Monday, November 21, 2011

People:Style watch's 10 Ways to Shop Smart


It is almost time for those crazy lines, 12 hours of extreme shopping, and looking for the last of that toy that everyone needs to have!

Thanks to People:Style watch, November 2011 Issue, I have 12 great tips to help you get through!!!!

1. Buy cheap chic brands
2. Take advantage of coupons
3. Find local deals around your neighborhood
4. Sign up for flash sales
5. Try a rental--- need a fancy dress? Check out the online companies that will rent a dress to you!
6. Repair your favorite pieces (get those awesome boots resoled!)
7. Compare prices
8. Check $$$ savings blogs (like mine lol)
9. Become a member
10. Experiment with Do-It-Yourself!
11. Join rewards programs (Sephora gives you a free gift for your birthday)
12. Sign up for sampling programs

These work for shopping for your Winter wardrobe, Holiday outfit, or for your gifts for the Holidays.

COYC TIP: This season is the season for glitz! Winter white, red, black with some sparkle-- wear silver eye shadow, get a sparkly gold tank to go under your blazer for work, wear red patten-leather heels... You get the idea! Go all out and wear a metallic mini dress with some knee high boots. Happy Holidays! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

COYC: Bundling up with a sale!


I am loving the Fall/Winter styles this year! It is a great time to shop! There are a TON of great sales going on and everyone is getting ready with their holiday attire and outerwear collections. I went shopping today and between coupons, store promotions, and clearance, I bought over $300 worth of clothing and jewelry for less than $150! One store that I hit was the Limited. They were having a 40% off the entire store sale. After almost spazzing out, I raided their clearance section. It was like Shop-til-you-Drop! I just kept handing the associate hangers upon hangers to put in my fitting room. That is how I shop. I go through the entire store and then hit the fitting room to divide and conquer. I have 3 piles: no, yes, and maybe. Once I have had a chance to try everything on, I decide what fits into my budget and what doesn't. Usually this is where the justifying comes into play. "Can I wear this to work?" "Can I wear it with more than one thing in my closet?" "How much is it after the discount?"

I was able to buy a great sweater and a three-piece suit (blazer, pants, and skirt) for less than $90.00. (The pants alone were originally $78!) I also went to Maurice's which is a store that I just discovered. I LOVE IT! They have so many cute styles that are not too trendy and are age appropriate for 20-30 something's not wanting their jeans too low. Between their store promotions and the great coupons you get if you get their emails and credit card, I saved as much as I spent! The best thing was when I got home I realized how many of the items I can mix and match. If I don't feel like wearing the blazer, the red sweater I bought looked great with the skirt.

Shopping is getting so easy ladies. Seriously, if you find the right store, the right sale, and the right sales associate, you can have a DREAM shopping experience. Most stores have their own accessories and shoes now too. It is okay to stay within your budget because clearance racks are great! I usually never start at the front of the store when shopping. I always hit the back first and work my way forward. A lot of top designers have lines at local stores now too like Target and Kohl's which is great. Sears and K-Mart also have great lines and designers at a reasonable price point.

Stay tuned for my snap shot of People:Style watch November edition! They have some great tips for holiday shopping!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Maximizing a small closet


Anyone who has seen Clueless has closet envy, but most of us are stuck with little spaces where we cram all of our stuff and complain every time something falls off a hanger. It is possible to not hate your closet!

First, you need to follow my "cleaning out your closet" instructions from my posts on Feb 13th and 14th. This will help you declutter. Remember, the key points would be to sort: keep, donate, throw away.

Another great tip is to use multipurpose furniture and space around your house, apartment, or bedroom. You can buy storage blocks that are decorative, are a great place for magazines, books, etc. and also second as extra seating.

Use your accessories (scarves, jewelry) to decorate your room. You will always know where to find them and it makes your space more unique.

Check locals stores (second-hand shops, goodwill, Wal-mart, or Target) for great buys to help you get organized.

According to websites like Freshome Interior Design and About.com, there are many easy ways to make your closet more accessable.

Analyze your closet needs: is it your primary closet, your work space, your children's toy closet?

Store out-of-season clothing and decorations in tupperware bins in your attic or basement. If you don't have extra space, use the space under your bed.

Buy boxes, bins, shelves, or a closet doubler to keep things seperated and easy to find. Label them or use clear bins.

Don't forget to use vertical space. Your closet door is great to hang bags, shoes, or jewelry. Also, store heavier items on the floor for easy access and so you won't hurt yourself!

Though most people save tasks like this for their Spring cleaning, Winter is a great time to tackle organizing your living space. You are snowed in? Pick out some great music and get to work. Good luck! I would love to see your results! Post your finished pics.

