Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/manolo/public_html/basement/wordpress/wp-content/themes/StandardTheme_20/admin/functions.php on line 229
Manolo's Basement of the Bargains | Bargains, Sales, Deals and Discounts from Manolo the Shoeblogger

Taffeta, Darling

Now is the time of year when so many of us long to redecorate our nests. We look around us and realize that the whole house looks shabby and uninspired. We are sick of looking at the same things we’ve been looking at for years, and imagine tearing it all down and starting over from scratch.

Well, before you do too much damage to domestic tranquility (not to mention your bank account and credit rating), perhaps it would be best to consider whether adding or changing up one or two details will be just about as satisfying as a full redo.

R Lauren Adriana Tafetta Throw Pillow This charming taffeta throw pillow by Ralph Lauren, for instance, would go a long way to brightening up a sofa, chair, window seat, or day bed.  At 18″ x 18″ it makes a bold statement. The colors are rich, the Madras plaid is both classic and casual, the feel of the taffeta is delightfully cool and unexpected on a warm day…all in all, it’s a quick and effective way of making the place seem newer again.

What’s more, it’s a bargain as redecorating ideas go. It’s usually priced at $99.99, but for a limited time it’s been marked down to just $69.99.

Look at it this way, you could probably paint the room for the same price (assuming you DIY the project), but this is so much faster and easier, and you won’t wind up spattering paint on the carpet. But if you decide to paint the walls, too, then a softer shade of one of these colors would be amazingly gorgeous.

Entranced by Eyelet

I remember my first eyelet lace dress, which my mother made for me when I was about six years old. Every time I wore it (and I wore it constantly until it wouldn’t squeeze over my growing body) I felt super fantastic. I felt like a fairy princess who could take on the world and be a nurse/astronaut/singer/ballet dancer. Like I said, I was six. The point is, in that dress I first knew the power of an outfit that adds confidence. I have never forgotten that lesson.

And I’ve never forgotten the cool comfort of the eyelet, either. When late spring and early summer hit and the mercury starts rising fast, there are few fabrics that breathe as well and look so crisp as eyelet. It’s always feminine, always chic, always fun.

Between warm childhood memories and cool adult comfort, you can imagine how thrilled I was to see this delectable clutch purse by Lauren Merkin:

Lauren Merkin Lucy Eyelet Clutch The Lucy clutch is cute as a button, cool as a cucumber, and the perfect touch for nearly any casual summer outfit. It comes in this bright, delightful yellow or a soft periwinkle blue.

What’s more, it’s on sale! Originally priced at $250.00 at Neiman Marcus, it’s been marked down to a mere $112.00. At that price you can carry this to summer weddings, lunches on the town, and that family reunion picnic you were dreading.

After all, with such a lovely purse at your side, you’re bound to be talked about in a good way.

Urbane Urban

Good lighting is essential to good living. After all, what’s the point of hanging pretty things on the walls if nobody will be able to see them? How can one be a graceful hostess while crashing into furniture? How shall we learn to cook the latest foods, wear the latest clothes, or arrange our homes in the most attractive way – let alone rise in our professions – if we cannot find the light to read the printed page?

No, no, we need good lighting. Of course, that lighting is always best if it’s presented attractively, too.

Urban Gold Chandelier Case in point, the Urban Gold chandelier. The handsome design is based on Art Deco styles. Each arm bears a 60 watt light bulb for a grand total of 460 watts of brilliant light. That’s enough to see anything you need!

Me? I’m probably going to stare at the chandelier quite a lot.

In the usual course of things, you’d pay $1,200.00 for all this elegance and light. This week, however, is an unusual course. For one week only at Horchow, you can get this superfantastic chandelier for just $599.90 or just about half price.

Remember, if you wait until next monday, this deal will be gone, so act quickly!

No One Ever Painted a Red Hat Like Vermeer

That happens to be true, you know. It also happens to be a quote used on a set of dishes by Rosanna. Her daughter, Francesca, was the one who said it, apparently, and used it on the set celebrating European Masters entitled Portrait of a Young Artist.

