Monday, November 29, 2010
It's all too easy to buy things online - and to pop out occasionally (say once in two weeks) for a stroll through the city.
Country Road has its Spend and Save at the moment and I picked up a few items on Tuesday:
Roslyn leather flip flops in red - perfect for wearing with all the black I have in my wardrobe...
Winona Ballet flats in silver - I have these in black already and they are uber comfy! I might need to buy a few more pairs...
Linen jersey maxi dress - I do have a large number of maxi dresses but I can always find room for just one more...
A navy longline lank for under a navy and white nautical dress I have.
All up, with the spend and save voucher, a smidge over $210. Bargain I say!
My other purchases came from a little further away...
I have noticed that you can often buy Mimco items at a discounted price from the UK site... Just a little secret from Miss Kitty...
During the week they had a 20% off sale which reduced this necklace to an astonishing 115 pounds! That works out to be $185! It's an awful lot less than the RRP in Australia which is $329. The shipping and VAT refund basically cancel each other out. Even at the usual price of 139 pounds, the necklace is still very reasonable. I'm thinking about wearing it on Christmas Eve.
The other thing I bought was a set of these cards from etsy (my favourite place to shop at the moment). I'm a great fan of Glee and couldn't resist. How cute! They also have Sue Sylvester and Brittany Pierce cards as well... The seller has some great items - check them out!
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Apologies for my absence this week but the new job has gotten the better of me. We had a launch on Tuesday that went exceedingly well but as a consequence there have been a lot of longer days for Miss Kitty in the office.
I love being back in town. I love feeling useful again and the work is interesting. I adore the people and the money is very handy. Particularly when you shop like I do.
What I don't like about going back to work: early starts is probably the number one thing, although it seems like I am a little more of an early bird than many of my colleagues. I also don't like being away from Mr Kitty and the little kitties. I miss my gym classes and having heaps of free time.
But it's not forever (just a couple of months) and the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
With just three working weeks left before I am on holidays again, I have had to make lots of lists for things to do on weekends so I make sure I can get everything done before I leave. The main thing is the cooking - I like to bake Christmas biscuits for colleagues and friends and I do want to make sure I have time to finish before I head to my parents. I have sorted out the wrapping arrangements (boxes, bags, cellophane, ribbon, tags etc.) and will do the bulk of the baking next weekend. I have set aside Sunday to make cinnadoodles, yo yos and jam drops.
I have to say it's hard to go back to scheduling my time off on weekends. I very much got used to doing anything I wanted at any time. It's a hard thing to get accustomed to but it has made me appreciate the time I do have off. And it means I am certainly more thrifty with my time - decisions are made faster, less dithering, in all I am far more efficient than I was a few weeks ago.
I have finished all my Christmas shopping and now just have to think about wrapping it and mailing a few things!
I'll try and be a bit more regular with the posts this weeks!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Westfield opened their online store last week. To a complete lack of fanfare and pomp and after visiting it, I can understand why.
Why oh why would anyone buy anything from there? Things are expensive, shipping is prohibitively pricey and they don’t offer anything that I can’t get elsewhere.
What a disappointment.
Question for Westfield: Why on earth would I buy, say, a handbag from you? I can buy it for the same price from the original retailer. The shipping is the same. The time to ship is the same. You don’t offer any exclusive items or percentage off. In fact, I can probably buy a lot of the same items for a lot cheaper overseas.
I fail to see the compelling argument for shopping at Westfield online. If I want something from a Westfield, it’s only a 15 minute drive from my house. Why would I wait a week to get something I pay the same price in a store for? It’s cheaper for me to pay for the petrol to drive there than to have it shipped.
Westfield have failed to see the point in why Australians shop online. We do it for three very compelling reasons: convenience, price and availability.
We shop online because it’s convenient. Because we don’t want to walk down to the shops at lunchtime or trawl the aisles looking for that perfect Christmas present. Westfield’s online merchandising is shocking – almost as bad as Myer Online, and let’s not get started on their search engine. There is no style, no panache, no finesse… Shopping on the Westfield online site is worse than going to an actual Westfield.
They say that they have 150,000 items on their site but I’m not sure where they are hiding them. They have numerous categories they haven’t covered off. And, funnily, they have signed up some stores that don’t even sell in Westfields! Trixan Body, MyCatwalk.com and The White Linen Company are all online retailers only. None of them have a physical presence at a mall – anywhere, let alone in a Westfield Mall. And I find it especially funny that Trixan espouses their desire to “cut out the middle man” on their website (i.e. the retailer) and have people buy directly from the distributor, reducing cost to the end buyer… Isn’t this the opposite of what Westfield wants it’s customers to do?