Monday, October 10, 2011

It is time to make a difference

Normally I am not one to blog about controversial topics, but I could not let this slide. I am standing on my proverbial soap box tonight. First, and foremost it is October--- Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is time to wear your pink and show your support to all the women in our lives that have dealt with this horrible disease. I realized this weekend that it touches everyone. My nephew Jaime, who is a special needs child, has a friend named Dylan. Dylan is putting on a spaghetti supper at their high school to raise money for Cancer research because one of his teacher's aids passed away from it years ago. Hearing all that he has done to put this dinner on shows the impact that one person--- any person--- can have for whatever cause that matters to them.

The other cause that I am passionate about is animal testing. I always thought I was doing the right thing by looking at packages before I bought them for the "this product was not tested on animals."  Little did I know that some companies can get away with printing this because the "final" product was not tested, not including all the steps to get there. After going to www.mediapeta.com, I realized that I was blind to a lot of the products in my own house. I am not expecting you to go into your medicine cabinet and throw everything away, or drive yourself crazy over this, because believe me, that is what I started to do.


What I am hoping for is that the next time you go buy shampoo or tooth paste you make an effort to see what company it is and pick the right product. The other thing you need to remember is just because the product itself wasn't tested on animals, who is that company owned by? For example, Toms of Maine is on the good list, but they are owned by Colgate who is on the bad list. Again, please don't freak out over this. If you have a general idea of what companies to look for you will be fine. If everyone is aware, hopefully these companies will have to stop testing on animals to keep making a profit.
Here is a list of some of the companies we should be watching out for: 3M (that is right, post-its), Procter & Gamble, Clorox, Aussie, Aveeno, Avon, Axe, Bic, Clairol, Crest, Green Works (I know, right? This is called "green washing" where a company labels itself as good for the environment. It's an advertising tactic), Nair, Neutrogena, Softsoap, Walgreens, Calgon, Chapstick, Clean & Clear, Dove, Garnier, Head & Shoulders, Mary Kay, Olay, Sauve, Woolite, Band-aid, Loreal, Colgate, Gillette, Herbal Essences, Maybelline, Oral-B, Vaseline, Iams Dog Food. Please go to www.mediapeta.com and check it for yourself. It is all about being aware and making the right decision.

Here is a list of some of the companies that DO NOT test on animals: Abercrombie & Fitch, Bare Escentuals, Almay, Aveda, Bath & Body Works, The Body Shop, Conair, ELF cosmetics, Crabtree & Evelyn, Liz Claiborne, LUSH, MAC, OPI, Physicians Formula, Revlon, Smashbox, Seventh Generation, Stila Cosmetics, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Urban Decay. Again, please go to www.mediapeta.com for a full list of animal friendly companies. Both lists have websites and phone numbers if you want to dig a little deeper.

Thanks for reading followers, and I hope this helps. I hope everyone will take this and make that change.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October is here, is your closet ready?

As I was getting ready for dinner tonight, I realized that it was time to clean out my makeup bag again. I sorted everything and put them into zip lock bags to help the chaos. This got me thinking--- some of you might want to revisit my first few posts about cleaning out your wardrobe, cleaning out your makeup bag, and the essentials to your wardrobe. Sometimes it is good to get a refresher on things.

I also reminded myself this week about how great it is to hit clearance sales! I hit up Filene's Basement and Express while shopping and lucked out big time. I suggest that everyone check to see if you have a Filene's Basement in your area. It is very similar to TJ Maxx and requires some time, but they have some HUGE discount racks. And who doesn't love Express semi-annual box sales? I kind of lose my mind every time I see them!

I bought:
A cowl neck sweater dress (F.B.) 7.50
3 pairs of colored tights (blue, maroon, and black) (F.B.) 4.00 a pair
a Nine West black handbag (F.B.) 24.00
a maroon sweater (Express) 15.99
a red button-down fitted dress shirt (Express) 15.99
and a lacy black tank top (Express) 15.99

Grand total was less than $100--- I saved over $300!!!! It just shows that a little investigative shopping and creativity and really pay off!

Sorry for the short post, I just wanted to remind everyone that this is the time to stock up on end-of-season stuff and great new items for Fall!

Talk to you soon. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Calling all curvy women!

I asked my Facebook and Twitter followers what they rock, and I got a huge response to rockin' their curves! I think we all need to go into the bathroom, look in the mirror, and say 10 things we like about ourselves. My butt is big, I have hips, and I love it! I look great in jeans. Whether you have NO hips or HUGE hips, let us all rock what we have! In honor of my curvy ladies, here are some great photos of women who are beautiful and do not need to be a size 2 to do it!
(Kate Winslet, Betty Page, Amber Riley, America Ferrera, Christina Hendricks, Drew Barrymore, Marilyn Monroe, Scarlett Johansson, the Kardashians, Jane Mansfield, and Raven Symone)











Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Let's not have a shopping hangover!


