Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Some deals

  • Alaska Airlines has some pretty good deals right now if you're traveling within the US. If you're a Vancouver person like me, you can drive up to Sea-Tac, or take the quickshuttle there and fly out to LA. For airfare, taxes and fees included, you're looking at $218.60 return. Even better deals if you're flying out to Oakland (very close to San Francisco). If you're flying out of Portland, there are some even better deals. I just booked a flight to Oakland (return) for less than $179 (flying out of Seattle). I'm probably gonna book a car rental and hotel through Priceline.

  • Roots (brick and mortar store), 50% off at items including sale items. For online shopping at use coupon code BOX06. They've got some comfy yoga pants and some cute purses. Mexx (brick and mortar) also has stuff 50% off, but that's not really a big deal since Mexx has this sale often. In fact, I think it's just plain silly to buy anything regular price from Mexx or Buffalo for that matter.

  • $30 off $200 or more purchase, coupon code 81741.

  • American 10% off orders of $85 or more, coupon code HOLIDAYDEC06

  • Future Shop, Prison Break Season One is $29.99. I just rented the whole season a couple months ago, and it cost more to rent (six discs). And isn't watching Wentworth Miller sitting in the chair after he gets his toe cut off in the dr's office just priceless?? Ahhh, Wenty!!

I am not a fan of Roots or Staples. For some reason I can't stand most of the staff at Roots and I've had multiple problems with online ordering from Staples.

Boxing Day Shopping

Hope you had a nice Christmas holiday!
As much as I like to get a bargain, I'm not really a big fan of Boxing Day shopping in Vancouver. I went boxing day shopping (similar to US Black Friday sales) and picked up some stuff at Lululemon only to peel back the sales stickers to find out I saved, drumroll please, 10%. There was a lineup to get in, a lineup to try it on, and a lineup to save 10%. On top of that, they put your purchases into a clear plastic bag instead of their regular paper bags. What an insult. It's not like they are passing off incredible savings so they need to save on the overhead by providing plain bags. When they're offering 15% off, perhaps they will be providing plastic bags you get from the grocery stores for putting your produce in. And it's not like I collect shopping bags, but it's just part of a store's service. You know, wrapping your purchase in some coloured tissue and then putting it in a monogrammed bag. Even outlet stores will do this. Even La Senza does this when I buy three pairs of underwear for less than $15.

Maybe I'm just bitter cause I ended up getting two pairs of pants that make my ass look like a wide pancake. And the fact that I normally spend less than $39 for my workout gear. And that it's absolutely no exchanges or refunds. Not that I exchange or refund a lot, but it comforts me to know the option is there.

The other purchases I made were not that phenomenal either. It's almost like I bought stuff just for the sake of buying it. On the other hand, I went down to Seattle Premium Outlets for the Black Friday sales last month and got some major bargains. I'm talking 75% off stuff I actually use, and fluffy blood orange towels from Restoration Hardware for $3.99. But ended up taking ten hours to drive home because of the snow..

Speaking of Restoration Hardware, I really love that store. I never really buy much from there, but I love the fact they send their beautiful catalogue to an Ikea frequenting non-Restoration Hardware buyer like myself. Actually, I look at their catalogue and store for ideas and try to find a decent equivalent at Ikea or gasp, Real Canadian Superstore.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Best Places to Shop in Vancouver

Okay, okay, these might not be the best, but these are the places I go to shop, get inspiration or get ideas. I get asked a lot where to shop in Vancouver since I get a lot of bargains. The truth is, the best place to shop is to just drive across the border and go to the US. The sales in Vancouver when it comes to clothing are certainly not phenomenal, and then there's the taxes. But if you're planning on doing some shopping while you're here, and you're from a very expensive country for clothing like Australia, then check these places out.
Let me get one thing straight. I'm really cheap when it comes to clothing, not only do I look for like a second or third markdown, I need to research the original price to make sure that's not just some inflated price to make it look like a real sale. I actually have like a notebook where I record prices of stuff, so I can keep track.. so I know if I'm really getting a bargain. Like I have a constantly updated excel spreadsheet where I enter prices of like purses, and cosmetics, or certain jeans and at what stores, so if I'm shopping overseas or something, I'll know if it's a better deal.
When I buy staple items like the black pants for work and for going out, the jeans, basic black shoes and boots, coat, and everyday purse I'll get something of pretty high quality, but try to find like the best price on it. But I don't mind paying more for quality as long as I know I'm not getting ripped off.

