Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping

Z says I need to confess and atone for my sins :P So here is a comprehensive list of what I bought over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. Bear in mind that many sales started Thanksgiving week and even the week before so this is certainly not over a span of 2 days. I am not crazy.

Pottery Barn:
– Fluffy faux fur house slippers ($16.17)
3X2A6405

– Two bathrobes – pink chamois S/M for myself and navy blue waffle weave M with white piping and monogram for his christmas present ($146.31). We were intending to purchase a pine cone hill bathrobe in stormy grey (which would have set us back about $70+ after discounts) so this is alright. Will return the pink if it does not fit or look nice since it is unmonogrammed.
3X2A6474

Michaels ($39.70):
Too many to list. Off the top of my head,
– Copper foil 8″ x 10″ frameables. Figured these would make good birthday/housewarming gifts after putting them in a nice wood frame from Target. And there are like 40 of them in the pack!
3X2A6418

– A peacock blue and a blue-green gold foil notebook
3X2A6417

– Sticky notes ($2.79)
3X2A6454

– White 12″ x 12″ paper ($2.99)
3X2A6460

– 12″ x 6″ speedball carving rubber ($7.20 after 60% off for Michaels Rewards members!) for making more stamps.
– A stack of 8.5″ x 11″ pastel hued paper for $2.
3X2A6459

– A stack of christmassy blue, white, and copper washi tape for $7.49
3X2A6449

– Buckles for Z’s kayak
Most of these were 50% off

L’Occitane ($28.50):
– L’Arlesienne Voyage set – Eau de toilette, hand cream, lip balm – 40% off the OP.

3X2A6434

Thymes ($35.51):
10% for new email signups (so no BF deals per se), and a free set of 12 sample body lotions with every $25 purchase. Also, free shipping with $25 purchase. I then got a 10% discount coupon with the sample pack, which I am unlikely to use.
– Mirabelle plum lip gloss and lip scrub set
– Rosewood Citron handwash
3X2A6429

– And of course 15 free samples :P

3X2A6431

Memebox ($36.50):
3X2A6634
– Free shipping for orders $35+ haha. I am a god at gaming this free shipping thing). Got $5.50 off with a 10% discount code and redeemed memepoints for $13 for a total discount of $18.50!
– I missed the Black Friday deals because I wasn’t really camping out there. Not that interested in their Vault boxes which are freaking expensive. I am a rather half-hearted make up user and am the sort to buy novelty things and practical things rather than adventurously trying out anything.
– April Skin Magic Stone face soap ($6). This is what we’ve been using for the last half a yr and Z really likes it, so I got two.
3X2A6639

– Lemon sparkling peeling gel ($5) – just tried it, it works amazingly!! The dead skin comes right off
3X2A6640

– Babyface pore powder ($5)
3X2A6636

– I’m matte lip crayon in Joy ($9)
– Snowflake whipping cleanser with free marshmallow whip maker ($11)
3X2A6643

3X2A6644

– Etude House Bubble Tea sleeping pack ($13)
3X2A6638

Book Depository ($96.42):
– They gave me a 10% discount off all stock, not sure what for. So I went on a book buying spree!
– The Ladybird book of Mindfulness
– How it Works: The Husband
– The Ladybird book of the Hipster
– How it Works: The Mum
– How it Works: The Cat
3X2A6410

– Sushi: Jiro Gastronomy – Got this for $7.14! Most proud of this purchase. It still retails for $14.99 on Amazon
– Fire and Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking ($24.22)
3X2A6408

– Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience (15.63)
3X2A6411

– Five go Gluten-Free
– Five on Brexit Island
– Five go Parenting
3X2A6409

I rather think that’s an insane number of books for <$100!

Barnes & Noble ($32.10):
– Hide and Seek at 30% off the OP
3X2A6467

Amazon:
– Used their holiday book $10 off $25 for books on Kenji’s The Food Lab. So it was $17.47 (I hate Washington state tax) for what retails for like SGD 85 in Kinokuniya D:
3X2A6404

University Book Store ($87.64):
25% off everything (that I buy.. they had exceptions on textbooks and calculators lol)
– Hello Kitty Moleskine for Charlotte’s next birthday ($14.96)
– Mission Fig Mistral bar soap ($7.56)
3X2A6426

– A nice little rose papered briefcase that now contains all my rolls of washi tape ($7.46)
3X2A6422

3X2A6424

– Two cloth bound, hard cover breton striped notebooks at $4.50 each
3X2A6420

– Two greeting cards
3X2A6464

– Pusheen in christmas holly (already given to JE)