Working in retail for the many years that I did, I have seen everything. I have had women ask me to throw away the boxes from a pair of shoes so their husband wouldn't see. I have heard the old excuse, "Oh no Honey, I have had this for years!" Don't think you are innocent, fellas! How many times did you get in trouble for buying that video game or new "toy"?! It doesn't have to leave you feeling guilty if you are a smart shopper. It is all about spending within your budget.

Some thing I live by is signing up for emails and rewards cards at my favorite stores. I know it is annoying sometimes when you get a million emails that you don't want, but it is so worth it! Everyone is cutting costs now with the economy the way that it is, and stores realize this. You can even "like" a company's page on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and get great deals. These practices along with the good old coupon section of your Sunday news paper and you can save A LOT of money!

For example, I have used a coupon for Covergirl from the Sunday newspaper, combined it with the CVS rewards coupon I had, and hit CVS up during a BOGO event and saved a bundle on my makeup!
For you gamer fellows out there--- Gamestop has one of the best rewards cards out there! It doubles as a gift card. Your wifey can walk into a store, give them your phone number, and instantly add $20 to your card! How sweet is that? Also, if you trade in games they will add the credit to the card and give you discounts on games you are buying.

Another great idea is something I teach all of my customers and do myself. Give yourself a spending allowance. If you budget for everything (bills, gas, food, etc) you can figure out how much "play" money you are allowed each week and the rest goes in savings. It is a great way to limit your spending without making you feel like you are giving up on life. You will also see your savings account go up. A great tip I got from Good Morning America was to try and have 2 to 3 months of your salary (take home) in savings just in case. That can seem daunting at first, but after a few months you will see it add up pretty quickly.

Alright, so you have your spending money and big plans for Friday night. You don't want to spend all of your allowance on a new outfit but you don't want to wear the same old thing either. This is easy! You are armed with your coupons, and you saw on Twitter that your favorite store is having a sale. Before you head off to the mall, you need to figure what you DON'T need to buy! Okay, so you have a great pair of jeans-- check that off your list. You have a favorite pair of earrings and necklace. Awesome. You have a couple of tank tops that could work, but they aren't that exciting and you have no shoes! (Sure you don't!) So this will help your search! You need something to layer over the tank and a great pair of shoes (that are on sale!) Now determine how much you want to spend on each. You have $50 to spend? Well, set aside $20 for a shirt/ jacket and $30 for the shoes. THIS IS TOTALLY POSSIBLE! Most stores carry everything you need for a great outfit-- and don't forget, you have those coupons!

The final tip I will leave you with is to not forget your fashionable friends! It could be as simple as having them go through your closet (or theirs) and see if you could come up with something different and cute without spending any money. Or, at your next girls' night in, everyone bring donations and have a fashion swap meet right there in the middle of the living room!

Good luck shoppers! I want pictures and success stories! Please post them or TWEET me @genadetour! I would love to know that my advice is helping. :) Also, post any questions you might want me to cover in the future. Happy shopping!



Sunday, July 31, 2011

Thinking about your Fall style? My snapshot of PEOPLE STYLE WATCH!

I am getting antsy for fall fashion! Today, I checked out the August issue of People Style Watch and got a ton of great tips for you! The first thing I noticed was an ad for K-Mart's new line: GLO. When did K-Mart get so sexy??? Like I always say, don't assume anything when it comes to fashion. You can  seriously find some great deals if you take the time to pay attention. COYC tip: Do you have expensive taste? Check out flea markets or outlet stores to get those name brands for a lot cheaper. And who can forget TJ MAXX or Marshall's? I mean, every woman I know is a maxx-inista!
Next, Style Watch reminded me of some of my style icons! They really highlight Ms. Jennifer Lopez. As you know, ladies, J-Lo is a diva! She owns her style and her body. She is sexy because she is confident and chooses styles that compliment her body. Something any of you can do. My other favorite from the mag is Emma Watson! From someone who grew up watching her movies, she has grown into a beautiful woman. The great thing about Emma is she is classically beautiful with hints of edginess. These two ladies really know how to work it!
COYC tip: Please beware of the "one swipe" eyeshadow. I know it looks so easy and simple, but it might get really messy! Anyone can apply eyeshadow and create that look in 3 simple steps. Pick a neutral color and apply that your lid closest to your eyelashes. Use a darker shade (within the same color palette) to apply in the crease of your eyelid. Finish with a highlighting shade right under your eyebrow. Blend with your finger tip. To get a little more glowy, use the highlight in the inner-corner of your eye. The other thing I want you to beware of is "steals and deals" that aren't really in your budget. So many times you see "sale" and it still is over budget. Think about what you want to buy (sexy heels, handbag, earrings) and check out a couple of stores (either online or in store) before you buy. Or, bring your shopper-savvy friend with you to help you get the best deal!