Rosanna Portrait of a Young Artist Set

The design features scenes of Paris and Rome, postcards, stamps, and museum ticket stubs to create a cheerful, if slightly wistful, tribute. The tribute, however, does have a hopeful aspect, too, since a portion of the proceeds from this set are being donated to arts programs in the Seattle Public Schools.

Of course, the whole set – or parts thereof – would make a great Mother’s Day, wedding, birthday, or Christmas gift that gives back to the community as well.

And then there’s the bit where you can save money at the same time. You see, the set is 50% off right now! Get the Tea for One single serving teapot and mug or the set of four dessert plates for $15.00 (regular price, $30.00) or the set of four mugs for just $20.00 (regular price $40.00). Whichever set you choose comes cleverly packed in a suitcase-shaped box for presentation.

Talk about your guilt-free dessert! Eating off of these plates would make me feel positively smug.

That, and it would make me want to take a European tour of museums.

Going Nuts

When dining with friends, I love to have a cheese course at the end. Some tasty (and often…um…fragrant) cheeses, some sliced fruit (last night it was pears and red, seedless grapes with stilton and a good, creamy chevre), and –  of course – a bowl of nuts. The course is incomplete without them. Alas, last night while I did have some lovely pecans on hand, I entirely failed to have the proper vessel to serve them in.

How I wish I had seen this in time:

R Lauren Horn Nut Bowl This spectacular nut bowl by Ralph Lauren is made of genuine buffalo horn with a silver plate foot. It’s completely food safe, so you can use it with nuts, fruit, and other lovely nibbles, but it simply wipes clean. That means you won’t want to put anything gooey in it, but if your nuts are gooey, then you have bigger problems than what bowl to put them in.

Right now, it’s even a deal. The regular price is $395.00, which really isn’t too much for so much added grace and elegance on a formal table. Still, why pay not too much when you can get a steal? Right now it’s on sale at Ralph Lauren for just $237.00.

Pass the nuts, please. What? Oh, no, I didn’t actually want to eat any. I just wanted to look at the bowl some more.

The Sort of Swag I Love

Mr. Twistie goes to at least a couple conventions each year. One of his favorite things about them is getting ‘swag’ or freebies from the various vendors. Since he’s a musician, this tends to run to guitar picks, tee shirts, bumper stickers, and other little items meant to make the musician’s life happier and reinforce brand loyalty.

As for me, well, I love swag, too, but it’s a very different kind of swag I have in mind.

Lora Paolo Bezel Swag Necklace I want this sort of swag…a swag necklace, that is. This beauty is designed by Lora Paolo. It glitters with swarovski and cubic zirconium crystals and is gathered up in four spots with yet more crystal elegance. Measuring in at a comfortable 17″, it will look graceful on a wide variety of throats. And while I’m usually all about the color, I’m loving this icy white perfection.

The other thing I love about it is the affordability. If it were made of real diamonds as opposed to crystals, well, Angelina Jolie et al would discuss borrowing it for the Oscars. Mere mortals could never afford it. But since it’s made of Swarovski and CZs, the regular price is a pretty darn reasonable $300.00.

But when do we here at the Basement of the Bargains settle for pretty darn reasonable? Never, that’s when. We’re all about the bargain, the deal, and the incredible (yet legal) steal.

Ignore reason. Head for Bloomingdale’s where this beauty is on sale at 50% off for the amazingly wonderful price of just $150.00!

My swag may not be entirely free, but it would look a darn sight better on me than a promotional capo, too.

Florentine Fun

Regular readers of this space know my fondness for a good hat, no matter the time of year. Whether it’s in felt, canvas, straw, or, well, nearly any material you can name, I’m a big believer in hats. They add dignity, protect us from the elements, and have a way of really standing out in a crowd. Oh, and last weekend when I took a header in a park and landed spectacularly on my nose, my stiff canvas short topper also acted as a makeshift crash helmet so that the accident caused a couple minor scrapes and not a concussion.

Hats are our friends.