Winner's - it's like a one level outlet department store with a bunch of different clothing brands for all ages, shoes organized by size, some furnishings, toiletries, gift items and even jewelry. I come here a lot since there's one close to my work. I can easily spend an afternoon here.

Service: Decent, but seems like there's always new staff that are just learning the ropes

$: Better than most stores in Vancouver

  • No salespeople to hassle you.
  • No guilt when you try on hundreds of stuff and don't buy anything.
  • Pretty good return and layaway policy.
  • Some of their clearance stuff is pretty darn cheap.
  • They have some nice dresses during prom and Christmas season.
  • Convenient one stop shopping cause there's something for everyone.


  • If you see any damage or anything like a loose button, they easily offer percentage off, usually 10%.
  • Keep an eye out for the clearance shelves for stuff like photoalbums and housewares. Some really good prices and you can get a cool gift for someone on a very low budget.
  • If you see something you like, try to find another one to see if it's been marked down, sometimes it's got the red tag sticker, but it's not on all of the same items.
  • Apparently they get their stock every Thursday.


  • It's not that cheap and you really have to comb the racks.
  • Some of the cashiers at the Richmond location are so friggin slow.
  • Some of the returns just get retagged and back on the shelves without inspection so keep a close eye for deodorant marks and BO, seriously. When shawls were trendy, I bought a shawl, brought it home and it smelled so bad, like BO with a spritz of perfume. I don't know how I didn't notice it in the store.
  • Saw them selling fake seven jeans once. (like Seven7) but they put it on one of their "designer" racks so some people might think it's the Seven for Mankind jeans when they're not.
Le Chateau
Yes, a lot of people think the clothing is of cheap quality, but if you've been in there lately, their stock is so much better than before. They have staple dresses that they carry throughout the year and they're pretty flattering on most body types. Personally, I love the cut of their pants, they make my butt look nice and my legs look longer. They also have a Le Chateau outlet in the Wal-Mart complex in New West.

Service: It really depends who you get. Generally it's either a commission attitude or don't care attitude. Personally, I like the service best on Burrard Street. Most people that work there are quite trendy, so they can be helpful putting together an outfit with accessories.

$: Reasonable.


  • Clothing is Made in Canada.
  • Trendy pieces at decent prices.
  • Lots of accessories.


  • Return policy is not very good. I believe it's exchange only, or return for credit note.


If you're a trendy tween or even a trendy 30 something with an above average spending budget, this is the place for you. They carry Mackage, Juicy Couture, Seven for all Mankind, Havaianas, CoH, Rock and Republic, and have three or four house brands including TNA and Talula. Their newest house brand is aimed at 30 somethings. They have even more variety at the Hill's location in Kerrisdale. If you live in town, wait for their warehouse sale especially for jeans. And if you know someone that works there, beg them for an invite to the friends and family sale the day before the warehouse sale opens to the public.

Service: mediocre. There are a few that stand out for exceptional service, but generally the salespeople BS to make a sale, and some obviously judge how nice they'll be to you depending on how deep your pockets look.

$: Spendy


  • Good selection of higher end jeans.
  • Nice boxes for gifts, although I sometimes just ask for a box even though the item is for myself and use it to store stuff.
  • Lots of cute trendy items.


  • Return policy. Also, can sometimes be time consuming just to exchange something.
  • If you get a TNA tracksuit, don't forget to get the mandatory streaks, a Bebe top with sparkly rhinestones and an LV Speedy bag to complete the look. and if it's cold out there, you need the puffy jacket with tight wide waistband and furry hood to go with it...(if you're not from Vancouver, take a visit to Metrotown mall after school hours and you'll see lots of girls sporting this look).
  • Most of the sizes are like teeny tiny.
  • I sometimes find it a little intimidating to go in the store.

If you like this store, you'll also enjoy Atomic Model, Off the Wall, Below the Belt, upstairs upstairs section of Holt Renfrew.

Holt Renfrew

This is probably Vancouver's most upscale department store. I know there's Leone too, but Holt's is a lot more popular, and also a lot less intimidating. Holt Renfrew is like Canada's answer to Nordstrom. They carry all the higher end brands like Hermes, Gucci, LV, Tiffany's, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, Manolo, Prada, Armani and also carry brands like C&C California, Juicy, and jeans labels like Rock and Republic. They also have an awesome makeup department with trendy brands and high end brands. Yes, they carry Nars, Giorgio Armani cosmetics, as well as Cle de Peau concealers (around $80).