Rachel Zoe taps in with your 5 best tips for fall:
1. Flirty, fun dress that can be dressed up or down!
2. An all-white suit (don't be afraid, white doesn't go away after Labor Day anymore)
3. A signature handbag. It doesn't need to match your shoes, or your outfit for that matter.
4. A light-weight tweed jacket. Don't be afraid to pair it with a sexy mini and boots.
5. Platform heels! Add that extra style and height with more comfort.


HOT THIS YEAR:
animal prints (in everything! accessories, clothing, tights, etc)
statement jewelery (chunky rings, hoops, bangled bracelets, feather earrings)
faux-leather (JACKETS! pants, skirts--- don't go all biker bar-- mix it with feminine materials like silk)
SCARVES! (for your hair, neck, belt, decorate your purse, your house, whatever!)
printed fabrics (be careful with this-- it can get tacky really quickly!)
lots of zippers
cords, colored jeans, and velvet are back! (And this is not the same outfit you wore to kindergarten- it is uber sexy!)
Masculine inspired shoes vs the ultra feminine look! (Platforms with either a buckle or a bow!)

Feeling inspired yet? What do you think your fall style will be? Here are 4 great suggestions from STYLE WATCH!              First, they go simply chic: solid colors, black and white, with bold makeup-- think Twiggy. Next is urban classic (this is my favorite) mixing feminine pieces with edgy materials-- silk blouse, leather jacket. Third, go totally girly with beautiful blush. This is pinks, champagnes, lace, silk, pearls. Last, is the modern metallic, really channeling your inner rock star. Pair a silver metallic dress with purple pumps and big earrings.

Well, ladies, I hope this helps inspire you as we finish up our summer vacations and think about those fall sales.
COYC tip: LAYER LAYER LAYER! Don't forget to mix your summer wardrobe with your new and old fall items. Take that flirty maxi dress and layer it over a neutral tee shirt or under a chunky knit sweater. Or, channel your inner- My So-Called Life and rock that dress with some hot tights and combat boots. Always make it your own. Take a little bit from each tip and make it work with your own look. Rock it!!!! Don't be afraid to try something new. Have to wear a suit to work? Rock a pair of leapord-print tights with your black pin skirt.


Want to buy the issue for yourself? Check out page 102 where they show you a great makeup look that you can get for either $209 or $40.47!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Our sexy and stylish trip to Atlantic City!


I have said it a million times before, you can be sexy and stylish at any price range and size. It is all about how you rock what you are wearing. My best friend and style muse is Shannon Rich! She has always taken the simplest outfits and turned them into rockin outfits! If it wasn't for her, Cleaning Out Your Closet couldn't have happened!
Ready for a sexy dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe!                                
 Leopard print cardigan: TJ Maxx 12.99                                                                 
 Black tank top: TJ Maxx 9.99                                                                            
Torn up capris: DOTS 9.00                                                                             
  Hair jewels: Claires 8.50                                                                                        
Skull necklace: FREE Shannon made it!

 Outfit for a day on the boardwalk!                                                                       
flowy white top: DOTS 9.00                                                                                
Same torn up capris (see how you can mix and match)                                       
Pooka shell necklace: Hampton Beach, NH 7.00                                                  
Pooka shell flip flops: Payless 7.99                                                                        
One of Shannon's trade marks would be her sunglasses! She picks them up all the time and has a pair for every outfit, but she usually only spends $5 to $10. You can buy sunglasses almost anywhere now! Also, she always uses accessories in different ways. She uses that Pooka shell necklace as a hair accessory!

Our fancy dinner at the casino! Fancy doesn't equal expensive! You can look like a million bucks without spending a million!                                                    
Little black dress: Savers 8.99                                                                        
Black lacy shrug: TORRID .99                                                                                 
Heart necklace: Hard Rock Cafe 15.00  (had to buy something to remember the trip!)                                                                                                   
Black rose hair clip: Claires 6.75 (remember, Claires usually has a BOGO event for their hair accessories!)            