They have taken the principle of “white space works on a website” and amplified it. How very 1990’s of them. Note to the web designers sitting over at Westfield: It works for Net-a-Porter because their site is classy. Yours is cobbled together and filled with things I don’t want to buy. Your recommendation engine is non-existent. You have limited brands and most of the stores you have online are people I wouldn’t buy from anyway. No Veronika Maine, no Cue, no Witchery, no Country Road, no Nine West, no Mecca Cosmetica, no Kookai, no Sambag… Need I continue? I could for hours.
Australians buy things online that we don’t get in shops here. We look for unique items that no-one else has. Why would I buy the same Peeptoe clutch that every other person has online from Westfield? What is your compelling reason to purchase from you?
We shop online because the prices overseas are competitive, rather than being ripped off by Australian retailers for the same items – particularly luxury goods. I happily buy goods worth thousands of dollars per year from NAP, the Outnet, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstroms et al, as do many of my friends. We do it because the prices are often half of what you would pay for the same item in Australia, if indeed you can actually find what you want. The customer experience is delightful. For ordinary stuff, we are happy to walk into a store and buy something, or we buy it on eBay or discount websites. Or we wait for sales because we know they are coming. They always do.
I spent a good 45 minutes on the website this morning and didn’t find one thing I wanted to buy that I couldn’t buy elsewhere online – usually with a nicer experience and a prettier website. The customer service is non-existent. It’s a half cocked effort far too late in the game. Australians have been shopping online for well over a decade now and they know what they want and they won’t be fooled.
If you want to succeed, you should invest some time in trying to find out what Australians do want from an online experience. Clearly it’s not something you have done at this point in time.
Good luck Westfield. If you honestly think Australians will fall for a sham like this, you need it.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Waity Katy is no more! What exciting news to wake up to on a Wednesday morning!
I loved the dress - Issa - it was beautiful and flatters her stunning figure. The colour is lovely on her. I bet copies will be in chain stores before you can say boo. They seem very much in love and she seems sweet and unaffected.
I have mixed feelings about the ring though. I understand the sentiment and I think that's kind of sweet, but when you overlay the train wreck that was Charles and Diana's marriage, the ring just has bad karma for me. I adore the sapphire surrounded by diamonds - in fact I am getting a diamond and sapphire ring for Christmas myself. I swear we ordered it last week - I am not a follower!
I can't wait to see the dress, the flowers, the jewels... I might have to host a royal wedding party to celebrate!
Friday, November 12, 2010
It wasn't a particularly conscious decision. By that I mean I didn't exactly look for a new job. I was approached to apply for a permanent full time position for an e-commerce start up last week, but I really thought that with the house project next year and a couple of other projects I have on the boil it wasn't something I felt I could fully commit to and it wouldn't be fair to the company. However, they were also looking for someone to take the reins while they found a permanent person and that certainly did appeal.
So I start back in town on Monday. It's kind of exciting - although I will miss the freedom of not doing anything much with my days, I am excited about the project and the money is welcome too (I can start paying for some of those interweb purchases I have made over the last few weeks)... And maybe the hard work will make me appreciate more the time off I will have next year!
I need to come up with a first day outfit and organise my lunch over the weekend. I am looking forward to the routine and mental stimulation that I have been lacking over the last few months. While I have really enjoyed it, I do need projects to keep me busy!
So that means my posting might be a little less frequent, or that I might have more to post about! I'm not sure which way it will go but you have my word I will try and keep up with the frequency of my posts!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I know silver bags don't have the longevity of black bags (I just tend to wear them harder) so I'm reluctant to spend vast amounts of money on them, but I have established that I really do like having a good silver bag in my wardrobe. I searched on my travels this year but nothing really caught my eye: either things were too casual or too shiny/sparkly or not well enough made or too expensive, or more gold than silver...
So in my internet ramblings last night I came across the Jackie Hobo from Oroton. I have a bit of a shaky relationship with Oroton - I adore their jewellery and have at least one piece that I would say is part of my top 10 jewellery finds of all time. But their bags... When you consider you can buy a Kate Spade, a Furla or a Coach bag overseas when you are travelling (which we tend to do a fair amount of) for a similar if not lower price I can't quite bring myself to pay the extraordinary amounts they ask for an Oroton bag. It's not a criticism, I just personally can't see the value proposition (and I am all about Value).
Back to the story at hand...