Service: good

Prices: Spendy. Even when they have sales, you can still find some stuff cheaper elsewhere.


  • Fun store to browse in.
  • Who doesn't like receiving a gift from this store? Some of their stuff can be reasonable, like a Holt's brand robe for example.


  • If you open a credit card at the store, you get an extra 10% off on your first purchase. So if you plan on getting a very spendy item, it may be worth it.
  • If you get cosmetics or perfumes, be sure to ask for some samples.
  • You can get just about anything gift wrapped (for free)


  • I don't know why, but I don't like their latest pink shopping bags, I like their old bags. The new bags look like something you'd get from the cosmetic counter at the Bay or Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • Some of the customers really suck here.

Old Navy (cheap tees, flip flops, jeans, sweaters, and even clothing for dogs)

Jacob (only because it's Canadian although I can't stand this store)

Walk down Robson Street for a slew of stores including French Connection, BCBG, Banana Republic, Zara, Armani Exchange, Aldo shoes, Lululemon, B2 shoes


  • MAC, especially the pro store on Robson street.
  • London Drugs
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Holt Renfrew cosmetics department
  • Sear's downtown cosmetics department
  • Can't remember the name but there's a nice cosmetics store in that shopping center next to Park Royal in North Vancouver.
  • Also another cool cosmetics store in Aberdeen mall with hard to find brands like Anastasia of Beverly Hills and Blinc.

Will be adding more and including a guide to shopping in Seattle, Portland and surrounding areas!

$39 for 30 Minutes

I HAD to have a massage today. My neck and scalenes were so stiff I could barely shoulder check. So I’m at work going through the yellow pages calling all the massage therapists between my workplace and home, but no one’s answering the phone. Due to the lack of responses I widen my criteria and call the ones in a 10 mile radius from my house, and the ones that actually answer the phone tell me they’re completely booked till the new year.

I finally find a place that tells me they’ll see me if I get down there by 5:45 for a 45 minute massage, but that I need to get there five minutes early to fill out some forms. At this point it’s 4:43 and I know traffic's gonna be crazy. But I ask the receptionist, if I get there at 5:30, can I have an hour long massage? Her answer is YES. The address is in the Marpole area.. Like I thought traffic is nuts, and at 5:27 I’m stuck on Granville street, slowly inching forward, not even halfway there. So I take a turn into a side street and try going that route. A few people follow me, but I have no idea what the heck I’m doing. I’m driving like a madwoman, I’m scared I’m going to get there at 6 and only get a 30 minute massage but be charged for a 45 minute massage.

At 5:57 I arrive. Late. I fill out the stupid forms, and I can’t relax during my entire massage cause I’m getting upset that they’re going to charge me for 45 minutes when the massage therapist still made me wait another few minutes while she got the bed ready which basically meant even if I got there on time I still would have had to wait till 6:02. When it comes to bill time they only charge me for half the hour so I was upset for nothing.

I’m going to have a glass of water now and wash it down with a McChicken.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Prison Break

Is it just me, or is Wentworth Miller much hotter than Jude Law? And is it just me, or does anyone else feel sorry for Bellick.. Yeah, he was a complete jerk when he was the "Boss" of Fox River and I hated him in Season one, but I can't help but only feel sorry for him now.

Bellick can convince he is innocent of killing Geary (Sp?), and the actual suspect is T-Bag. He can start by telling the officer about his 911 call reporting T-Bag tied up to the radiator at T-Bag's former flame's house. They'll find his hand dropped behind the radiator and maybe connect the dots that T-Bag is actually involved. Or maybe I'm missing something..


Does any of this happen to you when you're about to fall asleep?

-All of a sudden it feels like you're slipping down towards the foot of the bed, but super fast..
-Out of nowhere, you hear a loud sound, but you realize you only heard it "in your mind".
-You've fallen asleep, you wake up, you're looking around, but you can't move your body.

I haven't had these experiences in a while, but they all happen to me occasionally, and on top of that, once in a while I feel as if someone just slapped the top of my head.. Yeah, I sound nuts, I actually opened up to my co-worker and told her the above, and she told me I was just imagining things, or only dreaming them. But I'm telling you, it's not a dream, and it's not my imagination!