Time to hit the clubs and go dancing!                                                        
 Party dress: DOTS 20.00                                                                            
 Black shrug: DOTS 12.00                                                                     
Tights: Express 8.00                                                                                   
Heart necklace: same as above                                                                              
 Red rose hair clip: Claires 6.75

Don't forget your shoes and makeup! They are going to finish your look and add that extra touch! Shoes to the left from Daniel Blaze 9.99!
Thank you Shannon for being the HOT SHOT OF THE WEEK! You are inspiring to women of all sizes that you can be stylish and beautiful without breaking the bank!

             








Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"This is the fashion police! You have the right to be stylish!"

So ladies, I just can't contain my disdain for white pants and tights being worn the WRONG way! I will say it again: TIGHTS ARE NOT PANTS!

Now that it is summer, we must discuss white pants. Do you wear them? Who can get away with it? The first rule is, just like everything else, what fits you right? Where are you wearing it? What are you wearing it with?

The right way: Classic looks paired with great tops that are still professional, and classy. Notice the shoes, the accessories, the right underwear!






This is OBVIOUSLY the wrong way! The pants are WAY too tight! Now, just because she isn't a size 2 doesn't mean she can't wear white pants. They just need to be the right style and size. Luckily, they aren't see-through... That would have been the icing the cake!
Next, I need to remind everyone about my biggest fashion rule ever! Tights are not pants! Ladies, it is just not sexy! The wrong way:

Now, coming from someone who likes to show off her booty, this is just rediculous! Unless you are wearing leg warmers and channeling your inner flash dance, I never want to see this look on anyone!
There are plenty of "right" ways to wear tights. Actually, they are so cute and a great way to personalize your outfit. Add colored tights to a black outfit. Wear tights that are covered in butterflies with your LBD and add some creativity to your work wardrobe.
Here are 2 great looks:
This a great look! It really works for anyone. Add boots for fall or winter with a great leather jacket. Can't wear heels? That is totally okay: this look looks great with ballet flats or sandals. Change the color of the tights to berry or teal and spice it up a little.
How chic is this look?! I love it! The bag, the military jacket, the whole thing! See how easy it is to be creative and sexy? Be bold, ladies! Add tights to your cut-off jean shorts and throw on a sexy tank and some great heels! SO HOT!
Thanks again for letting me rant! I know that my loyal followers would never end up on my "don't" page! You are all sexy and fashion go-getters! Let me see your favorite summer outfit! Email me your pic with a description of the outfit and how much you paid for it, and I will make you my "hot shot of the week!"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

July GLAMOUR tips and HOT SHOT OF THE WEEK!

Thank you Glamour Magazine for always having great tips! The July issue takes you through your do's and don'ts of your summer! See some great photos of Blake Lively where she really channels her vintage style.


My favorite part is on page 46 "Your fashion questions, answered." They have a month-to-month breakdown of the best times to shop online.
January: shorts, dress shirts, t-shirts, and jewelry
February: suits and skirts
March: intimates, outerwear, and coats
April: dress pants
May: sunglasses
July: (I know, nothing in June, guess you will have to wait) sweaters
August: sleepwear, belts, and shoes
September: jeans and bags
October: swimwear

So, personally I don't usually shop online. I just use it as a resource for what my favorite stores are carrying and also ideas of what is HOT this coming season. A good tip while you are surfing the net is to check out high end designers to get ideas for what to look for in your cheaper stores (Goodwill, Forever 21, DOTS). If you do order merchandise online, just remember to cover your bum. Know the return policy, make sure the website you are on is safe, and read the details. I ordered baking supplies (cookie cutters, etc) without reading the fine print and they were SO SMALL!

Hot Shot of the week: ME :)
Hat: Target $7.49
Scarf: (random thrift store in Northampton, MA) $7
Shirt: DOTS $14 (came with a necklace)
Jeans: Walmart $19
Boots: PAYLESS $12.50 (Thank you BOGO)

I was going to a work party on a harber cruise. The hat and boots were a good choice because it was rainy! Everyone loved my outfit. Add a skirt and heels (minus the hat) and I would be ready for work. :) I have also worn the shirt with jean capris and flip flops. Always buy items for your closet that go with other outfits (unless it is SEXY all on its own!)

Love it ladies! Thanks for reading. Email me YOUR hot shot of the week and I will add you to my next blog!

gena.detour.rowan@gmail.com

Monday, June 6, 2011

Facing the mirror: bathing suit shopping

I do not know any women who likes to go bathing suit shopping. It is almost a miracle finding "the right" bathing suit without drowning your sorrows in a Venti Frapp from Starbucks!

It doesn't have to be that bad! And, no you don't need to starve yourself! REMEMBER LADIES: It is always about confidence and shopping smart. Now I embrace my curves, most of the time, so I don't want to hate myself by choosing the tini wini bikini. Not everyone is built for that. And don't forget: the girl who is built for that probably wishes she had a bigger butt.