The Jackie Hobo. I like the style. I think I like the colour (will have to check in real life to make sure it's not too glittery) and the price, at $195, is pretty good, considering it was $495 at full price (ouch!)... I like the fact it's a shoulder bag - my other one is just a hand bag, being a bowling bag.
It might just be my next purchase... Even though I already bought a bag this week. What do you think?
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Some of you out there know that this week we were expecting a small bundle of joy... Well - we, being the extended Kitty family, more specifically our one year old blue tortoiseshell Burmese Millie, pictured above at 61 days pregnant (2 days before delivery) in her favourite place, above Mr Kitty's computer.
Well, overnight, Millie went from being our baby to a Yummy Baby Mumma! I'm pleased to announce that at about 4am this morning she had her kittens! All six of them! For a first time mum that's a lot of kittens - the normal is 2-4 kittens but our little baby is a serious overachiever.
And no, before you ask, I didn't help her with the baby birthing. She went back to Melanie at Suchi Burmese on Thursday to have her (many many) babies. They were born in the equivalent of the Park Hyatt - five star luxury all the way. Nothing is too good for our little girl.
We popped over to see her this afternoon and she's doing brilliantly and was very happy to see us. Loads of pats and cuddles and snuggles for our little girl. She's a fabulous Mumma - lots of cuddles for her little babies. Hopefully over the next week or so they'll all grow fabulously and get really big and we'll be able to go over for a kitten cuddle ourselves!
Lots of love from the extended Kitty household today!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Fast forward, well, a decade and a bit and I really think I need to replace it. It's in perfect condition and I won't be throwing it out, but sometimes you need a breath of fresh air. So it was no surprise that I looked at Country Road for it's replacement. And that's where I found it.
I had a little bit of trouble deciding which colour and pattern to get from the vast array in store, but given my love for all things pale green, I decided on this one:
The Bistro Ribbon Mug in green ($7.95). And of course I bought the matching bowl ($7.95)! I love all things matching!
I trialled it yesterday morning and it's an absolute winner. Perfect size, weight and the handle is in a really comfortable spot to nestle your tea in your little mittens. The bowl is perfect for cereal or a good serve of porridge - as the bears would say: not too big, not too small, but just right! We liked them so much that we went back and bought a set today in red, blue and yellow to add to the collection.
Whilst the lovely sales assistant was wrapping them up for me, I had a mosey around the rest of the homewares section. There is some seriously good stuff in store at the moment - great vases, serving dishes, photo frames, cushions... So many perfect Christmas gifts! I basically had to be dragged out before I spent far too much...
But I think I'll be back. And soon!
Friday, November 5, 2010
Not sure what I am on about? Well I am talking about Elk Accessories, the designers and manufacturers of wonderful jewellery, trinkets and other such lovelies.
I first discovered Elk earlier this year when I was at the Ballarat Art Gallery with my mother. They had a wonderful display of their silver jewellery and I was smitten. I have since seen their finery in many a boutique around the place and I have a lot of things on my want list...
Pod Pendant - $120: I love the symmetry and they vaguely floral shape of this piece. Very pretty.
For someone who's not all that keen on bugs, I adore the Cicada short necklace - $50. With polished wooden beads and the silver bug it's super stylin for the summer.
I love these silver bubble hook earrings ($55) - they remind me of little clouds or bubbles on a summer day. Very effervescent!
This wooden bird brooch ($22) is the perfect contrast for a dark jacket or cardigan.
I think I really need to add this short cluster necklace ($35) to my jewellery collection. It comes in four colours but I think the red is fab with a little black dress or a maxi!
And although it's not very seasonal, I couldn't resist including this scarf. I love the geometric pattern, and it's always good to be ahead of the seasons! And at $99 it's a bit of a bargain...
Shipping is a flat rate $10 in Australia and $15 for NZ customers via courier.
So what accessories are you lusting after this summer?
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I don't want something plastic. I want something better than the average eco bag. I am thinking perhaps a study canvas option. I need something with a decent strap so I can carry it over my shoulder. I don't want a messenger bag.
Sounds easy, right? Not really. I am a super fusspot when it comes to bags. I can look for months for exactly the right thing. I'd like something handmade and I don't want to spend a lot of money on it (sub $50 if possible).
Of course, I have found a couple of examples on my favourite shopping site, Etsy. So far I have the following on my shortlist:
Stockholm Canvas bag from Ikabags - this nautical gem is just $39 and it's made from beautiful French canvas.
Abanoz bag in reg from Bayanhippo - $35. I like the colour and the roundness of the style. It's very cute.
Cloud bag from sineminugur - on sale for $29. The black and white is practical but is it as stylish as the other two?
So kittens, which one do you think I should get?