– Book of nonsense ($11.21)
3X2A6421

– Teresa Collins fierce ink pad ($12.71)
3X2A6436

City People’s Mercantile ($71.66):
– 20% off everything because of Small Business Saturday!
– Heather cloth bound notebook with copper foil and elastic band. Going to use this for our winter break travel journal! ($9.99)
– Roger la borde blue patterned notebook with blue edging ($10.99)
3X2A6414

– Bicycle pattern lunch bag
3X2A6448

– Green patterned salad plate with blue lining ($5.99)
– Cloud spotting notebook (Z’s second christmas present)
3X2A6444

– Holiday back scratcher with cute icicle pattern ($4.99)
3X2A6450

– Party cups with gold foil fir design
3X2A6645

– 2 wedding cards (no upcoming weddings in particular, but good to have for a rainy day.)
– Christmas gift tags in red and green watercolor ($2.50)
3X2A6442

Shutterfly:
– Two 8×8 photobooks with 45 pages each. See the mock up here.
– Additional 25 pages each, added a matte cover at $5 each.
– Total: $57.79. Which is a steal!
3X2A6406

– Had a free 8″x8″ photobook from Discover, and there was a 50% off any order over $99, which includes discounts on additional pages, matte covers, and story telling elements.
– A free 8.5″ x 11″ wall calendar. Had to pay shipping at $7.99
3X2A6455

3X2A6458

– 10 free christmas 5″x7″ copper foiled christmas cards, had to pay shipping. Realized I could have combined this with the photobooks and not have to pay a single cent for them. Lame.
3X2A6407

– Also ordered a 5″x7″ print from them of Chris and me that I was gonna put up in my house but realized she might like it haha. So I’m probably gonna give it to her.
3X2A6441
– The last three items were $18.20 because I stupidly did not combine the free holiday cards with the photobooks.

Teavana
– Two 8oz canisters of their lavender sage tea for $72. Each canister typically retails for $45? Why is their tea so expensive T-T
– One for Chris and one for me :D
3X2A6141

PopSugar ($71.14):
– Their December Must Have box ($34.95). Only got this because their spoilers showed a reallllly nice Odeme catchall and ring dish which retails for $67!
– A cosmetics/fashion “mystery box” which actually just means “leftovers” box where they try to clear previous stock from Must Have boxes that didn’t sell. Still, the value was pretty good at $29.95 for what would otherwise cost $250.

YesStyle ($41.70):
– 15% off purchases of $49+ so I actually managed to make my cart out to $49.06. Lol.

Target:
– Polka dot navy blue weekender
3X2A6484

– Black pajamas with baby pink piping
– White plaid scarf in preparation for our trip to Ithaca
– Eos shimmery lip balm
3X2A6440

– Mini christmas tree ($14.99)
3X2A6416

– 2017 calendar in copper foil on a clipboard ($3)
3X2A6413
– Menu easel for EK
– Gold foil hello notecards ($3)
>3X2A6453

Paper Source:
– They had a 20% off flash sale and their shipping is so expensive T-T so I rushed down to the Uvillage one right before dinner with ZH lol.
– Mini vacuum – world’s tiniest vacuum ($11.96)! Was thinking of getting it for GGY’s birthday or something :P Maybe next year.
3X2A6443

– A grey leather bookmark with gold foil and embossing ($7.16)
– Pink watercolor notebook with gold foil edging ($10.36)

3X2A6415

– A fairy light lamp for the dining table ($11.96)
3X2A6419

– An ecru leather notebook with bee in gold foil ($10.36)
3X2A6465

– Botanicals rifle paper Co. writing paper ($11.96)

Urban Outfitters:
– Macaron rose lip balm ($6)
– The Matcha hand cream ($8), large enough to last the entire trip, small enough volume to go on a plane. And in such a nice paint tube!

The packaging was just so minimal I couldn’t help myself!
3X2A6437

Papyrus
– Two classic letter sets in blush and cream:
3X2A6483

3X2A6482

– Library of flowers travel kit in Linden
– 8″x10″ spring watercolor print

Total damage: $795.01

No shopping for me for awhile! Also I am going to cook quite a bit to make up for all of this lol. This is like 16 meals at Din Tai Fung.

Packaging

So our plans to make these little reindeer noses last christmas sorta fell through..

We did however do a few other craftsy things from pinterest:

Paper snowflakes for several people’s gifts:

So easy and Lz loves playing with paper.