What you want to remember is that it takes time to find the right bathing suit. First, make it easier on yourself. Dress yourself up. Shave your legs, do your hair and makeup-- hell, wear your sexiest heels. If you already feel frumpy, getting naked in a fitting room is not going to be a good experience.

As with all of your shopping, do your research! Check out magazines like "GLAMOUR" to get tips on what styles work with your body type. You can even surf your favorite stores to see what styles they are carrying and if they are on sale.

Next, hit the stores. Grab all styles: tankinis, bikinis, one pieces, etc. You won't know what looks best on you until you try it. Now, this can be frustrating if you have waited until now to start. Believe it or not, the best time to shop for a bathing suit is March or April. I know this makes absolutely no sense! What you might have to do is try the styles out and actually order the bathing suit you want online. If you have to do that, check out the store's return policy in case it doesn't look as good in person.

Another thing you want to think about is what are you doing in the bathing suit. If you are going swimming, stay away from skimpy suits that could fall off! If you are just strolling the board walk you have more possibilities. If that is the case, you might be able to get away with a maxi dress or a bikini top and a great skirt. You don't always have to be showing all of your skin.

Don't be afraid to check out the men's department either. My favorite bathing suit was a great bikini top and men's swim trunks. It was comfy, sporty, and sexy.

Good luck ladies! Don't be discouraged!
Great bathing suits for less: Walmart, Forever 21, Old Navy--- all 3 have plus sizes too!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A day in the life of a frustrated shopper!

So, I don't usually complain-- and today I was going to write about finding your perfect bathing suit, but I neeed a minute to vent.

I am planning a long weekend with my best friend and I realized I don't have any nice summer clothes. I went to the mall. Since when is it okay to sell a $4 bedazzled tank top for $40? Just because it has your label on it, doesn't mean it is all of sudden worth 400 times more than it cost to be made. I get that they have to make a profit and that some items are higher quality. For example, I know if I pay $10 for a pair sneakers, I am lucky if they last an entire season. Seriously though, why can one store sell a camisole for $4 and another for $29?

Well, I gave up on the mall! I went to my favorite store, DOTS! I love that store so much! I follow then on Facebook and Twitter and get their emails for coupons. Thanks to their great discount today, I bought: 1 shirt, 1 dress, 2 pairs of capris, and 1 pair of shorts for $69. I love their variety of styles and that they have a great clearance section. I know I talk about DOTS all the time, but if you haven't experienced it, you need to! They have all sizes and they have cute clothes for plus sizes too. No "mom" jeans and elastic waistbands.

Thanks DOTS for being there for me since I was 13 years old! I hope all of my followers can appreciate such great deals!

Tune in next time where I dig in to shopping for bathing suits, jeans, and other HATED purchases!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Who is your fashion icon?

I have asked and you have answered! There are so many people to choose from, past or present. Having a fashion icon doesn't mean that you model yourself after this person. You might not dress like them at all. All it means is that you respect this person's style and you model their confidence.  The best answer, and the most common answer, was YOU ARE YOUR OWN FASHION ICON! That is great! I have always said that confidence in yourself makes you the sexiest person. You should always reflect your own personality in what you wear. Whether it is great shoes, a red lipstick, a great suit-- whatever makes you look in the mirror and say, "Damn, I look good today."

As predicted, Audrey Hepburn was at the top of everyone's fashion list. She is my fashion icon. Her grace and class was effortless. She was not only an icon of her time, she continues to be a timeless representation of what a really lady should dress like. Others of her time are also great models, such as Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Lauren Bacall, Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelley, etc.





Another great fashion icon is Michelle Obama. She is our Jackie O of 2011. She really chooses styles that work for her and she is a advocate for reasonable spending, by choosing lines from stores like J Crew. She looks put-together and fun and really owns her style. Rock on first lady!







Last, but definitely not least, you chose Sarah Jessica Parker as your fashion icon. She is the perfect icon to be jealous of! I mean, who wouldn't want Carrie's shoe collection! She is a great person to model after if you are looking for that person who has a quirky style with great accessories. She is always fashion forward with a vintage flair. Even in this white dress, she looks amazing and totally expensive!



Some other great answers were: Grace Kelly, Betty Draper Francis, Pizzazz from JEM, and of course, me ;-).
Let us be our own fashion icon! Always know that you can rock anything with the right attitude! You never know followers, you might be someone else's fashion icon every day!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What Makes You Feel Sexy?

Every person has something that they wear that makes them feel sexy. I have a few--- a great pair of jeans, red lipstick, a top that shows my shoulders.... Put all those together and watch out!

