Monday, May 25, 2009

Winding down from Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Memorial Day to all of you JCA's, and happy Monday to the always-stunning Ms. A Bigger Closet in Canada! :-) Thanks so much for the blogosphere welcome, folks!

We're recuperating here from a wonderful weekend visit by my DH's brother, his wife and their 9- and 12-year-old kids. And recuperating is definitely the operative word (I'm sure for them, too!) DH and I, as you all know, have two "grown college men" sons, and it's been quite a while since the energy of the elementary and middle-school permeated our house. Even our dog's been asleep all afternoon. We really had such fun, ate too much ribs 'n chicken 'n stuff, stayed up too late and killed way too many bottles of nice wine. But I don't feel even a smidge of caloric guilt -- another sure sign that I've hit Midlife Mellow. Life's just too fleeting not to savor all the over-the-topness of a rare visit from these folks I'm so privileged to call family. This weekend I thought for the 100,000th time that I really hit the In-laws Jackpot when I married DH. Love his parents, love his siblings, love their spouses, adore their children. Wahoo!

The weather here in the Southeastern U.S. in the springtime is fickle. What they famously say in Denver about their weather is just as true of ours: If you don't like it, wait a coupla minutes. Sure enough, Mother Nature has been pouting and refusing to cooperate this weekend for her own mysterious reasons. Most of the weekend has been cloudy, warm and muggy -- the kind of weather that in our climate makes your skin feel sticky within seconds of stepping outside and that makes the annual bumper crop of mosquitoes stand up and say "YESSSSSSSSSS!!" But we braved it and spent most of our days out by the pool anyhow, lathering on our sunscreen for no apparent reason and spritzing Deep Woods Off in every possible direction like we were vampire hunters holding up our garlic strands. Every now and then we'd have ten minutes of total downpour, but on the other hand every so often the sun would burst gloriously through with such intensity that we'd all stop dead in our tracks, eyes closed, faces turned upwards. If you happened to be a little birdie member of the family of cardinals who live in our backyard and you'd been winging your way overhead just as the sunshine peeked out, for sure you'd have thought that we humans looked weirdly choreographed.

I'm both proud (as a JCA) and more than a little embarrassed (as a slightly compulsive JCA) to admit that I snuck (is that a word? Sneaked?) away a few times to browse J.Crew's Memorial Day weekend sale.
Nothing made me want to yell "Well, welcome to my closet!", much as I expected that inner voice to sing out. So in the end I left a cartload of things un-bought. And I can't complain -- I've drunk the Crewlade several times this year (and flat-out guzzled it during my April Red Card manic phase.)

But I sure did have a great time looking for goodies and practicing my new
stealth-style J.Crew sale-shopping skills, and for those I must thank JCA pros Heather and Bekah. Skip this if you're a JCA pro, too, but if, like me, you are jonesing to improve your J.Crew Sale Skillset and want to learn how to be way more effective at navigating the World of Popbacks and Price-Shifting that is J.Crew's online sale section, read on. Here's what Heather and Bekah had to sayover at J.Crew Aficionada's addictive blog, in response to my pitiful pleas for help.

Heather shared this (and props to Heather for being not only wise but also wickedly funny):
[T]o answer your question... I'm certain that many JCAs have their own technique for pop backs & hidden sales. In my case, I use the search, snipe, save, & stalk approach. Here's how it works: I'm in love with an item, like an ecole jacket, but I'm not too certain if I should buy now or wait. Sooo I snipe the jacket by selecting it in my size & colour & entering a high # in the quantity field before adding it to my cart. Now a pop-up appears to tell me how many are left, say 37 at the reg price of $160+. I keep adding everything that interests me into the basket & take a screenshot using shift+alt+4 to save the info for later. Then I will stalk those items by reg checking the site using the search field & the item #s. Lesse, now my ecole is on sale, down to &39.99, & there are still 30 left . Also, there is no free shipping or good disc on offer, so I don't need it as a ride along. I decide to wait for an addt'l off sale. A few days may pass & I discover - here's the sale, but my size sold out! No worries... I'll just keep searching & stalking to see what happens. Yay! The search shows 3 ecoles in my size & colour "popped back" & now they're priced at $33.99 - score! Now things don't always work out so favourably. The price may go back up or the "pop back" may never appear. Still, it does add a certain spice to the shopping exp. Most esp if you're getting extra colours of something you already love or are undecided about something & need a great price to make it worth your effort.

As if my head weren't spinning enough from this impressive and sage tutorial, Bekah added these tips for me:

JCAUNCMom, I notice the popbacks simply by the numbers. Usually in the 400s they haven't restocked, in the 6-7-800s they have. I find Monday-Thursday it's usually around 10:45, with the weekend being earlier (sometimes before I get up!) but variable. I don't know if other people have found that too or if I am imagining a pattern where there isn't one. I usually check the sale section every forty five minutes or so and wait for the total number of items to jump.

Wow. With sharpshooter shoppers like Heather and Bekah lurking out there, it's a wonder that novices like me ever score any of the best items. ;-) But look out, teachers, this student's gonna practice and have you two squarely in my sights during the next great sale.

Nothin' but love for ya in the meantime, of course!

Next time I won't be so long-winded, folks. Have a wonderful rest-of-day -- I am outta here to practice Polyvoring and to read your blogs! Ciao!!!

P.S. OOTD (no pic but I'll describe): J.Crew 5" chino shorts in papaya (2008) with Perfect Fit crewneck s/s shirt in chocolate, ColeHaan chocolate 1.5" belt with pewter buckle, J.Crew fabric flip-flops in madras with cantaloupe polka-dotted V-strips, and funky old Liz Claiborne silver hoop earrings embellished with tiny caramel & cantaloupe dangling beads. Not too shabby for lounging around!



  1. Outfit sounds fab!

    thanks for the tips. I am a newer JCA and don't have those finely honed stalker skills, so this was helpful. I have done the quantity 99 trick, but the print screen, keeping the item # - and the timing of the sale updates - lots to process there. thanks for sharing!! or maybe not... :)

  2. I just found your blog courtesy of HeidiG! I am looking forward to seeing you on Polyvore!

  3. So I just read a comment you left at AppGal's giveaway post and it was SO sweet. My kids are so much younger...but I cuddle with them constantly because I can see how swiftly this time will is good to know they come home and still are able to be "yours," if ever so briefly!

    Thank you!


Welcome! Your comments are invited and I look forward to seeing you here!