We also made jars of lemon and ginger shortbread:

These mini mason jars are perfect for giving to your friends. Each one is only $1.90 from Ikea. Remember to bring your own bags when you go to Ikea though!

We also found the cutest little DIY soft toy postcards from NBC – right after we bought materials to make our own christmas cards from Art Friend. They didn’t come with the stuffing or thread, so we packaged our own:

T got the owl and I think J got the elephant. I got a cactus one for myself but haven’t made it yet.

The postcard looks something like this:

A piece of strong but thin felt placed on a card backing with instructions on how to sew it together. NBC sells the stuffing separately at $1.20 for a ziploc full, which I thought was somewhat retarded. I bought a $2 cushion from Ikea, snipped it open and pulled out a bunch of stuffing from within to pack into ziplocs, like you see in the picture. And then… my mum spotted the snipped open cushion on my bed and SEWED IT UP! She likes going around fixing things, which is great and all.. but haha I wasn’t intending to use that cushion for anything other than soft toy stuffing.

The end product should look something like this, if you do it right. They had a coupla samples of the finished product in the shop.

We gave random housewives jars of Waitrose’s organic honey – I have no idea what ‘organic honey’ even means but they package it really nicely and it makes a great, practical gift for mothers or people who are concerned about their health. Becks got a Franc Franc mug (I always buy additional mugs, after I managed to produce a spare mug for L’s mum when she had to attend someone’s 21st party and I had a whole stash of Franc Franc crockery in his cupboard :P) filled with a matcha latte satchet and mini hershey’s kisses. His parents always get perishables now, especially after I’ve seen their house get more and more cluttered with random craft projects/paintings I give them :S

Diary of pot hoarder

We went shopping at my new favourite shop (in addition to Franc Franc, but not as convenient as Franc Franc), which is Crate & Barrel. There’s only one outfit in the whole of singapore (at present), which is in Ion. We went to Ion last friday to kaypoh at the Kikki.K post christmas sale items (all the christmas stickers and bags and gift sets etc. were on sale of course – the best time to shop in my book!) and so happened to have dinner at Paradise Dynasty on the top floor. And opposite Paradise Dynasty was Crate & Barrel! It had a really well designed shopfront and pretty affordable everything. I got a Lina Grey vase

and a Madhu leaf placemat

(I’ve been super into placemats recently because of the food photos I take. I think Amrita will really like this one!)

A set of foggy forest coasters

– these are made of cork and tear rather too easily but they look really good and are only $7.50

A Hakkari votive

– the leaf glows gold as it is without a candle inside, but looks better at night with a candle of course.

Anyway last week I saw these really well designed (matching blue) casseroles

and nested Roscoe stone grey bowls and I just had to have them but for some reason we were already carrying a lot of stuff. I think we were bringing Bang! to my house, along with some laundry and Maif’s prosciutto :P

So I inquired about delivery and they say they will deliver everything for free if you spend more than $500 on household items. This is not exactly a hard feat by the way. I spent $106 on my first visit there and then $97 on my second, just purchasing those casseroles and grey bowls. I think my future home will have a teal/navy/grey theme, with lots of wood. One of the bloggers I follow on my WordPress Reader did a 2013 review based on how her house was overhauled and it was amazing! The coloring was a bit perky but the wooden laminate floor looks so good. I am big on DIY too, especially for somewhat unskilled/common-sense tasks like painting/stencilling. I can’t fix leaky pipes or my wiring (my dad can) but painting I can do. A lot of the people who say it’s too much work either have back problems (are old) or do not have the requisite skill/common-sense to paint a wall.

In any case if you spend <$500 delivery is only $50 which is pretty worth it, I think. We decided it would be cheaper to just buy whatever I wanted and then take a cab back to my place, but wound up carrying the pots back to my place last night because they weren’t real heavy anyway and we are both young and able bodied.When you are the youngest person in an otherwise octogenarian bell choir and you have to haul all the bell cases in and out of the cupboard all the way in the back of the church, you develop some serious muscles.

I'm extremely happy with my casseroles! Now I can do all those beautiful bakes on pinterest. Taco casserole, lasagna, tuna bake, etc and they are all going to look so good. Not sure what I will use the nested bowls for yet but they are so pretty I couldn't stop myself. Actually they're only $30 in the US but I had to pay about $55 here cause of shipping and stuff.

If you managed to get this far past my Crate & Barrel ramblings, here is yet another hilarious article from the Good Greatsby on 5 tips for managing your mistress :P

Hunnebostrand

I wish I lived in Sweden

Another great picture by Ulf Bodin. I’m so glad I decided to follow him on flickr way back then. I could compile an entire folder of amazing shots and make it my desktop wallpaper.

