Monday, September 21, 2009

Cheap Chic: Formal Finds

*sigh* I'm trying to hop back on this blogging thing. Really I am.

Something I've been meaning to blog about is affordable formal wear. I often dress for weddings as I would if I were going to church, but things change when it's a black tie affair. I always dress for the occasion but I refuse to soak my checkbook in tears to do so. So, I will try to post on my formal finds when it happens.

Here's formal find number #1:
a black and silver designer dress (belted, one off-the shoulder detail, and pockets) and buckle embellished stilletos. I wore this to a wedding earlier this year.

Dress: Carmen Marc Valvo (regular retail price $500/I paid $125)
Shoes: Guess (regular retail price: over $100; But they were free for me! Yeah, I cheated. They were a gift from the sis who was just not diva enough to walk in them herself. woo hoo!)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Celebrity Bargains

The Thread, Celeb Bargain Hunters @ Yahoo! Video

Article Here

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tell the Truth

I came across this article today on the supposed reason(s) gas prices are rising and I say bullocks! Here's the real reason gas prices are rising: the Christmas rush is over. The powers that be decided to stop raping our wallets long enough for us to pump money back into the economy with Christmas shopping. Hello, false sense of security!

Had gas prices remained the same, malls and stores - both physical and virtual - would have remained virtually empty and our economy would be even worse off than it already is. Now that the Christmas rush (pre and post) is over, gas prices are set to skyrocket again. Coincidence? I think not. And, since most Americans don't live within walking or even biking distance of our jobs, we'll have no choice but to pay. Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining. Why are we still so dependent on oil anyway? There are alternatives...

btw - I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! I promise to post more frequently in 2009. Right now, I'm working on revamping the layout a bit, so I should be back to posting on a regular basis beginning in March. I apologize to my one disappointed reader out there. *mwah*

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cruise Cabin Conversion Pt. II

My problem was no longer a lack of motivation but that I just didn’t know where to start. I’ve often found myself determined to get organized and clear my clutter, only to wind up staring at a pile of clothes, piles of paper, or the Tupperware in my cupboards (that seem to multiply like rabbits), and feel overwhelmed. I stare at the mess and ask myself why, if I have a perfectly good mail sorting system, does my mail still wind up sitting on my dining room table? Why do I have tons of Tupperware when I only use about five of the containers? Why do I have TWO desks when all I need is one?? Why don’t I utilize my wall space? Why are my bathrooms and kitchen still not to my liking even though there are affordable fixes out there? Then I get frustrated and park my behind in front of the TV set, stuck. (hello, couch potato) I realized that what I may need is a guide. I vaguely knew what had to go but still had trouble tossing many items in the “Out” pile. Also, being the responsible tree hugger that I strive to be, I wanted to properly dispose of my unwanted items but had no idea where to begin. So I got online. In my search for a useful and efficient guide to de-cluttering, it was to the rescue with this handy room-by-room spring cleaning guide which I printed and applied to my life post haste. (I also found a great guide to maintaining the habit at

Organizational Guide – Check!

Now that I had clear-cut instructions of effectively organizing my home, my second hurdle was how to reuse or responsibly dispose of unwanted and unnecessary items that belong in neither the trash nor the recycling bin. I had electronics and clothes that had been sitting in bags and boxes awaiting a new home but I just didn’t know where to begin to rid my home of these things. Sure there are organizations like the Salvation Army and Purple Heart, but I’ve never been one to call and arrange a pick-up. Once it’s packed up, I want it out of my sight immediately. If you’re in the same bind, you could check out this guide to recycling at that offers a wealth of suggestions for recycling and disposal of various items from linens to electronics of all types. I carried an old television (amongst other things) to the local landfill’s electronics recycling lot. I found a container for clothes and toy donations nearby and hauled my first round of unwanted clothes to the bin (more to go soon). The plastic shopping bags crowding my pantry were dropped off at a local grocery store bag recycling receptacle (Plastic bags are sold by the stores to be reborn as decks, furniture, and rugs). I finally freed my home of the old television set, stereo, and a host of other items blocking my path and there is yet more to go.

New Home for Wayward Items – Check!

