rarely settle for anything less than a 30% promo code in addition to items being on sale.  This is when having your cart full comes in handy-once you see a sale and have promo codes, you can decide what items are worth purchasing and which items are still a little too pricey and you can purchase them later.

Shipping

There are very few sites I will pay for shipping.  Most of the time if you purchase $50 or more in merchandise or have their credit card (Gap/Old Navy, Victoria’s Secret, Target).  Sometimes being able to have items shipped directly to your door outweighs the cost of taking the time to drive to the store to purchase items.

Cosmetics/Beauty Products

Promo codes. Promo codes. Promo codes.  There are frequently promo codes or free item promotions for cosmetics from Ulta and Sephora.  Target also frequently has gift card promotions for purchasing a dollar amount of beauty products.  I normally don’t purchase beauty products online unless there is a large giveaway in addition to a coupon.

Although some higher priced products such as Too Faced or Benefit at Ulta are excluded in coupons, they frequently have free item promotions for those product lines.

Amazon

Amazon is one of my favorite go-to online shopping options.  However, I have found that sometimes deals aren’t so great for some items.  Always do a quick Google search on the item you’re considering to make sure there isn’t a high markup.  You never know… another site just may beat Amazon’s prices.

Credit Cards

I’m normally not an advocate of store/company credit cards, HOWEVER, they can be extremely beneficial for online shoppers.  Here are some of the perks they provide:

  • Free shipping
  • Cardholder exclusive sales, promotions, and coupons
  • Loyalty rewards

I never carry a balance on any of my credit cards, so these benefits really help me out when finding the best online deals.  Here are some of the cards that have great benefits to online shoppers:

  • Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic
    • Free shipping
    • Bonus promotions/sales
    • Loyalty rewards
  • Amazon
    • Free Shipping (with Amazon Prime)
    • Credit applied after application
    • Rewards points on purchases on Amazon.com and anywhere Visa is accepted
  • Kohl’s
    • Bonus promotions/sales
  • Victoria’s Secret
    • Cardholder promotions/sales
    • Rewards for purchases