I’ve been thinking of getting a new laptop ever since my laptop started giving off a buzzing sound because of the poor connection to the AC adaptor. The screen has also started flickering a little bit. I wonder what I would do with it though, throw it away? Or give it away? It’s incredibly slow, I’ll probably wipe the hard disk and install linux. I’d like a 256gb solid state drive for the new laptop, which also means keeping the regular hard disk from my current laptop would be futile. An SSD is tremendously useful I think, and would have prevented the mishap that lost me a few term papers during the christmas of 2010. Currently I’m wavering between a Samsung and an Acer – those white touch screen laptops look pretty nifty, only I don’t need/want a touchscreen :S And everything right now is installed with Windows 8, which I don’t know how to use :S The Samsung ones can be quite light, but LZ will help me get some quotes he had to get for his lab (as the lab custodian :P) so I can try to buy them directly from the supplier.

My ComGateway parcel has arrived in Singapore (I only shipped it out when I was in Batam! It ships stuff via DHL, which is really fast.) It’s been sent out to the delivery facility and hopefully I will get it by Friday. In it, there is LZ’s christmas gift (the 53 Pencil for our Paper app)

A seaglass colored lytro camera that I got for the nifty price of $169 on Cyber Monday,

And my Kindle. LZ dropped my first Kindle which somewhat shattered the screen, hence the new one. I was carrying an actual hardcover book around at Batam and on the commute yesterday and it was really chunky! Can’t wait for the Kindle to arrive, especially what with Amazon’s Kindle Matchbook – where they give a hugely discounted price for kindle books that correspond to hard copy books you’ve bought. I think the hard copy book orders have to be fulfilled by Amazon though :S And the only hard copy books I order from Amazon are the design types with full color pages which usually don’t have a Kindle edition.

I’m really excited about my new toys! And they’re really not all that expensive compared to the toys kids have nowadays..

Christmas Cards

IMG_8723
This year’s christmas card shopping was done at Art Friend – last year we made christmas cards for a lot of our friends because we couldn’t find any card designs that we’d pay money for. Coincidentally the card stock at Art Friend is 40% off now! For both pearly card stock and regular – I kinda hate that most of their card stock come in construction paper colors – why would anyone want that? We also got a Christmas sticker book from Kikki.K with pictures of puddings and red cardinals in the snow and sleds stacked high with presents – for decorating the envelopes with. And a tube of gold acrylic paint for me to paint stylized christmas trees onto the cards. Typo was also carrying these nice rubber stamps that said Merry Christmas, or had a picture of a gingerbread man – which of course I couldn’t resist.

THEN, after we’d basically completed buying all the supplies we needed to make this year’s christmas cards, we found boxes of christmas cards that were actually well designed in Marks and Spencer!

IMG_8721
The British really do have exemplary marketing. Just look at all the labels in Marks and Spencer/Sainsbury – you never see something labelled for exactly what it is, say, Ginger Ale. It’s always Extremely Fiery Ginger Beer, or Extremely Chocolatey Milk Chocolate Rounds (More Chocolate Than Biscuit!) or Punchy Sweet Cherry Tomato & Roquette Pasta Sauce. It’s the same on the Jamie’s Italian menu – everything sounds mouthwatering, until you actually eat it. You have no idea how much money I’ve spent in Marks and Spencer just because of their advertising ><

You come to realize, that for some people in the world, everything is beautiful, or gorgeous, or just fantastic. Just see Kristina Karlsson's article on what’s in her bag and you’ll find any number of lovely and gorgeous things in it. Even a box of mints. Or look at Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Fish Finger Butties, basically frozen fish fingers and bread and ketchup.

“The most important bit is to put the other bit of bread on top and, using a little force, push down on your buttie which, for some reason, seems to make it taste even better. ”

The world is just a shinier place for these people, where anything and everything, including squeezing a sad out-of-the-freezer sandwich makes someone’s day.

While I think this super positive mentality is admirable, I think it’d be just a wee bit grating after awhile. I actually don’t have a single friend who is that effusive, but most Singaporeans tend to err on the side of negativity/too-cool-for-gushing-admiration as well (which probably explains why Singaporean kids have self-esteem issues or a slightly scary malevolence toward their parents). You need such people in marketing though, or in the greeting card industry. Which brings me back to my christmas cards – the M&S ones were really nice, and just recalling the sheer amount of work we put into making our cards last year was enough for us to plonk down $40 for 40 christmas cards that will be mailed out to all our friends overseas (and some local ones I have not really bothered to meet up with that often). Now all we have to worry about is writing the cards! I have to admit, it is quite a load off my back, cause we had a list of about 15-20 people we were going to make cards for. But Christmas is such a great time to write to your friends, especially those you have not talked to in over a year – you can ask for their address out of the blue and make sure they’re still alive etc. – and that way you won’t be the guy on quora who only found out his friend has passed away one year post the fact!