Finally, I’m on a roll. My off-season clothes have been neatly moved to another closet. Last weekend, I picked up a second file cabinet I found on Craigslist (the lock on my old one broke long ago, and it has never been quite what I needed), a label-maker, and file folders, and got busy organizing my paper clutter. As I moved everything neatly into its place, I instantly felt a sense of clarity and resurgence in motivation. I am now slowly but steadily moving towards my goal of having an organized, clutter-free home. Currently, I’m tackling the random mess that is my guest room/home office. In the process, it has gone from blah to looking like a tornado hit it (I never realized how much junk I had in my closets); but the outcome will be well worth it. As I get this area of the home squared away, my posts will resume on a regular basis. Maybe I’ll share the before and after pics if I’m not too ashamed.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cruise Cabin Conversion - Pt. 1

Okay, so my January deadline obviously came and went. It’s been so long since I last updated I actually forgot my password! My apologies for the abrupt and long absence. I could give you a laundry list of excuses but I’ll spare you. I’m back and plan to update on a regular basis and that’s all that matters right? ;o)

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program:

Back in October (when the posts stopped), I took a mini-vacation (my first cruise) where I got plenty of R&R and time to think. The sleep was great but the cabin was a tight fit for two people. Still, I was determined to make the best of it. We weren’t trapped in the room after all and would soon have our fun day in the sun! I decided that the cramped space was simply a means to an end.

Then I found out that there would be no fun in the sun due to storms. We were stuck on the ship – a ship with very little to do, which left me trapped in the tiny room. Worse yet, I didn’t stockpile magazines and at least one novel like I normally would. My fun in the sun trip turned into four days in a cramped room with a bathroom that had me trembling in fear. Between the airplane toilet flush effect, the horrible smell before the ship gets moving, and the tiny shower I just knew would overflow into the rest of the bathroom (yuck) and possibly the room, I was fit to be tied.

I procrastinated as long as I could before the first shower, but eventually I had to take the leap. After the first time, when I realized that despite the hand-held showerhead, and lack of a real divider, the shower would not in fact flood the bathroom floor, I became more at ease with the tiny space. I had what I needed afterall – soap and clean running water. Back in the sleeping area, the ship was tossed and driven and I was forced to decide between repeats of cartoons and one movie, watching the crashing waves, and staring at the ceiling. I drifted in and out of consciousness in the comfy bed, pondered life, and received an unforeseen bonus in this lackluster cruise (other than the great ink pens they leave in the room) – an epiphany.

I shouldn’t put this out there like it’s a new thing. Traveling always has, to a degree, often given me a new perspective on things like organization and simplicity but there’s nothing like cramming into a tiny cabin aboard a cruise ship to remind you just how much you don’t need all of the junk awaiting you back home, or how out of control your life has become. As I sat holed up in the cramped cabin, I realized that I was slowly becoming one of “those people”. Who are those people you ask? Those people are a little bit too consumed with material things. Those people always desire more – even when they already have enough. Those people will never be happy because they will always want something bigger and better and there is always something bigger and better out there to be had. A better cell phone than the one you purchased just 6 months ago. A bigger car than the perfectly good one you’ve had for a few years. A bigger house than the one you have now.

I’m not sure when exactly I began turning into one of those people. Maybe it was too much time spent in front of cable watching the many “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” rip-offs. “Look at the big house I’m never home to enjoy! Look the luxury cars I never drive!” I detested these shows for their shameless display of materialism, yet as I watched with friends, I somehow found myself falling victim to the affluenza bug. For many years, I was that person who would hold on to my cell phone forever – only to trade up when I received an offer for a free trade-in from my provider. Now I wanted every PDA and Smartphone I saw. I’ve never been a big beach person, but after watching one vacation special after another of happy people frolicking in the sand, I was running a travel search on my laptop for a beach destination. Oh yes, brainwashing is real – even when you think you’re well aware of it.

During my hours of reflection, I not only realized how materialistic I was becoming, but how much clutter I had back home, and how unorganized and harried I had become – thanks to both the clutter and a mystifying lack of discipline that had taken over since the college years. The question was how would I change these bad habits?

To be Continued...