This is one I want to make friends with:

Italian Velvet Hat with FlowersThis delightful velvet hat handmade in Italy has a wired brim so you can shape it however it best suits your mood and your face. It’s decorated with a bright swathe of silk flowers and a cheerful bow. Oh, and if the red isn’t your cup of tea, it also comes in dark brown.

So how much does all this charm and grace cost? Well, once upon a time it would have run you $238.00. Right now, though, it’s on sale at the New York Botanical Garden Gift Shop for just $119.00 ($108.10 for members).

Dome You Want One?

Sometimes in life it’s important to ditch the big purse and take something that will hold only the absolute essentials: ID, lipstick, and cash for a taxi, if needed. When that’s all you want, this is all the purse you’ll need:

Cole Haan Genevieve Woven Dome Wristlet Meet the Cole Haan Genevieve woven dome wristlet. It’s got enough room to hold the minimum requirements for an evening of clubbing or a great party without getting in your way.

It’s also so pretty you’ll want to keep an eye out lest some lady with equally good taste and a too bulky bag is tempted to make off with it!

If someone tries it, defend your property…then let her know where to get it at a legal steal. The retail value may be $225.00, but right now it’s on sale at Bloomingdale’s for just $157.50.

Spring is Sprung!

It is a sad fact that I have the precise opposite of green thumb. I have but to glance in passing at plants to cause their untimely deaths. I am the Typhoid Mary of the garden.

If, however, I had any talent at all in keeping plants alive, I would be treating myself to this gorgeous planter right about now:

Grape Cluster Planter Just imagine a brilliant green against the soft gray weather-resistant composition of resin and stone, and then imagine colorful flowers or fruit bursting out from among those leaves…the image leaves me breathless and joyful.

And a little frustrated because my lousy inability to make plants thrive means I can’t take advantage of the incredible deal it happens to be right now.

The original price was $198.00, which was a tidge on the pricey side for most of us. Right now, though, it’s on sale through the New York Botanical Garden Gift Shop for a mere $49.50 ($44.55 for members)! Seriously, two-thirds off is a great deal on nearly anything. Take advantage.

Do it for me, because I can’t do it for myself.

Wok This Way

I love Chinese food. I have all my life. I may come from the transparent peoples, but I’ve been eating with chopsticks almost as long as I’ve been eating with a fork. I have fond memories of the nights my mother would announce that she was going to do a stir fry; watching her chop the meat and veggies just so, carefully putting out ramekins with measured amounts of the right spices and sauces so she could toss them into the mix at the crucial moment without stopping to pull out teaspoons, hearing the oil start to sizzle as she added the meat to the wok…and then the scents rising from the stove.

Best of all was the moment when she would serve up heaping bowls of steamed rice and ladle up the goodies from her wok. I’d eagerly attack the fragrant dish with my chopsticks. When I was done with my portion, I’d always hope there was a bit more so I could have seconds.  On those nights, I rarely cared whether there was dessert. I just wanted more stir fry. I want to relive those nights, but in order to do it, I’m going to need a wok.

Le Creuset Wok I’m thinking I might want one like this one by Le Creuset. Regular readers of this space will already be well aware of my fondness for Le Creuset. It’s the best cookware I’ve ever used, it’s hard wearing, and it’s so attractive it makes great serveware as well.

As much as I loved my mother’s traditional iron wok, this one is super easy care, far prettier, and with its slightly flattened bottom, it’s stable on the stovetop without a special ring to hold it steady. Unlike so many modern woks, though, its shape is traditional enough that it works like the original article. All too many modern woks are really shaped more like slightly rounded saute pans, which just doesn’t cook the same way. The glass lid is also shaped correctly, but allows you to see what’s going on inside, unlike the classic ones.

If you’re looking to do traditional Chinese cooking in a modern world, this could be the perfect solution for you.

Oh, and did I mention the price? The retail value is  $225.00, but Williams Sonoma has it on sale in this fresh, cheerful lemongrass color for just $139.99.

Anyone else up for Chinese food tonight?

Page 12 of 67« First...«1011121314»203040...Last »