IMG_8719

LZ tried out the Hamilton Beach breakfast sandwich maker and reports that it works well! I’m pretty excited about my breakfasts now that I basically bought the one piece of equipment that renders mcdonald’s breakfasts obsolete. The only challenge is finding cooked sausage meat in singapore. Liangze says: “very easy to use! although i left the first one for too long, and the cheese basically liquidated and flowed all over the place”
Lol. Then I asked him how much money the cheese was liquidated for.
Is it mean to tease people with bad english? I think I do it more to him because I have to keep my nazi instincts hidden at work, which is a real challenge for me. I once went to a presentation at work when the presenter said “to regurgitate,” when he/she meant “to reiterate”. NO ONE NOTICED.

Also, I saw a 16oz slab of velveeta cheese at Jason’s supermarket yesterday for $15.30. Liangze found that Walmart carries it for $4. So if I actually bought that slab of velveeta in Jason’s, I would have to pay more than what the skillet queso costs in Chili’s. Gosh. I also shipped the rose syrup and essence to him in the end because it seems quite difficult to find it in a typical supermarket (definitely not at Target or anything). Is it weird that I am more excited to see the shopping than him? hahaha.

Things you never knew you needed till they’re gone

Since he’s on conference this week in Minnesota (CZH is there too presenting two papers, apparently. But liangze missed both of his presentations) I gave him a pretty long list of things to buy for me which shall be kept here as a record so we don’t have to make new lists everytime one of us goes to the states and he can just search this blog for anything he’s missed out :P Many of the things on the list can be found here, but at a much higher price.

1. Ghirardelli baking chocolate, 3 bars of semi sweet 4oz,3 bars of unsweetened 4oz

2. 1 can of Hormel (no beans) chilli

3. 1 box of 16oz Kraft Velveeta cheese (2. and 3. are for making Chilli’s Skillet Queso)

4. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm (Mint and passionfruit)

5. 2 cans of PAM cooking non-stick spray. (Sidenote: PAM stands for Product of Arthur Meyerhoff) for getting my matcha/chocolate bundt out of the pan. Bundt pans are notorious ridged in various pretty patterns but are a royal pain to get out of the pan. And PAM in Cold Storage is freaking $12.

6. Scrapbooking paper from A.C.Moore (another ridiculously overpriced product in Singapore)

7. 2 Quince aromatherapy diffusers from Pottery Barn (some other people will remember buying this for me from Carousel Mall :P) These were $19 a box which I thought was the usual price until you walk into Isetan at Takashimaya and they have sales people specifically for marketing their $100++ bottles of aromatherapy diffusers. Most of them are foreign and will ask you if you want to buy the “Ion smell” in a filipina? accent. Liangze and I were really confused as to what they meant when they explained that they meant the scent in Orchard Ion. -_- I had no idea it had a scent. I really like the Charles and Keith scent, which is rare because it’s a shoe store, but Ion doesn’t really have a super outstanding scent. The salesperson said many people come to them to find it though!

8. A medium sized tin of crepe mix from Williams Sonoma ($10.99). Armed with the PAM and the block of Monterey Jack cheese I have sitting at home we could make some really good crepes a la Boatyard Grill.

9. Sweet pea fragrance mist and body butter from Bath and Body Works

10. $5 flip flops from Old Navy (I used one pair through 4 years of college and they never spoiled)

11. Monin Rose Syrup and Star Kay White Rose Extract from any decently stocked supermarket (This is just for baking Pierre Herme’s Ispahan cake)


I also had a Hamilton Beach breakfast sandwich maker and a Braille slate sent to where he’s staying in Owatonna with his cousins. The Braille slate is just for writing labels for my baked goods for when I’m sending a batch over to Szeling – if you’ve never seen one before it’s basically a plastic frame with rows of indented dots occuring in 2×3 blocks – it comes with a stylus. You clamp the paper in the plastic frame and poke out letters, remembering to do the mirror image because the visually impaired person in question will be feeling the dots on the other side of the paper. It’s not exactly the kind of thing you can find here :S