According to my Facebook friends, people agree! The most popular answer I got today would be a sexy pair of shoes. You could be wearing a bath robe and wearing a sexy pair of heels and would be a complete success. :) From someone who cannot wear anything with a heel, flats can be just as sexy. I am in love with flat boots. In the summer I love sandals. As long as they make a statement, your shoes can make you feel sexy.

The second choice would be a great pair of jeans. Making your behind look great and your legs look long. You can rock a great pair of jeans to the club, around the house, where ever. The best thing is that you can get a pair of heels or a some dark jeans for any price. Check out clearance sales, Payless, DOTS, somewhere close to you and within your price range. Be prepared for some pain. Unfortunately, buying a pair of good jeans can be harder than finding a bathing suit. But once you do, you will wear them until they fall right off. From my many years in retail, you want to remember that each pair of jeans is different. If you find a style and size that work, bring 3 pairs of the same size into the fitting room with you. I know it seems silly, but trust me, it is worth it. Also, do the squat test in the fitting room. Make sure they are comfortable.

 From my male followers, the answer was a great suit. I think channeling James Bond would make any man feel sexy. It is a key suggestion to get a woman's attention! Another sexy James to emulate would be James Dean. A great tee shirt and a pair of jeans. YES! So sexy! (And comfortable). The good thing about either, like the women's suggestions, would be to find something that is inexpensive. If you spend a little more than you would normally, it is something that will last a long time. If you have to wear suits to work, check with your accountant, you might be able to write them off on your taxes. 

The best way to feel sexy is confidence. I have said it before- even if you are naked-- confidence will make anything you are wearing, or not wearing, look sexy. Funny, being naked got a lot of votes too! :) 

Thanks followers! Talk to you next week! 



 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Making memories for less than $20!

I AM BACK! 
I am sorry that I have been gone for so long. I am back and ready with some great ideas for my loyal followers!

The warm weather is here and I have some great ideas to keep you busy either with your girls or with your favorite date!
Girls' Night In:
Invite some girls over, it is time to get in touch with your inner Samantha and Carrie! If you don't have a cheap way to rent movies like NETFLIX or RED BOX, have your girls bring over their favorite chick flicks and pick from the stash. 
Get out your blender ladies, here is a simple recipe for homemade strawberry margaritas: 
6 oz tequila
2 oz triple sec
8 oz frozen strawberries in the syrup
4 oz limeade concentrate
ADD ICE and BLEND! 
Don't forget to pick up your fun margarita glasses at Christmas Tree Shop for less than $2!!!

Want something to do while you are watching all those girly movies? How about a wardrobe swap? Save some money for your summer wardrobe by asking your girls to bring all their unwanteds and throw in the middle of your living room. Go ahead and get crazy! It is like a new outfit with no money spent!!!!! 

Last, every woman needs a facial! Here is a really easy and inexpensive recipe:
1 tablespoon old fashioned oatmeal (finely ground)
1 teaspoon plain yogurt (preferably organic)
a few drops of honey, warmed with a hot spoon
MIX, apply to your face, leave on for 10 minutes, and finish with a hot wash cloth!
TOTALLY RELAXING!!!!  

 DATE NIGHT:

Do you and your love need something to do that isn't going to cost you a fortune? Well here are some great ideas for you New Englanders out there! (Don't forget, these are ideas you can really do anywhere!) 

Hampton Beach-
* Pack a picnic and have dinner on the beach while you watch the sunset
* Share some fried dough while you take in a free concert
* Beat 'em at skee ball in any of the arcades
* Finish your night with great Karaoke and dancing @ Stacy Jane's! The best bar on the strip!

Night in Boston:
* Can't afford an expensive restaurant or a club cover? That is totally cool! Look online for clubs that do "free covers" if you go during a certain time. 
* Grab a hot dog from a street vendor and cop a squat at the Public Garden
* Channel your inner child at the aquarium or the science museum
(It is really endless!)

Getting in touch with nature:
* Check out Walden Pond--- swim, hike, just relax! Beautiful scenery and history right there and all you have to do is pay for parking! 

I hope this inspires you to get outside and make those memories! Happy Spring followers! I am so excited for what this season has to offer!
 





Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cleaning out your makeup bag

Do you have a makeup bag that is filled with everything from lipstick to the glitter that was part of your Halloween costume in 2004? You are like almost every woman! I did some research on About.com:beauty and you are going to be surprised at how long you can actually keep your makeup! I was...

First, make sure you check out my makeup tips from a few posts ago. This post with those will really get you started on the right makeup experience. Just remember, it doesn't require you to spend hours in the mirror or hundreds of dollars for expensive eye cream.

