Monday, April 25, 2011

{Steals & Deals}

I hope everyone had a splendid Easter! I'm a huge fan of bunny day, not only because I think it is the holiest of holidays, but also because I love spending quality family time on a lovely spring day. Between having everyone home from college for the weekend, partaking in a delicious fondue dinner, attending a wonderful church service, grilling kabobs & indulging in delicious desserts, and going on an Easter basket hunt (we're never too old for this game...the older we get, the nicer the surprises!), it was quite a bit of fun.

Spring is also a favorite time to shop for me. Enter, Mr. Self Restraint. As an American, I am a part of a culture that seems to accept being in debt; embarrassing, to say the least. As a woman, I believe it is necessary to take care of myself as best I can, including financially. I believe in saving money, paying my own bills (on time), always having a separate account (even if I'm married) and being 100% responsible for my financial actions. That is not to say I don't believe in sharing money with a future spouse or being spoiled by your significant other; I just think it is important for young women to understand the importance of depending on themselves. When we hold ourselves accountable for the money we spend, things become clearer: Where is most of my paycheck going? Am I meeting my savings goal every month? Could I have saved on that purchase? Do I feel good about my spending allotment? Am I spending money I actually don't have?

The answers can be a harsh but necessary wake up call. But wait just a minute? Is this not a blog primarily about fashion, shopping & giving in to the little things that make me feel fabulous? Well, of course it is! For my hard work, I set aside an allotment of money for myself to spend whatever way I see fit; of course, that is after I factor in bills & savings. There are plenty of fashion sites to pick up your favorite designer indulgences for a cheaper price (see my Fabulous Finds on the left side of this blog) as well as outlets that offer what you want for a price that actually makes sense. However, why not also save on beauty products, magazine subscriptions, rafting trips, winery visits, bike rentals, salon treatments, dinner dates & so on?

Hello Groupon & Living Social! 

I say...the cheaper, the better. Sign up for Groupon and/or Living Social and receive daily emails on deals going on in your area! Perhaps there is a museum you would like to visit or a gym you would join if the cost was lower...this is where these sites are a great resource. WARNING: There are a lot of great deals out there; that does not mean go broke buying as many of them as possible!

Life is short.
Be smart about your money.
Have fun with it as well.
We all deserve to reward ourselves.
Spend it on the most fun you can possibly have...
because money well spent will never leave you feeling guilty & is always worth it! 

All images via Google

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

{Foot Fetish}

How many of you have a pair of pumps that you love but either: a) slip out of easily, b) hurt your heels, or c) could use a little cushion? Yes, much to my sweetheart's confusion as to why we women willingly put ourselves in this kind of situation, it happens. Case in Point: A couple of years ago I went outlet shopping & fell in love with a pair of heels that were a little too big for me. I ignored this fact & bought the shoes in hopes that they would magically fit perfectly when I got home. Major fail. That summer, I went on a 4th of July getaway to upstate New York and happened to come across an adorable little shop in Skaneateles that had just what I needed to keep my feet from sliding out!

Both inserts work great with my shoes and made a world of difference; they're great for adding comfort to your favorite pair of footwear! However, these fashionable little numbers can add up quickly! Note to Self: stick to shoes in your size & your size only. So when I was recently out shoe shopping and saw a pair of gel heel inserts on sale, I went ahead & bought myself a pair to try out:

Comfort is always numero uno in my book. And since we're on the topic of wearing high heels & making them as comfy as possible, does anyone know about or have a pair of Dr. Scholl's fast flats?! I spend the majority of my weekends traipsing around a city, so after hours on my feet (not to mention if I go out in heels at night), I want nothing more than for the metro to get to my stop so I can go home & relax. That is where darling Dr. Scholl comes in:

These little black flats can be folded up & stored right in your handbag! Perfect to put on after a night out on the town or a long day in the office. How have I missed seeing these in the foot care aisle of my local drugstores? If anyone out there has these and loves/hates them, let me know! Because these magical slip-ons are calling my name :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

{Nautical Inspiration}

Though I have been a'slackin in my blogging lately...I have been quite the busy bee: venturing out in D.C. & Baltimore often, attending a phenomenal performance by KT Tunstall (courtesty of my sweetheart), and going on quite a shopping spree with momma bear! When your arms and back hurt from all of the bags you are carrying, there might be a slight addiction problem. However, it was pay day, I was off of work & ready to score some major deals. I am slightly majorly obsessed with the nautical look, so my ever-expanding nautical wardrobe is the inspiration for today's post. In honor of the upcoming summer full of BBQ's, pool parties & trips to downtown Annapolis, I've decided to share some of my favorite red, white & blue looks, with a splash of yellow:

Friday, April 8, 2011

{Hot Air Balloons, Oh My!}

You could say my sweetheart & I are somewhat of an adventurous couple. Thus far, we have visited 6 different countries/provinces together and have made several trips to new places & hot spots within the States. We very much believe in taking weekend trips when possible & planning for vacation time is always on our radar! Additionally, we try to be active when spending time together...which means anything from going on hikes, biking around a city, taking a canoe out on the water to touring museums, having picnics in the park, visiting a new winery, etc. We're pretty much up for anything new and exciting, so when I spotted a deal on a hot air balloon ride for two I jumped on it!

Since I'm one of those people who like to research everything...I discovered some interesting facts about hot air balloons:
  1. The first passengers of a hot air balloon ride consisted of a sheep, duck & rooster. They lasted in air for a total of 15 minutes before crashing into the ground. (how cruel)
  2. It is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology.
  3. Accidents are rare. (good to know)
  4. Still, a parachute is placed right at the top of each hot air balloon.
  5. In 1999, Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones made the first around the world flight by a hot-air balloon. Their balloon stayed aloft through the entire trip without refueling. (crazy!)
  6. Ballooning is not a silent sport. There are some quiet moments, but those burners are noisy.
  7. Balloonists dress like hikers: pants, sturdy flat shoes and layers of shirt, sweater, jacket, for example.

It is always nice to have something fun to look forward to, isn't it? Whether it's participating in a local event, going on a trip somewhere new, hosting a dinner party or just visiting with a friend. When I think about the idea of making a bucket list, I chuckle...not because I think it is a silly's a great idea...but because I think every one of our days can already make up our bucket list in some shape or form. Not everything we look forward has to be big; just add value and richness to our lives in some capacity. So, here's to the weekend & looking forward to the good things in life! Enjoy!!

All images via Google

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

{Lovely Lacquer: Part II}

One of the positives of knowing a cosmetologist is the ability to go to select beauty supply stores where her special license is necessary to make a purchase. An added bonus is that these stores carry newer products at a discounted rate you just can't beat. So, since we are heading into flip flop season...I came up with the somewhat legitimate excuse to go on a shopping spree for my nails. To say I landed in OPI Heaven is an understatement; my friend's little 5 year old and I had a blast picking out nail polishes & creams...and even after filling up our basket & checking out, I had to force myself to leave the store before I could turn around and pick out anything else.

A Few Favorites of the Day:
Do You Lilac It?

Lucky Lucky Lavender

In the Spotlight - Pink

Charged Up Cherry

Mani/Pedi Cucumber Massage

So long dry cuticles, crusty nail polish & debating what color to use at your mani/pedi appointment! For a few bucks a pop, my nail color collection is expanding rapidly. Perhaps my newfound supply of nail care products will lead to something bigger...say, Chateau de Victoria: Nail Care Spa? Okay okay, I'll quit while I'm ahead...but if you're looking for a great deal on nail products (or beauty products in general), ask around to see if you know someone who can help you save! No one needs to dish out lots of green for the little things in life that pamper us :)

All images via Google