Concealer: lasts 12 months

Powder: lasts 2 years

Gel cleaners and creams: lasts 1 year

Pencil eye liner: 3 years  (remember to sharpen regularly!)

Eye shadow: lasts 3 years and makes a great sub for eye liner!

Brushes: they can last forever if you wash them every few months with a mild soap

Sponges: wash weekly and discard monthly

Foundation: water based lasts 12 months, oil based lasts 18 months (remember, you might not need foundation, concealer, and powder-- base it off of your own skin. Also, you might need 2 different shades for different times of year.)

Lip liner: lasts 3 years (cheap works just as well--- and stick to a nude shade, specifically a color that is closest to your own lip color)

Lip stick: lasts 1 to 2 years (see tips for making it last!)

Mascara: ONLY LASTS 4 MONTHS!

Nail polish: lasts 12 months (if it starts to seperate, you might want to throw it away!)

The biggest and most important rule is that if you are sick or having a bad reaction to your makeup throw it away-- no matter how much you love it, or spent on it!!!!
I love it ladies-- you are becoming fashion and makeup experts before my very eyes!!!


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Carrying your style into your home


Whether you are still living in your childhood bedroom, a college dorm, an apartment, or your own home-- your style can carry over into the way you decorate. You want your home to make you feel comfortable and happy. If you are trendy and original or sweet and traditional, you can use these characteristics to inspire your living space.

Which room do you want to decorate? Your bedroom, kitchen, a game room? Start by making a list of things that make you happy: your vacation at the lake, chocolate chip cookies, the color yellow... You get the idea. Then use this list to create a theme. For example, the picture above: the colors are simple but work well together and the furniture is easily transferrable. Throw pillows and curtains can change the look for a room at the lowest cost.

You might have one item: a photo, a blanket, a favorite tee shirt that you can decorate the room or rooms entirely around. You could do each room in a different vacation spot that you like, or that you want to go to. For example, you could have a sanctuary spa in your bathroom with stones, candles, great fluffy pillows. You could change your livingroom into an old Hollywood movie theater with framed black and white movie posters and a great tv and couch.

Like your wardrobe, start small with accessories and do your research. Don't make any expensive purchases without being 100% sure that you are going to be happy with the end result. This also doesn't HAVE to be expensive with stores like the Christmas Tree Shop and do-it-yourself projects from Joanne Fabrics or Michaels. Also, recruit your creative friends to help. Have your artist friend paint or your sister that is good with a sewing machine make you the curtains you saw in that home magazine. Most importantly, if you are not the owner of the home, you want to check with your parents, landlord, or the school before you make any permanent changes.

Good luck being creative! Please post pics of your final design ideas!!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saying I Do, part 3

One of the biggest decisions that you will make (after choosing WHO you are going to marry ;-D) is picking your wedding dress. Get all of your ideas together but remember these details: your budget, the style that best suits YOU, the season, the theme of your wedding, where you can shop. If you have a $100 or a $10,000 budget do not allow the bridal consultant or your maid of honor to talk you into trying on the more expensive dress "just to see what it looks like" because that is going to be THE DRESS and unless you are willing to cut the budget somewhere else, do not torture yourself.

Also, remember what styles work best for your body type. I love mermaid style dresses but with my hips it would have looked HORRIBLE! So, I chose dresses with a-line skirts and ballroom skirts. Don't be afraid to try on a style that you might not like at first. I did not think I wanted strapless until I tried it on. You will also know when it is THE DRESS! You will feel it, I know it is clique, but it is true.

Do not go diet crazy. You will hate your life! Just remember while you are trying to look your best: eat healthy, get exercise, drink a lot of water, and get enough sleep! Sleep is really important, especially the night before your wedding. No girls' nights out that night!

The best tip I can give you for your wedding prep is: practice, practice, practice! Whether is is doing your hair and makeup, walking in your wedding shoes, sitting in your dress, your vows, anything that doesn't come naturally! You don't want to try something for the first time on the day of your wedding. It will make everything go so much smoother.

This day will be the beginning of your life together as a married couple. Here are some tips to make your relationship stronger:

* Say "I love you" everyday whether in person or over the phone-- don't forget.
* Always have open communication! You are a team and need to be there for eachother!
* Don't be afraid to ask for advice but remember if you get advice, you don't always have to follow it. Every couple is different.
* Always remember to laugh!
* Don't lose yourself. It makes your relationship stronger if you each have your own passions and hobbies. You don't need to share everything.
* Always make "us" time-- whether you are together for 6 months or married for 25 years with children. Take one night a week to have a conversation, go on a date!

Good luck and enjoy your day. It goes by so fast!